Leda and the Swan
Leda and the Swan
by William Butler Yeats


We’ve got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you’ll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(4) Base Camp

Most of the poem is taken up with images of sex between a human and a bird, and Yeats makes no efforts to hide "the facts of life" from his readers. Depending on your level of interest and/or curiosity in this swan business, you might find yourself wishing the poem were more vague. Still, the mythological references and the final two enigmatic lines can make this poem a bit challenging.

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