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Sailing to Byzantium

Sailing to Byzantium


by William Butler Yeats

Analysis: Sex Rating

Exactly how steamy is this poem?


There’s not much sex in this poem. After all, our speaker is a bit more worried about dying than getting it on. When we do hear about sex, however, it’s in a very naturalized light. People and animals "beget" new people and new animals. We could almost be reading the Bible here. It starts to sound a lot like the Old Testament. Our speaker, however, is trying to move beyond the constraints of human desire. That means no sex, folks.

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