© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sailing to Byzantium

Sailing to Byzantium

by William Butler Yeats

Analysis: Sex Rating

Exactly how steamy is this poem?

G

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.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement