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The Wild Swans at Coole

The Wild Swans at Coole

by W.B. Yeats

The Wild Swans at Coole Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Like a lot of poets, and a lot of poems, Yeats doesn't restrict himself to a single meter in "The Wild Swans at Coole" (now what would be the fun in that?). In fact, he uses at least three differen...

Speaker

Let's face facts: this speaker is a bit of killjoy. He's bummed out about getting old, and he can't stop to admire something as beautiful and graceful as swans without making it all about himself a...

Setting

Right from the jump, the title of this poem gives us a very clear notion of the setting. Namely, we're at Coole Park, in Ireland. (Check it out for yourself, why don't ya?) Now, on a biographical n...

Sound Check

For all its depressing, old age reflection, "The Wild Swans at Coole" does manage to pack in some fun sounds. After all, it's not like this poem fails to recognize beauty and vitality. In a paradox...

What's Up With the Title?

The title of the poem refers to something quite literal: the "wild swans" that Yeats used to observe at Coole Park, a stunningly beautiful retreat about 130 miles from Dublin, Ireland. The poem's t...

Calling Card

Yeats is one of the most important poets of the period we call Modernism. Yeats's poem, like much Modernist poetry, takes inherited forms and meters and gives them a thorough makeover. So, for exam...

Tough-o-Meter

"The Wild Swans at Coole" isn't a hard poem. The language and sentence structure are pretty simple. There is nothing super-crazy or confusing, which is helpful because we can spend more time focusi...

Trivia

Yeats was a member of the Irish senate at one point in his life. A poet and a senator? Now there's a combo. (Source.) Yeats won the Nobel Prize in 1923. Winner, Winner (Nobel Prize Dinner). (Source...

Steaminess Rating

"The Wild Swans at Coole" is about the feelings we experience as we grow older and realize that things are changing. It is also about beautiful things in nature and how we feel in the presence of t...

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