Study Guide

Adam's Curse Setting

By William Butler Yeats

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The poem is set during a clear evening at the end of summer, and our three friends think it is the perfect time to sit outside and discuss poetry and love (who doesn't love to sit under the stars and talk about deep stuff?). The poem is timeless in some ways, actually. The speaker is sad that his society considers poetry writing to be idle work compared to what a banker, schoolteacher, or laborer does. Guess what—plenty of people feel the same way today. But, fortunately for the speaker, it's also a society where people are able to educate themselves about poetry and the "old ways" of love, much like our own. The poem may be set more than a century ago, but the discussion could still very easily happen in our own modern setting.

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