Study Guide

Down by the Salley Gardens Love

By William Butler Yeats

Love

Love is one of those things that can be the most amazing part of life when things are going well and also the toughest when things go bad. "Down by the Salley Gardens" gives us a perfect scenario of the picturesque circumstances of love that are quickly countered by the less attractive consequences of heartbreak. Being young and foolish doesn't help matters much either. As simple as love might seem with weeping willows and Snow White running around, love can still make you end up bawling your eyes out in a public park. Bad times.

Questions About Love

  1. How is love depicted as being both simple and complicated at the same time? 
  2. What's with all the "snow-white" imagery in terms of the poem's context of young love? What do those snow-white extremities make you think of? 
  3. How does the ballad's catchy meter and rhymes contribute to the theme of love? Does love always have to be written about in such a singsong way? Why or why not?
  4. How does the poem's setting makes the theme of love even more pronounced?

Chew on This

It's not the corny, natural, romantic details that give us an impression of love in this poem. Love's true power is revealed when we learn that the speaker is full of tears.

Puh-leease—the speaker doesn't appreciate love here. He's in too much of a hurry. The girl shows him to the door because she knows he's too immature to be capable of true love.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...