Sailing to Byzantium-1

Sailing to Byzantium-1 - Austin Meek ENGL 2210/ Close...

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1Austin Meek ENGL 2210/ Close Reading Leslie Whatley 11 April 2008 “Sailing to Byzantium” “Sailing to Byzantium” is one of William Butler Yeats’ most prized poems. Yeats uses the poem to make a statement about his outlook on the agony of old age and the ways to remain a vital individual even as “a paltry thing” (1706 II). The narrator is an older man who looks at his life with disgust as the way it appears now. He is jealous of the way the young live their lives, so he imaginatively leaves his country and journeys to Byzantium, where he believes is the place to renew his soul. Yeats uses a lot of references to the nature side of life and the eternal life within the soul. The narrator refers to his old country as “no country for old men.” This country was full of youth and life, with the young lying “in one another's arms, birds in the trees…” and fish swimming in the waters. Watching this youth makes him dislike his elderliness and not take pleasure in his life. From there he travels to Byzantium, where it seems that everyone enjoys
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Sailing to Byzantium-1 - Austin Meek ENGL 2210/ Close...

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