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Unformatted text preview: Yeats poems. William Butler Yeats’s poem “The Lamentation of the Old Pensioner”, written in 1890 and again in 1925, is a testament to man’s progression from fear of old age and death to a calm sorrow and lament for his youth. The poem is a reflection of life and direction, fear and old age. At 25, he feels old, and that too much time has passed by. He laments the past and the loss of familiar faces, yet he is only 25, an age at which a man has lived to see many years but is not yet a wise old man. Both renditions of the poem are a reflection of time, yet the later one reveals a calm anger in response to the passing of time, whereas the earlier poem is frantic and short lived. The first version of this poem was written by a middle-aged Yeats. He begins the poem with a reflection on the past, saying “I had a chair at every hearth,” (l 1.) This also alludes to Irish hospitality; the hearth is the soul of the home. The family gathers around the hearth, the fireplace, and guests that are welcomed into the home are seated nearest the fire. At one time in his life he had a constant stream of people around him. His tone is nostalgic, assuming that his life is coming to its close. At 25 a man has lived some years, but is not yet a wise man. A wise man would not meet his impending end with...
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- Spring '08
- William Butler Yeats