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Yeats Elegy essay - poem addresses the third element of an...

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Natalie Cook           Mr. Hay AP English Literature            10 March 2008 “In Memory of W.B. Yeats” As it is an elegy, “In Memory of W.B. Yeats” is a mournful poem in memory of  the speaker’s lost friend, poet W.B. Yeats. Firstly, the poem addresses the situation: a  friend who had been ill “disappeared in the dead of winter.” The speaker describes “the  day of his death [as] a dark cold day.” The greater portion of the first part, starting with  the word “but” begins the mourning of Yeats. The diction that Auden employs to convey  the mouring of his friend include words such as revolted, empty, silence, invaded, dead,  guts, roaring, beasts, sufferings, unusual, dark, and cold. The second part of Auden’s 
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Unformatted text preview: poem addresses the third element of an elegy, it acknowledges Yeats’ virtues, beginning with a nostalgia-loaded phrase, “You were silly like us.” The last part of Auden’s elegy seeks consolation. It begins with a plea to the Earth, to “receive an honoured guest.” The word “honoured” suggests a shift in the speaker’s attitude from melancholy and solemnly pensive to accepting and conclusive. The final three stanzas of the poem offer a sense of closure. The speaker implores Yeats to “still persuade [them] to rejoice” “with [his] unconstraining voice,” implyig that the loss of Yeats’ physical presence shall not impede the powerful effect he has made through his poetry....
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