"When You Are Old" Poem Review by rufus

An examination of the role of the speaker in William Butler Yeats' poem "When You Are Old."
# 61181 | 1,242 words | 0 sources | 2005 | US
Published on Sep 22, 2005 in Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


In Yeats's "When You Are Old," the speaker addresses a woman by telling her to imagine her future based on her past and her relationship with the speaker. This paper analyzes the speaker's attitude toward the woman and how that attitude is conveyed through the poem's form, diction, imagery and tone.

From the Paper:

"William Butler Yeats' poem, "When You Are Old," depicts an old woman looking back over her life and regretting having forsaken the love of the poem's speaker. Yeats' careful attention to stylistic elements allows him to incorporate a great deal of meaning into this brief poem. Yeats' narrator addresses the woman many years prior to the scene that he describes, apparently hoping to convince her to avoid this fate by choosing him over her many other suitors. Through a stylistic consistency in which each of the poem's form, diction, imagery, and tone all increase in complexity and venture further into abstraction as the poem proceeds, Yeats conveys the speaker's complicated attitude toward the woman. The end result is a poem which concisely and deftly relates the speaker's desire for the woman while simultaneously expressing his attitude that she is susceptible to flattery and manipulation."

Cite this Poem Review:

APA Format

"When You Are Old" (2005, September 22) Retrieved April 21, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/poem-review/when-you-are-old-61181/

MLA Format

""When You Are Old"" 22 September 2005. Web. 21 April. 2024. <https://www.academon.com/poem-review/when-you-are-old-61181/>