The Oscillation Between Romanticism and Modernism in William Butler Yeats? Poems

Abstract

Author(s): Azime Peksen Yakar

This paper analyzes William Butler Yeats’ “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” “When You are Old,” “An Irish Airman Foresees His Future,” and “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” by considering idiosyncratic characteristics of Yeats’ poetry, touching upon the autobiographical elements, scrutinizing romantic and modernist themes interwoven in these poems with a specific focus on the shift between his romantic ideas and modernist visions. The oscillation between these two literary movements is so apparent in Yeats’ poems that this becomes the primary characteristic of his style. He is inspired by the pastoral landscape and idealized serenity of nature to write poetry, yet his idealization and romantic sentimentalism are disrupted by his modernist thoughts. In this context, Yeats’ poems mentioned above display this changeability between romanticism and modernism, enabling the readers to follow the traces of these two significant movements.

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