'Sailing to Byzantium'

'Sailing to Byzantium'

Sailing to Byzantium Who is the narrator? How would you describe him? What are his thoughts and attitudes? What does he want to happen? How does he feel? The narrator appears to be an ageing and hopeless man who is struggling to find his place in the modern and youthful world. He refers to himself as a dying generation who wishes to escape a civilisation which no longer values him. He seeks comfort and respect in

Byzantium. The speaker feels trapped in a decaying body and wishes for the goldsmiths to take his heart and soul and pace it in Now I am trying to write about the state of my soul, for it is right for an old man to make his soul, and some of my thoughts upon that subject are

here... WB Yeats Byzantium: This was an imagined journey for Yeats Ancient Greek city Later become Constantinople Now Istanbul Yeats argued that in the sixth century it offered an ideal

environment for the artist. Yeats saw the Byzantine Empire, along with the Renaissance, as one of the high points of civilisation/ high point of gyres Yeats words: Byzantium was the centre of European civilization and the source of its spiritual philosophy. The Byzantine Artist Whether painters, mosaic

makers, illuminators, illustrators of books, song writers, goldsmiths, silversmiths; all artists are impersonal. They work without consciousness of individual design They are absorbed in their subject matter and the creation of art itself Their aim is to represent the visions of the whole people NOT

the individual Key Vocab: Begotten: To bring about or to bring a child into existence Commend: to praise formally Monuments: a statue, building, or other structure erected to commemorate a notable person or event. OR a statue or other structure placed over a grave in memory of the dead. Paltry: small, meagre, petty, trivial Sages: wise and holy leaders Perne: to turn in a circle

Artifice: devices used to trick or deceive others Enamelling: to coat or decorate with a material Bough: the main branch of a tree The Literal Interpretation: In pairs write a couple of sentences for your stanza. What is LITERALLY happening? What is LITERALLY being described? What does the speaker LITERALLY want?

Symbolism of Byzantium An ideal state of mind beyond life Represents the perfect aesthetic The perfection of art allows the artist to transcend daily life, the ego, nature, death, relationships, desire Art is not personal here; it is art for arts sake Match the Poetic Term Choose the correct quotation to match the technique used by Yeats in the poem. Move

on to discuss the effect on the reader. Homework for Easter 1) Re-read Frankenstein 2) Complete your Yeats Table up to Sailing for Byzantium 3) Revise and learn quotes (aim for at least three for each poem) 4) You will have a timed essay after Easter Consider the following critical responses to the

poem A. Norman Jeffares, said of this stage of Yeats work: he shows a sharpened apprehension, brought by Ireland's civil war, of approaching conflagration in the world, and, by approaching age, of ruin and decay. An early critic, T. Sturge Moore, told Yeats in 1930 that he found the first three stanzas magnificent but believed the fourth to weaken to an ineffective and unnecessary repetition of gold four times in as many lines, implying that the contrast between artificial and natural forms is fundamental, which is obviously not the case. Yeats's biographer, Richard Ellmann writes that Yeats attempted to evoke a symbolin the poem as a whole and also in the symbolic bird spoken of in

the poemwhich would have a life of its own into which he could put himself. Read the poem looking for evidence of the following ideas 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Descriptions of youth Productivity and regeneration Permanence Mortality Separation of soul and body Opposites: such as youth and age, body and soul, nature and art, transient and eternal yet each dependent on the other 7. The tension between art and life 8. Byzantine art did not attempt to represent human forms

Worksheet 21.1 1. Complete the table with quotations from the poem. 2. Choose the most appropriate quote to accompany each image below. 3. Discuss and annotate the poem Note on form AO2 Ottava Rima loose iambic pentameter

stanzas with an asymmetric rhyme pattern

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