THE WILD SWANS AT COOLE

INTRODUCTION TO THE WILD SWANS AT COOLE

The poem, " The Wild Swans at Coole", published in 1919 embodies some of W. B. Yeats's nicest and finest reminiscence frequently structured in long irregular versified paragraphs, which the poet tackles very skilfully. He draws more and more on family traditions and memories in an effort to connect his past with his present through a common tradition that links with his forefathers. This poem is a beautiful poem of nature. The poet describes his appreciation of fifty nine swans that he had witnessed by the side of a lake. He is deeply impressed by the beauty of the swans. But  everyday the number  of the swans dwindles till oneday the poet is grieved to find that all the swans have left the pool and have flown away to some other pool to provide delight to other man's eyes. Their disappearance produces a feeling of pain in the heart of the poet.


Yeats at the age of fifty-one goes back between nineteen years to his visit to Coole Park in 1896 when he was thirty-two. He had grieved then over Maud Goune's refusal to return to his love, and he is grieving now again over the loss of love as well as youth. The basic conflict in "The Wild Swans at Coole" is not between the swans and Yeats, but it is between Yeats's ageing heart and an unchangeable desire symbolized by the swans. The scene is set in Coole where Yeats could reflect in tranquillity and the swans becomes a means of externalizing the experience. The poem depicts a conflict that all men face at one time or another in life. It is a statement of a dilemma, and it implies neither defeat nor a resolution of the problem.


SUBSTANCE: 
The trees of Coole Park he visited are decorated witn the beauty of nature in the autumn season. The sky is clearly reflected in the water of the lake in the pleasant light of the evening. Fifty nine purely white coloured swans among the stones near the overflowing water of the lake create an attractive scene added to the beauty of the place. The swans suddenly fly up in the circles and produce their songs. The scene which he observed when was only nineteen has now changed. The poet is grieved to see that the swans have flown away from the lake gently flapping the wings over his head. The swans are adventurous birds. They are not tired of wandering and flying in the sky.  They are dominated by the desire for movement and conquering new haunts of nature. Perhaps they have built their new abode among the rushes of other watery places and lakes. They may have been providing delignt eyes. Their leaving the lake produces a fecling of pain in the heart.

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