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Home » » Comment on Yeats's poetic technique or, Write a note on the poetic craftsmanship of W.B Yeats

W.B Yeats is one of the greatest modern poets in English literature. He like most of the other poets had two main methods of poetic creation , one spontaneous,  and the other a laborious process involving much alteration and substitution .The second method is more characteristic of Yeats. He was a conscious artist who polished and re-polished his verse to say, What he had to say in the best possible words.

Yeats poetic technique

It is admirable that Yeats,the artist tried to grow and mature gradually as a craftsman throughout his long poetic career. His early poetry is marked by a dreamy luxuriant style, full of sleepy languorous rhythm . The tone is mostly wistful and nostalgic in these poems. There is plenty of ornate word - pictures as in Spenser. But Yeats soon grew dissatisfied with his early style. He did away with archaisms and poeticism . His imagery also became more definite and accurate , and acquired a new pithy quality . Verbiage and superfluity started giving way to vigour and intensity.  His diction now became epigrammatic and terse and his poetry grew in density . At the same time, Yeats develop his skill remarkably in modulating his rhythm in tune with the spirit of the poem. This skill may be noticed in poems like The Second Coming, Sailing to Byzantium, The Tower , Easter 1916 and Among School Children and even in one of his earliest poems,When You Are Old.The confidence and assurance that we find in his later poetic style is a matter of astonishment.  His language became very functional and rhythms very definite and accurate ,and above all,he could now justice to the demands of grandeur and sublimity with effortless ease.
W.B.Yeats poetic technique
W.B.Yeats

Thematic content

In his later poetry I'm keeping with his thematic content ,Yeats was able to develop subtler, more varied and dramatically more adjustable cadences. His vocabulary had also become more inclusive.  As a result, the metaphors were freshers and their range of reference wider. The imaginative structure of the poem and its actual manifestation came to be more firmly worked out and more spontaneous and natural in effect.

As an artist Yeats continued to mature and grow up to the end of his days. He acquired  greater confidence and assurance and handled words with perfect ease like a master . His language became racier, his rhythms quicker , and he could rise effortlessly to grandeur  and sublimity.  He no longer speaks hesitantly or timidly but asserts his faith defiantly , even arrogantly.  His absolute artistic integrity and sincerity compel him to express himself in a downright , trenchant manner, without any reservation or concealment.

To conclude , W.B. Yeats was a conscious and gifted artist who has few equals in the whole range of English poetry .It is true that there are some serious faults in the style of his poetry but they do not in anyway detract from his true greatness as an artist . He wrote from  an inner compulsion like a true greatness as an artist. He wrote from an inner compulsion like a true artist and it is this unusual urgency of spirit that gived to his poetry its peculiar charms to the readers.

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