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The celebrated English poet W.B. Yeats has two remarkable poems on Byzantium-Byzantium and Sailing to Byzantium

Byzantium was historically a city of the Holy Roman Empire, considered saintly and perfect. It was particularly the capital of the Eastern wing of the Holy Roman Empire. It was very much renowned in the remote past as a centre of art and culture. 

Yeats's poems, however are based not on the material facts of that real historical city of Byzantium. This is a creation of his speculative mind. To him Byzantium stands for an ideal state of a serene and spiritualized  living, away from the vulgarities and impurities of the material world. It is a place,  rather transcendental, beyond time and space.  In the poet's perception, there is a synthesis of the spiritual and the earthly life in death and death in life, in this realm of purification and perfection.      

In fact,  Byzantium poems consists of the poet's vision of such a place which is serene and sublime, in which life is brought after death and lives in an eternal bliss,  after purged of earthly sins and weaknesses. His vision here is of such an ideal realm,  no doubt imaginative,  and he calls this Byzantium. In the sense of an ideal resort in life and death.   


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