Analysis of Various Bird Images in Yeats’ Poetry

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Abstract: As an outstanding creator of symbols, Yeats has created various kinds of birds images, including falcon, hawk, white birds, wild swan and so on, and all those images of birds were quite lively and contained abundant of feelings and experiences. This essay will first give a general introduction to birds images in British poetry, and then it will analyze natural birds images in his pastoral poems in The Lake Isle of Innisfree; The Stolen Child, Sailing to Byzantium, The Second Coming and The Man And the Echo; then it will turn to the pursuit of love through images of birds in The Wild Swans at Coole and The White Birds; finally this essay will focus in the analysis of mysterious images of swan in Leda And The Swan and reach a conclusion of the whole essay. Keywords: birds images; Yeats; poetry 1.Introduction to Birds Images in British Poetry According to American natural literary writer John, Buroughs, Great poets always have emotional relations to birds, since only poets’ feeling can connect with birds. In history of British poetry, perhaps the nightingale and skylark are the most popular birds images, and almost all famous poets in Britain have written about birds, including Shakespeare, John Milton, William Wordsworth, John Keats and Coleridge, who have written about nightingale, and Shelly, Shakespeare and William Wordsworth have all written about skylark. Under those giants’ pen, birds always contain poet’s emotions of joy, leisure, tranquility or loneliness, their desire to live close to nature, and their innocent or deep love for someone. Yeats was an outstanding creator of symbols. He used winding stairs, spinning tops, gyres, and spirals as important symbols in his poem of the 1920s and 1930s. They were closely related to his philosophy of life and history, and he had the ability to communicate the power and significance of his

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