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The first six lines set forth an argument and the closing heroic couplet arrives with an epigrammatic summation: Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unaging intellect.It’s a very Elizabethan way of writing poetry and connects Yeats’ poetic thought with a much older tradition.Here's a good set of broad based discussion questions: another set that is more specific, and keyed to the text (though the page numbers don't match up with our edition): Part I 1. Who is Maude Gonne (look at the biographical sketch)? What is the general attitude about war expressed in the poem?
[Sometime later today I’ll try my hand at reading this poem.] Two Minds I’m of two minds when it comes to Yeats.
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Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work! For Yeats, ancient Byzantium was the purest embodiment of transfiguration into the timelessness of art.
In the 1930’s Yeats was asked, on visiting a brothel, what the experience was like. The initial trochee effectively emphasizes the vehemence of his refutation.
He replied, ““It was terrible, like putting an oyster into a slot machine! Other close readers will tell you that “that country” is Ireland (Yeats originally wrote instead of that.) But it doesn’t matter except to those interested in Yeats’ biography.