Critical Appreciation of SAILING TO BYZANTIUM by William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

           The speaker leaves the country with the young saying that it is no country for old men and travels to Byzantium. He describes that in the country of the young. The young are lying in one another's arms, birds are singing in the trees and the fish are swimming in the waters, the young are lost in the sensual music and they neglect the old. The speaker describes the oldest monuments of an Aegean collect according to the speaker an old man happens to be a party thing. He is only a tattered coat upon a stick he needs to clap his hands and sing he says that it is the only way for the soul to learn, how to sing by studying the monuments of its own magnificence. The speaker has traveled through seas to reach the holy land of Byzantium. The speaker sees the sages standing in God's holy fire.
           They seem to be like a gold mosaic of a wall. He asks the sages should become his soul singing masters. The speaker hopes that they will because his heart does not know about itself his heart is sick with desire and it is tied to his body. He refers to the body with the German dying animal the speaker wants to be involved into the artifice of eternity the speaker declares that after being taken out of the natural world. He would not like to go back to his bodily form. He would like to become a singing bird that is made of hammered gold, the one which is made by Grecian Goldsmith's as a bird. The speaker wants to be set upon a tree of gold to sing to the people of Byzantium. He wants to sing of the past the present and the future form of the poem. The poem consists of four stanzas of eight lines each and is written in old verse form the lines following ambach pentameter the rhyme scheme is a b a b a b c c. 
          There is a rhyming couplet at the end of the stanza. Critical analysis of the present poem is a highly inspired though and composed by Yeats it is evaluated as one of the greatest poems of the 20th century. The poem was posted in 1926 and it was included in the tower which happens to be eights greatest single collection. The poem makes a very emphatic statement about the pain and agony of the old age in the suffering of the old people. Yeats seems to be telling us that spiritual needs are should be fulfilled even when our heart is tied to our decaying body the imaginative place that the poet has created is like the purgatory in paradise. Everything exists eternally if he has given a chance to be born again the speaker is not ready to take the bodily form through the speaker seems should be speaking of an artificial world. He sees the very deep spiritual truth in his assumption of artificiality. He wants to learn to sing he wants his soul to be transformed into a golden bird. The poem leaves a wide scope leading to various interpretations.
        The symbol of bird reminds one of Oh Jo a nightingale written by Keats. The poem is completely based on the poet's imagination, for Yeats never traveled to Byzantium which was renamed Constantinople in the fourth century AD. It is not based on autobiographical experiences of the boat since the city of Byzantium teams with artistic creations the poet has chosen the city which seems to be absolutely different from the rest of the world. The city was finally renamed Istanbul. It provides an ideal environment for an artist. This imaginative poetic journey described by the poet is one of the best that can be ever found in travel forums text of the poem that is No Country for Old Men the young in one another's arms birds in the trees those dying generations at their song the salmon falls the mackerel-crowded seas fish flesh. All neglect monuments of an Aegean collect an aged man is but a paltry thing a tattered coat upon a stick unless Soul clap its hands and sing and louder sing for every chatter in its mortal address nor is there singing school about studying monuments of its own magnificence and therefore I have sailed the season come to the holy city of Byzantium. 

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