Which Poems Do I Have to Study
- When You Are Old
- An Irish Airman
- Among School Children
- The Wild Swans at Coole
- Leda and the Swan
- Easter 1916
- The Second Coming
- True Love Lasts Forever.
- True Love is Not Based on the Physical.
- Aging, Nostalgia.
- Unrequited Love.
- A Late Romantic voice and a formal structure is set up by the iambic pentameter and the ABBA rhyming structure: “When you are old and grey and full of sleep / book / look / deep.”
- The use of caesura in the first stanza slows the pace of the poem and creates emotional, nostalgic pauses e.g. “And slowly read, and dream of the soft look”.
- Anadiplosis centred around the word “loved” contrasts the reasons for love and the idea of love being true or false: “How many loved your moments of glad grace / And loved your beauty with love false or true / But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you / And loved the sorrows of your changing face.”
- The persona identifies himself as her most sincere lover in the volta or turn of the poem which begins with “But one man…”
- The metaphor “pilgrim soul” connotes a purity and yearning in both the object of the persona’s love and in himself.
- The final stanza personifies Love as a somewhat shy mythical god, which joins the constellations in heaven to “Hide his face amid a crowd of stars.”
- This is imagery of a distant, remote, constant, unrequited love, unlike the warm domesticity of the fireplace.