We sat grown quite at the name of love;
We saw the last embers of daylight die,
And in the trembling blue green of the sky
A moon, worn as if had been a shell
Washed by times waters as they rose and fell
About the stars and broke in days and years
Reference:- This beautiful mesmerizing lines have been taken from Adam`s Curse by one of the foremost figures of 20th century poet William Butler Yeats. W.B. Yeats was an Irish poet. He was a symbolic poet yet his poem has simple use of language so that reader can understand. The poem Adam`s Curse was the poem included in `In the Seven Woods`, published in 1903. As title suggests the poem Adam`s Curse is about the fall of a man and separation from work. Yeats describe that how it is difficult to create something beautiful. Yeats describe his meeting with Maud Gonne and her sister Kathline Pilcher.
Context: – Adam`s Curse was written just before the marriage of Maud Gonne and John McBride. Yeats wrote this poem for Maud Gonne, the woman who was tremendously loved by W.B. Yeats. In 1889, Yeats meet Maud Gonne, an English heiress and ardent Irish Nationalist. In 1891, Yeats proposed her but she refused not only once but many times. So, Yeats dedicated this poem to Maud Gonne wrote just before her marriage. Yeats wrote this poem based on meeting he had with Maud Gonne and Her sister Kathline Pilcher. In the poem, Yeats describe that he sits on a summer night with two women, one he talks and the other he addresses simply as beautiful woman. The poet says that how it is difficult to write poetry, why do people who do manual work think sitting at a desk and writing poetry is easy. The beautiful lady says women had to put in a lot effort to look beautiful and then they stumble on the topic of love and the poem ends in a philosophical way.
Critical Comment: – In the poem Adam`s Curse, poet says that we (the poet, Maud Gonne and Kathrine) enjoying summer night, they chat a lot they talk to each other but the mentioning of “love” seems to have shut them up, we wonder why is this so? maybe each of them has their own heartache to consider. As they sit and think, the sun finally goes down. The poet also describes the sky as trembling or shivering blue green, it sounds pretty, but how can a sky tremble? And the moon looks sad instead grey, the moon is not shinning, here the poet`s sadness carries over into the moon the way he sees it. It seems like the sea rise and fall and washing over the shell to make them smooth, though its time that has washed the moon to smooth it out, the moon is not bright and shining anymore, here the mention of love made the poet consider time and how it passes.
The poem Adam`s Curse is composed in three stanzas of heroic couplets. In the given extract, Yeats uses simile to compare the sunset to the last embers of fire burning out. Also, Yeats uses words like `last` and `die` to turn the poem from its milder serious to a little heavier. Also, the use of personification to blame as the poet gives a color combination the ability to feel nervous. There is a use of imagery line while referring moon washed by ocean over to make smooth. Rhyme scheme follows as ABAB throughout the poem for example; `die`- `sky`, `shell`- `fell` etc. The imagery form here refers that moon is like wearing a shell.
The poem Adam`s Curse explores the idea that beauty including art and love doesn’t come naturally to people, it’s the product of hardwork. The poet finds difficult to deal with the two women talking at the same time and said the poetry is much more difficult than it seems. William Butler Yeats was known as the pillar of the Irish literature, born on 13th July 1865 in Ireland.
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