“The Wild Swans at Coole” by W.B Yeats and “Stony Grey Soil” by Kavanagh both convey their views of nature and landscape.
Throughout their poetry, both Yeats and Kavanagh convey very different views about the themes of nature and landscape. In “The Wild Swans at Coole”, Yeats is reminiscing of his first visit to Coole Park, nineteen years prior, where the beauty and immortality of “nine and fifty swans” inspired him to reflect upon his own self and his poetry. Kavanagh, however, is bitterly expressing his frustration with his homeland of Monaghan. He addresses the soil directly, accusing it of robbing him of his youthful hope with its “grey” influence.
Yeats primarily addresses themes of ...view middle of the document...
“The Wild Swans at Coole” contrasts to Kavanaghs form, being composed of 6 sestets and a loose rhyme scheme. Yeats opts for loose rhyme to convey the freedom of nature to the reader and also the idea that it isn’t always perfect and nature is subject to change.
Yeats use of imagery and language conveys a profound sense of awe for the beauty of nature and its inhabitants. Yeats creates a sense of time through his use of autumnal imagery – “The trees are in their autumn beauty”. He couples this with the reflective image of the “October twilight”, creating a sense of the crisp serenity associated with autumn; it is a fresh, uplifting feeling that creates a sense of calm and peace for the reader. In comparison to Yeats, Kavanaghs nature imagery is harsher in an attempt to catch the reader’s attention. Images such as “steaming dunghills” are intentionally vivid, overwhelming the readers senses and thus, effectively conveying Kavanaghs distaste for the bad smell that is the Irish countryside. He couples this vivid imagery with farmer stereotypes, “You perfumed my clothes with weasel itch”, reinforcing his negative attitude towards the Irish countryside and portraying the farmers (whom he is one of) as lower class citizens who must survive on the leftovers of “swinish food”.
Yeats makes use of evocative swan imagery throughout “The wild swans at Coole” in order to emphasise the beauty and vitality to be found amongst the wildlife at Coole park. He labels them “brilliant creatures” and demonstrates their brilliance by juxtaposing the initial “brimming water” on which they rested with ease, with their “scatter wheeling” and “clamorous wings”, creating a tone of admiration for the strength and power of these creatures. Yeats captures the rhythmic quality of the swans wings through alliteration, “bell-beat”, and the mood is one of being in awe of the movement of these powerful creatures. He pairs this with the phrase “Trod with a lighter tread”, emphasising the weightlessness and grace of these birds, encouraging the reader to envision and admire both the strength and beauty of nature.
Kavanagh uses imagery to portray the Monaghan Countryside as a perilous monster whom has robbed him of his inspiration, “O can I still stroke the monsters back”. He is trying to create a negative view of Monaghan, using agricultural imagery –...