How Do Yeats and Kavanagh Convey Their Views of Nature and the Landscape Through Their Poetry?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By saah0801
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“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 swans and the freedom and strength of nature. He views the swans as “mysterious, beautiful”, creating a sense of immortality, which he then contrasts with his own old and withered self, being now 50 years old. As Yeats reflects on the beautiful nature of theses swans he finds himself exploring themes of loneliness and depression – he likens himself to the one swan that will remain after all “nine and fifty” had mated for life, expressing his desire for an intimacy similar to that found in nature. Kavanagh, however explores themes of nature and landscape in a more bold manner, repeating the title in the opening line “O stony grey soil of Monaghan” creating a sense of bland, barrenness from the outset of the poem. He adds to this unpleasant view by further exploring the theme of landscape from a bitter aspect, “You clogged the feet of my boyhood”, making the Monaghan countryside seem harsh and dirty to the reader.
“Stony Grey Soil” is composed of 8 quatrains and uses an alternate rhyme scheme to maintain a smooth flow of thought as Kavanagh further highlights the inadequacies of his rural hometown. Kavanaghs simple structure emphasises the banality of the soil to reader, reflecting…...

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