The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B.Yeats by Bijay Kant Dubey SignUp
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The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B.Yeats
by Bijay Kant Dubey Bookmark and Share

The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

The Wild Swans at Coole by W.B. Yeats as a poem is but a different piece, so Keatsian and Wordsworthian side by side where we can hear the echoes of Ode to a Nightingale as well as of Tintern Abbey, the nightingale music casting a spell over and fading into the forest when even flown far unto, again of the visits paid to Tintern Abbey telling of the spiritual progression in terms of contact with Nature, its greenery and vegetation and the self holding parleys with. A romantic poem it is landscapic and scenic, as well as picturesque of the lake, the stream, the woodland, the pathway and the swans dotting it, so many at a glance just like the daffodils seen and admired. It is a love poem in the sense that it transmutes the personal tone of the poet. The poet’s love for Gonnes too is Lamia-like or Keats felt it for Fanny Brawne. There is also something of Arnold’s Dover Beach in it.

The trees are in their autumnal beauty, the woodland paths are dry and under an October twilight the water mirrors the still sky, this is how he begins the poem, The Wild Swans at Coole and in addition to it against the backdrop of all theses panorama there lie in the fifty-nine swans upon the stones of the brimming water. This is the way with which the poet starts the poem picturesque of the autumn, the woodland, the solitary pathway, the brimming water, the stones and the swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come since he made his first count. He had seen the landscape and sight and scenery even before and even now he is seeing, the same swans, the same beauty, ever fresh imagery, ever lively scenery of the swans beating their wings, wheeling and circling around. They had been the source of joy even then and even now are. Only time has fled, life   has spent. Youthful aspects are ever romantic and ever green.

He looks upon those brilliant creatures to find the heart sore with remembrances and memoirs of how life has moved on, times have changed, things have escaped and experiences have dragged onto. He had had the experiences of like this in the past. But here for the first time he sees them on this shore the beat of the wings overhead going lightly and he feeing the touch of.

Unwearied they float and flow upon the stream, the brimming waters of the lake paddling in warmth so lively and vibrant enjoying the cold waters companionable, sometimes flapping the wings, climbing the air and flying to come down or settle ahead.

And as thus they will fly away to the still water moving on which is but time, the flight of imagination. Where their nests their will definitely go to. It is very difficult to say by which lake of edge of the pool they will be delighting the other people marking them. This is but time, human time and the time of the world. This is as the images and scenery shift to. This is landscape and its panorama.

The Wild Swans at Coole is a poem of peace, tranquility and calm which it is but available in nature and the swans symbolizing ever fresh joy, energy, romance and youth take us to the world of them drifting far from the commotion and tumult we feel it in our life, forgetting the hurts and scars this life gives to, transporting into the tranquil space of the forest tract and the park where they keep prodding and ploughing deep into the waters. The body may age, but the heart cannot grow and is always a source for inspiration and sustenance, strength and vigor. Though we call him a symbolist, a mythologist, but instead of it he is first and foremost a romanticist of the highest order, a lover. The swans flying in pairs, couples through the forest tract scenery and peddling in the pond waters and wheeling and flying away tell of the love and passion hidden in his heart. The poet broods over how the times changed and fled, how the situations differing from what it was once. Should the things change for him too? Now it is time relinquishing the hope of meeting love with success should be bidden goodbye with as the poetic mouthpiece does it in The Last Ride Together of Robert Browning.

The Wild Swans at Coole re-energizes and reinvigorates us with a strange cool and calm, peace and tranquility which we should inherit from them by looking the forest, the lake and the swans in pairs and couples taking the flight, peddling and ploughing into the waters. Away from turbulence, tumult and clamor, humdrum and monotony of this life and living, its cares and anxiety which corrode the self, some time is also needed to forget and reflect upon what it attaches to, sustains us. The poet escapes to as well as tries to restructure his self and mind. The trail of romantic imagery and the frustration with all that met, meaning failure in love takes him to a different space of the peace of self, mind and heart. Swans which symbolize peace, happiness and joy can only be the clue to the wealth of wisdom. Images and dreams can never be own. The poetic impact is magical indeed apart from Keatsian which but he says in Ode to a Nightingale after hearing the nightingale music when it finally fades into the forest tract.

The swans symbolize pace, happiness, sweetness, love, tranquility and freshness. Nature is also so bountiful and full of bliss, so mysterious and fresh. But here in couples and pairs also represent love and flight of romanticism. Away from here, where to seek for refuge? It is Nature which can only fill with ever fresh pleasure. The lake and the forest and the trees all make for it giving a strength and verve to it.

The Wild Swans at Coole represents ever fresh, ever inspirational source into which one lapses into as for deriving pleasure, drawing eternal solace which but art gives to and imparts as well. It is a beauty to see the swans in pairs paddling, swimming over so many at a glance just like the daffodils of Wordsworth. It is a poem of peace, silence and joy; solitude, happiness and tranquility. What it is natural and serene will always allure us.

The event of the visit to the Coole Park adds to the beauty of the poem. The description of the swans is beautiful and picturesque apart from being scenic as the swans dotting the landscape appears to be pleasant enough.

The below-quoted lines remind us of John Keats and Robert Frost and their poetry:

The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.

Against the backdrop of a scenic background, the poet starts the poem. The landscape with the scenery of the swans in flocks crowding the area is indeed a picturesque stuff. The brimming waters all around the stones and the swans having being upon draws our attention. Here the poet counts and re-counts his visits:

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

Here the references are just like the visiting of Tintern Abbey by Wordsworth and those of Frost drawn in Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. How have the times changed? How have the situations of life? The swans flying or in groups have always lured man and so is the case here:

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

But why does Keats get ache don hearing the nightingale? Why does his heart get sore? Here the poet tries to see the pairs with love paddling or climbing the air:

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

The case is similar to that of Keats realizing it, ‘Fled is that music, do I wake or sleep?’.They paddle in the cold, climb the air, come down to, flap the wings and settle it again. It is passion which goes on instilling hope in them. They wander wherever they like to go to.

Again, they drift on the still water so beautiful and mysterious to be away to when it gets dark. None can say, where do they come from and where do they vanish away? Where are their nests? Where their haunts? Wherever they do go they delight it the beholders of beauty. But such a day will come when he will come to see all the swans have flown away.

But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake's edge or pool
Delight men's eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

If to dig, the poet too has waited so much in his life but without any fruitful result.  It was also a mistake of Yeats that he loved those who loved him not. But it was Georgie Hyde-Lees who was really made for him which he knew it not rather than attaching to the Gonnes.

To sum up, let us with an extract from the letter of Hyde-Lees:
When you are dead, people will talk about your love affairs, but I shall say nothing, for I will remember how proud you were."

Image (c) istock.com

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20-Feb-2021
More by :  Bijay Kant Dubey
 
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