The Labyrinth of the Wind and the Artifice of Eternity: A Study of the Lyric Poetry of William Butler Yeats
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in English (MA)
Dr. Richard Bizot
Dr. Samuel Kimball
Dr. William Slaughter
This study of the lyric poetry of William Butler Yeats concentrates on his ideas about nature and art, with a focus on the imagery of the wind. Though each of Yeats's poems may be read and enjoyed individually, a study of the body of Yeats's lyric poems gives the reader a better understanding of a symbol such as the wind. As a whole, the poems form a narrative of the development of Yeats's mind; by looking closely at the single symbol of the wind, we gain insight into the development of Yeats's ideas about art and nature. In Yeats's early poetry wind imagery, as well as other nature imagery, is prominent, but as Yeats's poetic career evolves, nature imagery--including that of the wind--becomes less frequent. By the last phase of Yeats's career, his source of inspiration has shifted from nature to art. Nature signifies change, but art for Yeats symbolizes the eternal and the unchanging. This paper explores Yeats's use of the wind as symbol including the shift in focus from nature to art.
Stokes, Danita Sain, "The Labyrinth of the Wind and the Artifice of Eternity: A Study of the Lyric Poetry of William Butler Yeats" (1992). UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 117.