I think in both Keats & Yeats (though with diffrent emphases) eternity/
the changeless is identified with death. The lovers Keats's Urn will
never die because they never lived.. "Aall breating human passion far
above" (from memory) is a special kind of irony that I'm not sure how
to label: That which makes human life desirable is precisely what (the
speaker fears) what makes it meaningless. And the resolution -- the
world is not _wholly_ lacking in order so far as one can _imagine_ order
(the urn, the bird's song) seems only to underline the failure to find
any order external to the self. And in The Irish Airman, this 'order'
becomes the ecstatic moment of death itself, a death deliberately
labelled purposelsss (S"those that I fight I do not hate, etc). I'm not
sure how to gloss those wonderful last lines of Lapis Lazuli: "And those
who build them again are gay"!
> Nancy Gish wrote:
> The ending of Yeats's poem--like the representations of time and
> eternity throughout Yeats--is not a validation of any absolute: it is
> a conflict and an irony because all the golden bird has to sing of is
> time the "relative." This dialectic is similar to the mixed
> experience in Keats and others.
> But Yeats does not come down on either side as a solution. Read the
> Crazy Jane poems, which are also late.
> >>> Chokh Raj 04/14/10 11:31 AM >>>
> "O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
> That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
> It is the star to every wandering bark,
> Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken."
> [William Shakespeare, 'True Love']
> Eliot once explained (to Philip Mairet, 31 October, 1956; the
> collection of Violet Welton)
> that, even if a poem meant different things to different readers, it
> was still necessary
> to assert its "absolute" meaning. [Peter Ackroyd, 'T.S. Eliot: A
> "Once out of nature I shall never take
> My bodily form from any natural thing,
> But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
> Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
> To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
> Or set upon a golden bough to sing
> To lords and ladies of Byzantium
> Of what is past, or passing, or to come."
> - WB Yeats, 'Sailing to Byzantium'
> a passing thought