Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2002.17.7
A Vision을 통한 Yeats 읽기
한양대
Reading Yeats through A Vision
,

Abstract
Yeatss A Vision helps the reader understand his poetic world. He sees the world as a process recurring at regular intervals. The consciousness of man is always placed in an opposite pair: the sun and the moon, man and woman, love and hatred, life and death, becoming a gyre penetrating and circling each other.
A line and a plane are combined in a gyre. A line is the symbol of time and expresses a movement. It symbolizes the emotional subjective mind, the self. On the other hand, a plane, in combination with the moving line, making a space of three or more dimensions, is the symbol of all that is objective, nature, and intellect. The gyre combining both the line and the plane is always expanding and contracting. The archetypal form in a penetrating gyre reflects all lives, civilization, and the cycle of nature. All things move from right to left and then move in the opposite direction. We can apply this principle to the cone of civilization.
“The Gyres” shows human history as a recurrent gyre, which is Yeats’s view of civilization. The Old Rocky face expresses both the anti-self of the poet and the prophet of civilization, gazing upon the world in front of him. Even though beauty is born with its value, it must be destroyed owing to its own contraction. When a brave hero falls down, the war must be defeated. Faced with the destruction of an old civilization, humans cannot but accept the tragedy with superhuman will. A prophetic voice, longing for wisdom during long penance, tells those who rejoice.
Another poem “Meru” shows the wisdom of life realized through the rise and decline of civilization. Civilization is hooped together; however, it is characterized by various conflicting aspects. Though man believes he can eliminate the terror, civilization is doomed to break down again, as it must rise and fall as a process. Hermits come to know that the day brings round the night; even the brilliant civilization and art disappear in the dark of history.
“Lapis Lazuli” is another excellent poem revealing Yeats’s insight into the Western and Eastern civilization. When this poem was written, the Italians had invaded Abyssinia, and the Germans had occupied the Rhineland. Yeats knew that war and devastation were now inevitable. Civilization reaching the highest point is to be ruined due to the conflicts among races and countries. And even the great works of art can’t endure the destructive war and abrasion of time. The future generations, however, will feel joy building up new things again. Through the history of civilization night brings the dawn, and a new life comes into being after the devastation.

 


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