Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.1998.9.57
시적 자아의 자기성찰 과정: 예이츠의 『최후 시편들』(1)
한국외국어대학교
The Poetic Self in the Process of Self-Meditation: Yeats’s Last Poems
,

Abstract
Though all of the poems including Yeats’s Last Poems were written during the last years of his life, the remarkable vigor of thought and of imagination, which increased with the poets’ years, is shown here once more. However, compared with the powerful impact of The Tower and The Winding Stair, the accent of their nonchalant freedom and more colloquial style was one principal source of the reviewers’ dissatisfaction. And T. R. Henn suggested that we should perceive the philosophical and satirical implications behind so many seemingly personal poems, even in the accent of lust and rage of the Last Poems.
The primary concern of philosophy is the problem of the self, while the philosophical implication of Last Poems is the self itself. Yeats’s final aim in writing poetry is the perfection of the life and of the work in the process of creating the true self. In his last letter he said, “man can embody truth but he cannot know it, but he must embody it in the completion of his life.” In this sense, the life itself is the total work of art, the completed symbol. When he elucidated that he would write a poem “cold and passionate as dawn,” the pregnant word “dawn” is to be the completed symbol of the work of art. This passage concerns those transformations which are endemic to art. The prime idea must be that necessary infusion of joy in the most tragic contents - the incoherence of the actual life and the limitation of human life.
It is the poetics of his itself which achieves “the dawn,” the twilight zone of the darkness of night and the light of day. Yeats found that his place could be the trysting-place of the extremity of sorrow and the extremity of joy, the perfection of personality, and the perfection of self-surrender, passion, and stillness. “Lapis Lazuli’s” “Black out: Heaven blazing into the head” means that the dark grow luminous while the void fruitful. Yeats wrote, “when I understand I am nothing and nobody” through the state of darkness, . . . there must be the dance at the trysting-place or at ‘the clearing’ Heidegger might coin, in the mingling of the contraries. The nobleness of art exists in playing together the contraries. Where all the contraries can play together, the dawn will break. As Yeats can embody the truth, his form of self-conquest should be achieved through the self-surrender and the transformation endemic to art.

 



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