Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2010.33.95
『장미』서시와 『장미』시집 구조의 비밀
백석문화 대학
원고접수일: 2010년 4월 30일, 수정일: 2010년 5월 20일, 게재확정일: 2010년 5월 30일
The Rose Opening Poem and the Secret of the Structure of The Rose
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Abstract
One of the most important characteristic features of Yeats’s book of poems involves the fact that the poet intended his entire volumes of his poems to function as a single, unified work of art. In other words, the meaning of an individual poem in any Yeats’s book of poems cannot be fully appreciated without considering its relationship with the poems placed right next to it. Talking about one individual poem alone in a volume is like interpreting one chapter of a novel without linking its meaning to the next chapters. For this reason, understanding Yeats’s poems requires looking into a relationship between the poems and the principle of arranging the entire poems in a book of poems. In this paper, what I am trying to achieve is to answer the following three questions. First, what is a governing principle of ordering poems in Yeats’s second book of poems, The Rose (1983)? Second, how such a structure or an arrangement helps to convey the thematic concern of The Rose effectively? Lastly, how Yeats develops himself as a poet after publishing his first book of Poems Crossways (1889). When we compare the method of ordering The Rose poems with that of Crossways, we see that Yeats slowly matures as a poet as he ages. Crossways consists of two groups of poems each with a religious and political context, respectively. In the first group, Yeats places poems dealing with balancing the conflicting forces of action and stasis, the ideal and the real, and imagination and actuality. The second group includes poems balancing private and public, past and present, and Catholic and Protestant, high and low classes, and unionists and nationalists. Yeats’s ultimate message: just as we need a reconciliation of opposing religious elements, so we should achieve a harmony of different political groups. The Rose, on the other hand, reminds us of a kind of well-structured drama with the prologue poem working as the first act of a play. The first poem holds the key to the arrangement of 23 poems in The Rose. In other words, each line of “The Rose upon the Rood of Time” foretells how the entire 23 poems will be placed and foregrounds the main message of the book of poems. The first poem talks about a reconciliation of opposing forces and this message is repeated throughout the book by dealing with the idea of balancing two antinomian ideas. In addition, the time of each poem moves in-between the present and the past and eventually advances into the future, as is foreshadowed in the preface poem. The presence of the poet can also be felt throughout the book of poems. In The Rose, we meet a poet who keeps emphasizing the importance of maintaining a balance between mysticism and realism, reconciling his joy of love and pain of his failure, and announcing his love of Ireland or his nationalist ideals. Through The Rose, Yeats repeats the importance of balancing religion, people, and love. Although the second book of poems contains different poems and structural pattern compared with the first book of poems, his basic message remains the same: mysticism should be reconciled with realism and nationalism.


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