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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.25 pp.39-59

“Municipal Gallery Revisited” and Yeats’s Epitaph

Kim Jae-bong


Recalling images from the past is one of Yeats's favorite poetic activities,especially in his old age. Many of his later poems are created on the basis of thistechnique, providing considerable information on his contemporary characters, eventsand other factors. In a sense, this kind of versification appears to mythify prominenthistoric figures in turbulent modern Irish history. In the poem "Municipal GalleryRevisited", Yeats sees his poetic personae as 'permanent or impermanent images', butironically, they will be remembered permanently because of this work. They willalso illuminate individual and national history dealt with in the poetic stanzas.Yeats's creative strategy is to enumerate a series of intense scenes that are worthremembering. To grasp a specific image in a particular moment is intended toreveal an absolute feature of a given character or a historical as well as culturalevent. Through their own images, these people depicted in the poem are turned intosymbolic characters. Greatness is impressed with a single scene and genuineperpetuity is uncovered with an instant reflection. In other words, a briefly describedimage is not just a section randomly isolated from a particular person's life. Rather,the image implicitly sums up and typically project an individual's complexpersonality in the poem, and in turn, on the reader's mind.
The poet-narrator walks through the gallery, appreciating the portraits and otherpaintings on display and opens up his own creative world. Political characters in thebeginning, then Hugh Lane and other Gregory people as a cultural stepping stoneand finally the portraits of John Synge and Lady Gregory appear in sequencethrough the poetic work. Such a climactic approach stresses what the poet has inhis own mind. Artistic ideals and literary colleagues who shared them with the poetare remembered and in the end, he himself go beyond the grave and sees his own self as an image already dead in an elegiac imagination. What he wants to recordin a literary epitaph is gradually expressed along the long gallery of the museum.Eventually, the scenes composing this verse create a visionary gallery to light upthe poet's real self.

「다시 찾은 시립 미술관」과 예이츠의 에피태프(Epitaph)



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