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The Sensory Elements of Yeats’s Poetry

Shin Wonchul


Generally speaking, W. B. Yeats's early poetry has been thought as romanticand dreamy and criticized as a negative poetic example. But students would ratherlike to read these poems than his later philosophical poems. Maybe these earlypoems are more attractive to them because the dim yearning, homesickness andmysticism evoke their young emotion. But I think there is a more important elementto attract reader's interest, that is the physical sense. The sense - sensory feelinggives a kind of elasticity of energy to Yeats's early poems. Without this sense,these poems would have degraded as those of dim exclamation about lost love orescape from the world. To study Yeats's sense we need to research some otherpoets who could affect young Yeats, and compare them: Keats and Hopkins. Thereare many good examples of sensory feeling in their poems. Thus I see a kind ofaffective relationship between them and realize this sensory feeling is a veryimportant element of English poetry which we hardly find in Korean poems.

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