The Stolen Child
Created by: Taylor Johnson
Poem Summary: Riley Chron
Themes: Erik Herrera
Worldy vs. Other
Never judge a book by its cover or what you have heard about them.No matter place you were born is your home and no matter where you go your always safer where you were born.
Loneliness & Loss
Style: Emily Carlson
- By using the words “flapping” to describe the birds taking off added movement to the poem.
- Using “reddest” before cherries makes the cherries sound like they are the best and very good quality. And that the fairies have good things.
- This poem has alliteration, assonance, and rhyme.
- Yeats believes that poems are also songs which makes the verses lyrics.
- He would sing a tune in his head and that’s how he would write his poems.
- Alliteration and assonance pulls attention to certain words.
- “Gushes” “unquiet” “softly” all bring attention to things in the poem.
Historical Context: Eddie Matijevic
- 20 years before the birth of Yeats the devastating potato blight struck Ireland.
- This devastated the island's population as England kept taking their wheat and corn for British use without providing any aid in return
- This event fueled the growth of Irish nationalism with nationalists taking seats in the Irish House of Commons and then later House of Lords in the 1860s to 1890s.
- After a few attempts at legislation to leave Great Britain they gained their independence in 1920 after the Irish Home Rule bill of 1914 passed and came in effect
- In this period Gaelic/Celtic Culture was trying to be preserved with the Gaelic Athletic Association and Gaelic League.
- Yeats used this as an audience to write about Irish folk lore seen in The Stolen Child and others.
- Yeats became the first president of the Irish Literary Society in 1892.
- Yeat’s earliest poetry was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
- This was an artist movement, in 1848, where painters wished to shift from the conventional and strict lines to a more complex style in color and detail.
- The movement is named after the painter Raphael as they considered the style before his style ideal.
- They used a closeness to nature, seriousness and sincerity in their works which was influenced by the romantics.
- Eventually the movement split with the poets mainly following the Aesthetic Pre-Raphaelites with their themes of sensual medievalism and moody atmospheres.
- Poets of the Pre-Raphaelites followed the traditions of Spenser(influence of Yeats), and through Keats and Tennyson.
- Both visual artists and writers longed for an out-of-world transfiguration, which follows the victorian obsession of beauty.
- This was life long interest of Yeats which seen in “The Stolen Child”
- The movement which started in France and Belgium in the late nineteenth century from the admiration for the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe.
- This was to contrast the realism and naturalism of everyday ordinary life to focus on creating works that evoke a response in the viewer/reader.
- Unlike the romantic use of symbolism for certain subjects this movement spread it to anything could be used as a symbol and unlike using symbolism as an allegory to a thing they used for a state of mind.
- This free and unrestricted style allowed for word play and fluidity which previous styles were not allowed.
- Yeats biggest influence from this movement was the explanation of Symbolism by Paul Verlaine in 1884.
- Used as a way to escape worldly concerns they explored mysticism and mortality which was a childhood interest of Yeats which was combined with folklore and fairies in “The Stolen Child”
Commentary I- Lois Kerschen: Toby Garza
Wanted to promote Irish literature
Started writing poems when he was seventeen; embraced the work of the romantics
Started writing poetry at seventeen
Talked to militant Irish Independence leader John O’Leary, believed there needed to be a distinct Irish identity
From ages 7-9, lived with grandparents and heard stories about fairies and supernatural events
Claimed to have saw a fairy in a cave
- Believed in the supernatural
Commentary II- Harriet Devine: Jake Anderson
Devine begins with some background about Yeats
Yeats Celtic Roots and motivation for this writing
Bringing the story to life
- Irish Identity
Commentary III- Desmond Pacey: Taylor & Maria
“The strongest single impression with which one comes away from reading Yeats’ poems on children, and his references to them, is one of the consistency, clearsightedness, and realism of his attitudes.”
Yeats focuses primarily on children’s fragility and vulnerability rather than their innocence, wisdom, or religious sensibility.
Referring to The Stolen Child- “This implied endorsation of the pleasures of the real world, indeed, transposes the whole effect of the poem, and what began as a piece of sentimental escapism ends in an acceptance of familiar, domestic reality.”
“Irony, realism, and humour almost always are invoked, singly or in combination, to stop the poem short of the worst excesses of idealizing or sentimentalizing of childhood.”
On his early poems, like The Stolen Child he follows the Romantic outline and sometimes the Victorian attitudes towards children. He would use irony, realism, and humor to keep the poem from idealizing or sentimentalizing childhood.
Yeats' style of writing changed from Romantic vulnerability and fragility (1889) to a sarcastic, off hand, mordant and dry realism (1928).