Because the audience experiences these issues throughout life as a part of the human condition, Yeats’ poetry is valued as it artistically and skillfully describes and reflects upon it. ‘The wild swans at Cooler’ has been highly valued as it transcends the subject matter of the poem and explores the human condition, specifically the ideas of change, transformation and loneliness. The words: ‘All’s changed’ summarizes how Yeats felt at the time of this poem’s creation. This alludes to the Easter 191 6 rebellion and how Yeats may have still felt the overwhelming emotional effects of this event and the loss of his friends.
At the time Yeats did not quite know how to react to this almost unbelievable, tragic event and the sorrowful realization of the deaths of his friends may have played a great part in his feelings of loneliness, despair and melancholy in this poem, for not only has he realized his loneliness, but also the frailty of life. The audience is provided with an opportunity for empathy throughout the poem because Yeats conveys such issues that transcend the fact that this poem was about his personal experiences, and the audience can apply the themes of this poem to their lives, which heightens the level of value for this text.
The Wild Swans at Cooler reflects on both Yeats’ fear of aging and death and also the fear of losing his creativity as a poet. This fearful, worrying man was transformed from a youth who trod with a lighter tread’ and did not have these present worries. Nineteen years ago Yeats may have looked upon the swans with awe and appreciation, but now this has morphed Into envy and despair as he Is forced to look on at the unchanging, seemingly immortal beings which are free to wander the earth, skies or lakes in eternal companionship, while Yeats is left to age and die on the temporal earth, like the rest f humanity.
It is a part of the human condition to long for freedom and passion and so the audience connects with this poem as they are provoked into reminiscing about their own youth and their various transformations’ throughout life. The themes conveyed in Easter 1916 transcend the events of that day described in the poem and engages in an ongoing search for truth. Yeats was left overwhelmed and emotionally confused by this event and through this poem he tries to express his uncertainty and perhaps come to a realization as a result of giving his emotions a physical form.
This tone Is conveyed through rhetorical questions frequently placed throughout the poem, for example “what If excess of love bewildered them till they died? ‘, and “was It needless death after all? ‘ These questions stem from Yeats’ sudden change of perception of his companions, as they are all “transformed utterly” change because the Easter rebellion was a catalyst for transformation, and the theme of general conflict transcends this specific event and can be applied to the lives of the audience, who may have changed themselves through some form of conflict.