September 24, 2018

essay about Easter

Upon reading William Butler Yeats’s stirring poem Easter 1916, it was made clear to me that this poem is about rebellion, about fighting for something so important, so necessary, that dying very well may be the end and irreparable result. But upon reading this poem, I wondered to myself, ” ¦was it a needless death after all?  After reading the entire poem several times, I wasn’t so sure. But after listening to three readings of this emotionally charged poem, I was certain that it wasn’t. After hearing these readings, although different in their approach and understanding of the material, they all carried across the same message to me. This message being that these “rebels  died fighting for something that was so near to their heart; they would sacrifice their lives for it.

Upon hearing Phillip Levine’s recitation, the true power of Yeats’s brilliant diction and truly captivating rhyme scheme literally jumped out at me. The way that Levine recites the repetition of words in Easter, 1916, allows one to fully grasp all that Yeats was trying to convey, and enables the listener to truly take in the overall power that these tragic events brought upon the people of Ireland. In each stanza, there are instances of Levine powerfully and masterfully reciting Yeats’s repetition, which in the end make the poem more direct. For instance, the first instance being on line 6 and line 8, on Levine’s reciting of the phrase “meaningless words.  He recites both times the exact same way, with the exact same intonation, which ultimately links all three lines (the two with the phrase and the one in between) together, to powerfully establish a sense of continuity within the poem as whole, in addition to making the phrase “meaningless words  stand out as a whole. Also, on line 66 and 67, the intonation of Levine’s voice on the word “death  is so commandingly subtle, that it gets under your skin, and allows you to pictu
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