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W. B. Yeats's A VisionExplications and Contexts$
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Neil Mann, Matthew Gibson, and Claire Nally

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533924

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.001.0001

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W. B. Yeats’s A Vision

W. B. Yeats’s A Vision

“Dove or Swan”

(p.136) W. B. Yeats’s A Vision
W. B. Yeats's A Vision

Matthew DeForrest

Liverpool University Press

“Dove or Swan” is one of the few sections of A Vision that was not radically revised when W. B. Yeats rewrote his philosophical treatise. These sections are the core of his system, “the hard symbolic bones under the skin” upon which Yeats structures his interpretations and understanding of the interchange between the primary and antithetical tinctures. But Yeats’s historical consciousness, expressed in “Dove or Swan,” is not concerned with dates and places. It is poetic and metaphoric—“stylistic arrangements of experience” that allow him “to hold in a single thought reality and justice”—and expressed in such poems as “Leda and the Swan” and “The Second Coming.” Through his comments on the historical cones, his contemporaries, and the works he created, Yeats provides a glimpse of how he understands and orders the world, and employs and deploys that understanding in his works.

Keywords:   A Vision, Dove or Swan, historical cones, Leda and the Swan, poetic metaphor, The Second Coming, tinctures, W B Yeats

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