Wednesday, March 5, 2008

When You are Old,

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

When You Are Old

WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face among a crowd of stars.

Based on the poem, explain what the theme is for this poem. Support your answer with important details from the poem.

23 comments:

Treyvon Rogers said...

The theme of this poam is when people get old. It also tells about how they would live when their old.

Anonymous said...

She was old in her country and then she was in a relationship and she got old and out of shape and her skin sagged and when she died she was missed by her boy friend or even more then that the man she married.
DALE COOPER

Aramis Pena said...

The theme for this poem is about when people get old they think about the good times they had when they were younger.

Anonymous said...

Christian

The theme is love because in stanza 2 it says the in averse 1 2 3 it talks about love.

Elina Caban said...

The theme is that an old man loved a women that pasted away and he is reading into a book and wondering when they were together.

Example is in stanza 1 verse 4
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

He is remembering when he love her beauty with love and grace and her how loved her pilgrim soul in her and and how sad he is now that he is gone.

Example stanza 2, verse 5,6,7,8
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

shanara mosley said...

Shanara Mosley
What I think the theme is for this poem is that you love someone very much and the reason I say this is because in the poem it says how many loved the moments of your glad grace and loved your beauty with love. So I think that when you love someone or something about them it’s hard to let them go and I also am trying to say when someone dies you are going to miss them very much. Also the poem could be saying when you grow old you look back at yourself and wish that was you again

Anonymous said...

Ivana Vazquez

I think that “When you are old” is about a woman who got old and a man who loved her anyway, despite how she looked on the outside.Then they got old and died together. I think that this poem isn’t about getting old, but it’s about loving someone no matter what they look like.

BOB MARLIE said...

I think this is about a woman who is getting old and that was once loved by a man, because in the 1st stanza it says (WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;)
Also it says (But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,) its like she is now an old lady who is not in the time of love now because its says that she was LOVED, not that they do.

JaToya Brown said...

JaToya Brown

I think the theme of this poem is about life because in stanza 1 verse 2 it was saying that when she was looking in her photo book she was looking at how young she was now she is in heaven.

Nadalia Rowe said...

The theme of this poem is love and life. A man loved a woman but as she grew old love started to fade away. Until, she went into the stars (heaven). “And hid his face among a crowd of stars”. 4th stanza. She took do a album of pictures and reminisce on the times she was a little kid. “And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look” 1st stanza. In life, you have to die.

b branden said...

what i think the theme of the story is that when people get old and they talk about the life of how you live when your old .And they talk about what happens.

marlin castillo said...

I think this is about a woman who is getting old and that was once loved by a man, because in the 1st stanza it says (WHEN you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;)
Also it says (But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,) its like she is now an old lady who is not in the time of love now because its says that she was LOVED, not that they do.

Chantel Williams said...

What I think the poem is about is how old people look and how they live. Like in line 1 it says, “When you are old and gray and full of sleep,” its like u have gray hair and you are always tired. That’s describing old people. Now I know why they said the title was when you are old.

daquari young said...

I think that the theme of the theme of theme poem is that when you fall in love and your love lets you go because you got so old and he left you to get a new and younger woman. And he tells you that he loves you when he has a chick on the side. And you get so sad that it changes your face. You are now a person who has no love you have grandkids that have love you look in the picture book when you was old and you had so much love like what my x did to me

Anonymous said...

Ricardo

The theme is when you get old you live differently. So this poem is about what people do when their old.

Hakim Jr. said...

I think the poem is about a woman who was once loved by a man who loved her no matter what. Now that she was old she looks back at the time when this man loved her so that he would take his life for her or hate her because she said she loves him when he says he loves her more.

veldine said...

I think the theme is love, because in stanza 2, it’s talking about how this guy loved this lady who got old and she was looking back at when she was young. The man said he loved the sorrows of her changing face in stanza 2. The theme is also getting old.

Shaquan Murray said...

Shaquan Murray
This theme is about when your old and you find love and the woman has found love then the love thought that the woman was false or true. This poem basically is talking about love and how you brake up when you’re to old I’m not saying in a bad way you just brake sometimes when you’re old. She woman feels lonely because now that she’s lonely she has nobody to talk to The man left you for a younger woman don’t focus on him he’s a sour loser focus on your grandchildren.

Anonymous said...

Shaliyah Keene


I think that the theme is about a woman looking at her past in a picture book. I think that she has many memories from the picture book. I think that the woman was looking at pictures from when she was little because she is old now. One reason I know that is because take down this book.

mariana ayala said...

Mariana Ayala

The theme of this poem is how love fled away and lost it because in stanza three, verse ten, it says a little sadly, how love fled. I think some body lost her, but then the love fled. Also in stanza one, verse two and three it says and nodding by the fire, take down this book, and slowly read, and dream of the soft look it is like talking about that she is looking in a album and remembering the good time.

Shaliyah Keene said...

hello stop writing these stupid fucking blogs!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If you read about William Butler Yeats, you will find that this poem is about a woman in his life. He asked her to be his and she rejected him. In this poem William Butler Yeats is the speaker, but the poem is based upon the lady from his life, and is talking about her. I believe that she was quite beautiful in her younger days, and she knew it, so rejecting Yeats was no big deal for her. Notice that she is alone in the poem, by the fire. The book (I assume a photo album) brings back memories of "the soft look your (her) eyes had once, and their shadows deep;" (lines 3&4) “their shadows deep” meaning she did not look too much into things, shadows covered things up, she was blind from true love. “the soft look your eyes had once” insinuating she has grown old, also, the first line “When you are old and grey and full of sleep,” states she has grown old.
“How many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved you beauty of moments false or true,” (lines 5&6). These lines tell me that with her beauty came many admirers. “But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you” (line 7) Yeats, being the “one man”, loved her for who she was not how she looked.
“Murmur, a little sadly how love fled and paced upon the mountains overhead and hid his face amid a crowd of stars” (last stanza, lines 10-12). To her, Yeats was just another admirer, and she had no clue he loved her for more than her beauty. Yeats became just another “face in the crowd”. Taking down that photo album made her reminisce over the love she could have had.

Anonymous said...

The theme is that the poet is imagining this woman when she is old thinking back on her life. He thinks that she will have regrets, especially that she left his love get away