Sub Topics: POEM’S REFLECTIVE TONE AND MELANCHOLY MOOD
Key Words: reflective tone, melancholy mood, setting, Coole Park, Lady Augusta Gregory, literal, metaphorical, love, permanency, serenity
Rhymes and Meter
The Poem “The Wild Swans at Coole” consists of five six-line stanzas rhymed abcbdd. The meter is iambic, but loosened to accommodate the irregular cadences of speech. Odd-numbered lines have four stressed syllables, even-numbered lines three. It is well-suited to the poem’s reflective tone and melancholy mood.
The setting for the poem is Coole Park in the Republic of Ireland, the estate of the poet's friend and patron Lady Augusta Gregory. Yeats puts a great deal of energy into describing this landscape because it is to supply him with the backdrop for the emotional action of the poem: both literally and metaphorically, the time of year is 'autumn' (the season of decay) and the time of day is 'twilight' (the hour of decline).