Tag Archives: An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

“An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” by W. B. Yeats (read by Eric Robert Nolan)

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

 

A discussion of W. B. Yeats’ “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” (Ms. Dempster)

Here’s a really terrific breakdown of W. B. Yeats’ “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” — it’s easy to understand and definitely gives the viewer some insights into the poem’s meaning and construction.

I know that this is probably a strange thing to get hung up on, but I’m a little confused about how this poem’s title is supposed to be capitalized.  (I keep seeing versions of it where the words “foresees his” are not capitalized.)

 

“An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” by W.B. Yeats

“An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”

by W.B. Yeats

I KNOW that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,          5
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,   10
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind   15
In balance with this life, this death.

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