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No Second Troy

Yeats
Yeats
  • Why should I blame her that she filled my days
  • With misery, or that she would of late
  • Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
  • Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
  • Had they but courage equal to desire?
  • What could have made her peaceful with a mind
  • That nobleness made simple as a fire,
  • With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
  • That is not natural in an age like this,
  • Being high and solitary and most stern?
  • Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
  • Was there another Troy for her to burn?

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was an important playwright and the greatest Irish poet of the 20th Century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature In 1923. “No Second Troy,” which was published in 1916 in Yeats’s collection Responsibilities and Other Poems, is a complex and somewhat angry portrait of the woman Yeats was infatuated with for much of his adult life, the beautiful Irish actress and political activist Maud Gonne. Yeats, politically conservative although an Irish patriot, despised the Irish Nationalist Movement that Gonne embraced. In this poem, Yeats compares her to the beautiful Helen of the Homeric epic, a woman who was largely responsible for the destruction of Troy. By the time this poem was composed, Yeats had already proposed to Gonne on several occasions and had been rejected each time. Gonne, an early feminist, spent much of her life fighting for Irish freedom from England, the release of political prisoners, and became, after her own incarceration, a notable activist for prison reform. In 1903, she married Major John MacBride and their son, Sean MacBride, a political activist like his mother, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974. 

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Yeats
Yeats
  • Why should I blame her that she filled my days
  • With misery, or that she would of late
  • Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
  • Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
  • Had they but courage equal to desire?
  • What could have made her peaceful with a mind
  • That nobleness made simple as a fire,
  • With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
  • That is not natural in an age like this,
  • Being high and solitary and most stern?
  • Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
  • Was there another Troy for her to burn?

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was an important playwright and the greatest Irish poet of the 20th Century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature In 1923. “No Second Troy,” which was published in 1916 in Yeats’s collection Responsibilities and Other Poems, is a complex and somewhat angry portrait of the woman Yeats was infatuated with for much of his adult life, the beautiful Irish actress and political activist Maud Gonne. Yeats, politically conservative although an Irish patriot, despised the Irish Nationalist Movement that Gonne embraced. In this poem, Yeats compares her to the beautiful Helen of the Homeric epic, a woman who was largely responsible for the destruction of Troy. By the time this poem was composed, Yeats had already proposed to Gonne on several occasions and had been rejected each time. Gonne, an early feminist, spent much of her life fighting for Irish freedom from England, the release of political prisoners, and became, after her own incarceration, a notable activist for prison reform. In 1903, she married Major John MacBride and their son, Sean MacBride, a political activist like his mother, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974. 

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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