However, because Yeats wrote the poem in a moment of passion and as a reaction to a historical event, the critique of commercialism is suspect because the Yeats brings such bias to his poem. The entire poem uses language to prejudice the reader against capitalism and mercantilism. The merchants have “dried the marrow from the bone” of the workers (Yeats 5). This image is a particularly loaded because reader can imagine industry devouring the worker. The poem implies that industry is destroying and sucking life from the worker and that “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone” (7). To say that these words overstate the situation is itself an understatement.The entirety of the poem presents a picture that is so one-sided as to become a parody of what it is attacking. Yeats sets up a romanticized view of Ireland that does not correspond to Ireland’s history. The island has always been poor in wealth due to a lack of natural resources, subjugation by neighboring countries, and constant in-fighting amongst its residents. To portray old Ireland as a paradise in comparison to modern industrial Ireland misrepresents the case. Yeats rosy view of the past is directly stated in the final stanza: “Yet could we turn the years again, / And call those exiles as they were . / They weighed so lightly what they gave, / But let them be” (Yeats 25-6, 30-1). The poem intends to turn back the country to a time that is better, a time that does not exist.In the two critiques presented, the reader can see the difference in interpretation. The Humanist found a universal truth, that man’s suffering is a private. Comparison of Humanist and Postmodernist Writers and Poems.
Auden, W. H. "Musee Des Beaux Arts." Auden, Musee Des Beaux Arts. Department of English, Emory University. Web. 8 Mar. 2012. <http://english.emory.edu/classes/paintings&poems/auden.html>.
Yeats, W. B. "September 1913." Bartleby.com: Great Books Online. Bartleby. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <http://www.bartleby.com/147/5.html>.
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