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Easter 1916 By William Yeats

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Poetry & Poets

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Easter 1916' is a poem by William Yeats that pertains to Irish nationalists revolting against the British Empire. Yeats uses a stream in the poem to represent Britain and its constant rush on the Irish rebels. He uses a stone embedded in the stream that causes steady disruption and chaos of the flowing water.
Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream (932)
In the above excerpt Yeats applies personification to the stream to hint to the reader that it is a force and lives animately, instead of just being water. In interpreting this quote 'hearts with one purpose' refers to the conscience of the rebels. Though individuals having their own thoughts, they also share the goal of obtaining freedom from the British Empire.
Yeats uses animals in his poem that cause splashing and other disruptions to the stream. These animals represent the pivotal uprisings and revolts made by the liberty seeking Irish rebels.

A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of it all (932)

Here is an example of events supporting the stone's cause, in which the overall constancy is maintained. This constant is the underlying strive of the stone to disrupt ...

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