Famous Sad Poem

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet. This poem was written in 1918, near the end of World War I, and published the following year. In it, the speaker is coming to terms with the reality that he could die in the war. The speaker shares that the war will not make life better or worse. William Butler Yeats was highly involved in Ireland's politics, but the speaker of this poem did not fight in the war for political reasons. Instead, it was an “impulse of delight.” This poem does not have any stanza breaks, but it does follow the ABAB rhyme scheme.

Featured Shared Story

No Stories yet, You can be the first!

Share your story! (0)

Famous Poem

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

William Butler Yeats By more William Butler 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,
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 men, 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.


more William Butler Yeats

  • Stories 0
  • Shares 0
  • Favorited 4
  • Votes 122
  • Rating 4.25

Back to Top