The Scholars- Blog #1

I think that through this poem, Yeats is criticising the way poets and writers approach literature in the modern age. This poem addresses writers as ‘scholars’, men who study the art of writing and understanding literature. While technical mastery of any subject is important, literature is something that cannot be confined within a set of rules. Yeats describes these scholars as bald, old, and learned who keep editing their work in order to find art that is perfect.Yeats also describes these scholars as men who are confined in their studies and try their best to keep improving their work. I believe that this very aspect of  modern literature is what Yeats is criticising. Literature is something that comes with experience and with emotion. Literature should be an intimate form of emotional catharsis for writers instead of technical storytelling. By claiming that the great romantic poet Catullus was the inspiration of many writers, Yeats is telling writers to pursue the art of literature the way Catullus did; free-flowing and for one’s own soul.

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