Last updated on August 25th, 2020 at 08:00 am
“Upon a House Shaken by the Land Agitation” by William Butler Yeats was published in 1910 and appeared in Yeats’ volume of poems called “The Green Helmet and Other Poems.” It is a very short poem consisting only of twelve lines.
The house has been breeding the hawk-like eyes which loves the sun. The poet asks that if the house which stands as a symbol of noble passion and precision over a long period of time is ruined, how that is going to benefit the world at large? The poet says this house has given its men the ‘sweet laughing eagle thoughts.’ Everything in the house has been knitted with things that have come from the best quarters. The poet finally says that if the house falls, it will not only make those highly placed men look better and sturdier but also those people who can never match aristocracy’s gift for governing men and for writing high literature which has high laughter, loveliness and ease as its guiding principles.
The mood of the poem is serious and highly reflective. The poem is centered round a series of questions that have a grave rhythm and a despondent intensity in them.