What Is "When You Are Old And Grey" By W.B Yeats All About?


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Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
When you are Old is a poem written by W.B Yeats in 1891 about the woman he was in love with, Maud Gonne. He proposed to her, but she rejected him, on more than one occasion.
It was after the first rejection that Yeats wrote this poem.
The poem is about Maud in her old age, nearing the end of life, "full of sleep" indicates the calling of death, the eternal sleep.
He acknowledges all those who loved her in her youth, for her beauty and her charisma. However, he maintains that it was only him who loved her for who she was,
"How many loved...your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face". This conveys the eternal nature of his love for her. By contrasting the love he had for Maud compared to the love of others, he elevates his love over theirs. Saying that it was he who loved her for her soul, not just her beauty, or "glad grace"
The last stanza carries a bittersweet tone. He capitalizes Love, again elevating the love he had for her. He hopes that upon reflection, she will come to regret her rejection of his love, how she made his love flee.
Sneha Profile
Sneha answered
When you are Old and Grey is an elegy written by Yeats to himself. It has various symbols, Yeats being a symbolist had a style that was unique to himself.

This poem brings forth images of warmth and togetherness. Its a small but comprehensive poem. In the economy of just a few words and symbols, Yeats manages to convey the message of something that is eternal and going to be there for endless time.
Stuti Ahuja Profile
Stuti Ahuja answered
"When you are old and grey" is a famous poem by poet William Butler Yeats. Yeats was a prominent poet in the 1860s. To read the complete poem, you can log on to
In this poem Yeats addressed an old person who has grey hair now and is full of sleep. When this person goes back in time, he remembers his old days, when he was still young and had a soft look in his eyes. Those days are now gone and remembers the people who were his friends, some in love with him and others deceived. But there was this one person who understood his misery and the pain of his growing age.

Yeats was an Irish poet born in the year 1865. He was not only a poet but also a dramatist, a mystic and a public figure. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1923. Yeats was the co founder of the Abbey Theatre and served as an Irish Senator for a few years.

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