Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Oisin's quest: the myth of the modernist poet's evolution

Mauricio Damián Aguilera Linde


This article offers an interpretation in terms of metapoetic theory of The Wanderings of Oisin, Yeats's first important work. Our purpose is to prove that an analysis of the poem upon this basis can be useful to solve the semantic problems caused by many of the motifs as well as illuminating for the elucidation of the meaning of Oisin's journey through three mysterious islands. Taking the poem as a symbolic enactment of the poet's notion of his own artistic growth, we argue that each of the islands might correspond to different yet closely related models of poetry. The poem can then be seen as a gradual progression which includes a model of pure or subjective poetry (the Island of Dancing), a model of objective socially committed poetry (the Island of Victories) and finally an ideal of poetic language based upon the onirical experiences as the only legitimate source of knowledge (the Island of Forgetfulness).


Literatura irlandesa; Poesía; Yeats, William Butler; The Wanderings of Oisin; Metapoesía; Simbolismo


Copyright (c) 1994 Mauricio Damián Aguilera Linde

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