A Prayer for My Daughter is a notable literary work by William Butler Yeats. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of A Prayer for My Daughter.
Once more the storm is howling, and half hid Under this cradle-hood and coverlid My child sleeps on. There is no obstacle But Gregory's Wood and one bare hill Whereby the haystack and roof-levelling wind, Bred on the Atlantic, can be stayed; And for an hour I have walked and prayed Because of the great gloom that is in my mind. I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour, And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower, And under the arches of the bridge, and scream In the elms above the flooded stream; Imagining in excited reverie [...]
Writer: William Butler Yeats
Title of the Author: Irish poet, dramatist, writer, and politician
Full Title: A Prayer for My Daughter
Original Title: A Prayer for My Daughter
Published Date: 1921
Written Date: 1919
The poem "A Prayer for My Daughter" by William Butler Yeats is a heartfelt and contemplative piece. The speaker, Yeats himself, conveys his profound wishes and concerns for his newborn daughter. The poem is set during a storm, and the tumultuous weather serves as a metaphor for the challenges and uncertainties of life that the speaker envisions his daughter will face as she grows.
The opening of the poem mentions a vivid picture of the storm, emphasizing its destructive power and the relative vulnerability of the daughter, who is sleeping in her cradle. The storm represents the harsh realities of the world, and the speaker is extremely troubled by the thought of his daughter having to confront these challenges. This concern makes him pray for her well-being.
Parental Love and Concern: The poem reveals a parent's deep love and respect for their child. Yeats mentions his hopes and fears for his daughter's future, emphasizing the protective and nurturing instincts of a parent.
The Fragility of Innocence: The poem mourns the loss of innocence that comes with growing up. Yeats is concerned that the world will corrupt his daughter's pure and innocent spirit. He investigates the contrast between childhood innocence and adulthood's complexities.
Imagery: Yeats mentions vivid imagery throughout the poem to portray his hopes and fears for his daughter. For example, he employs the image of "oceans and the continents" to symbolize the vastness and challenges of the world.
Metaphor: The poem retains metaphors, such as "the heavy changing pinions of the mind", to convey the weight of intellectual development and growth.
I have walked and prayed for this young child an hour
And heard the sea-wind scream upon the tower,
And under the arches of the bridge, and scream
In the elms above the flooded stream;
Explanation: In these lines, the speaker conveys the setting where he has walked and prayed for his daughter. The sea wind "screaming" indicates a turbulent and harsh external environment, emphasizing the challenges and dangers he worries his daughter may encounter in life.
Lose natural kindness and maybe
The heart-revealing intimacy
That chooses right, and never find a friend.
Explanation: These lines depict the concern that if his daughter fails her natural kindness and the ability to form heart-revealing and empathetic connections, she may never find a true friend. The speaker loves these qualities as crucial for a fulfilling and meaningful life.