Alchemical Narrative in W. B. Yeats's Poetry

Baekyun Yoo
2014 The Yeats Journal of Korea  
This paper first examines the meaning of an alchemical process and its symbolic implications, and then talks about how the process informs us of the various ways Yeats arranges the order of poems in his book. An alchemical process is none other than a series of steps to transform lead into gold. We see that Yeats imitates this process when organizing not only his poems but also his book of poems, both of which encapsulate the alchemical narrative, starting with chaos (the lead state) and ending
more » ... d state) and ending with refinement (the gold state) or at least the possibility of purifying the coarse state suggested in the beginning. My basic argument is that the transformation from lead to gold is a symbolic process Yeats needs not only for his life but also for his country.
doi:10.14354/yjk.2014.43.149 fatcat:6am7gdlxuvgrrb644yvf3zxdym