The Coming of Wisdom with Time

“The Coming of Wisdom with Time”
By: William Butler Yeats

“The Coming of Wisdom with Time” by William Butler Yeats, speaks of a person gaining knowledge as time moves forward.   To be honest, I didn’t think anyone could possibly write a four lined poem and develop any purpose.   After reading this poem…I stand to be corrected. Yeats starts the poem off talking about life, and ending it in death. He goes from happiness, to sadness, grief. He draws in a nice glimpse of the cycle of life in which we grow as individuals. He compares the human life cycle to the life cycle of trees.
            “Though leaves are many, the root is one.” A tree has the ability to live for thousands of years surviving off of its roots. Each tree produces hundreds of leaves a year. In the Spring, they bloom, and then in the Fall, they wither away.
          “Through all the lying days of my youth I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun” When a person is younger they think everything they do is right, and don’t give much of a care in the world to advice.   All they are worried about is having a good time. “Lying days of my youth,” shows that we know that what we believed in when we were younger was untruthful.   It’s like when you ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up.   You could expect a response like an astronaut.   More than likely, when they grow up they will change their mind.  
I was really impressed by how much “stuff” was imbedded in this poem.   Even though it’s just four lines, you can pretty much get as in depth with this poem as you would like.   I particularly liked how Yeats used symbolism in this poem.