by William Butler Yeats
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be
- John Keats
John Keats (1795-1821) was an English Romantic poet whose reputation grew after his death. This poem, though written in 1818, was first published posthumously in 1848. In it, a speaker shares desires for the future as well as fears.Pair “When I Have Fears that I May Cease to Be” with “When You Are Old” and ask students to discuss the different approaches each poet takes on the topic of growing old. How do Keats’ fears of not being able to accomplish his dreams before he dies compare to Yeats’ feelings of regret?
- William Butler Yeats
“Easter 1916” is a famous poem by William Butler Yeats that deals with themes of war and loss of innocence. Although Yeats was an Irish nationalist, in the poem he describes conflicting emotions about the Easter Rising, an armed rebellion against British rule in Ireland.Pair “Easter 1916” with “When You Are Old” and ask students to compare these two poems by Yeats. What structural similarities, if any, do they share? How do the tones of the two poems differ?
- James Joyce
"Araby" (1914) is a classic coming-of-age story written by James Joyce. It touches on themes of disillusionment and the consequences of idealism.Pair “Araby” with “When You Are Old” and ask students to compare the speakers’ perspectives on unrequited love. How do both narrators feel about love and the objects of their affections?