"History is past politics, and politics present history." John Robert Seeley

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see." Winston Churchill

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle


An Irish Airman Foresees his Death



I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.







1) How does Yeats portray the effect of war on the human condition?

2) Why does Yeats state that neither “public men, nor cheering crowds” were the reason for his joining the war?

3) What were the poet’s reasons for joining the war?

4) The final four lines are central to the theme of the poem. What tone are these lines written in?

5) After reading this poem, describe your feelings on war & individuality.

 Model Answers



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