To A Child Dancing in The Wild: Summary & Analysis

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Summary & Analysis

      In this short poem from the collection of poetry Responsibilities (1914) Yeats celebrates the careless joyousness of childhood. The childhood is a phase in human life bereft of anxieties, complicacies, responsibilities, illusions and disillusions. A child is. not concerned with philosophy of life nor he is aware of grave realities. His desires are small and demands are trivial which can be easily met. In the background of beautiful nature the child’s dance imparts a message of innocent happiness. This happiness does not know the disheartened emotions of a dejected lover, what is the pangs of failure in life. The roaring sound of wind cannot send the signal of danger in the child’s inexperienced mind. That is why he can continue to dance.

Critical Explanation

L. 3. Roar—The loud noise produced by the waves.
L..4. Tumble...hour—The gush of sea-breeze has made the hair of the child unkempt.
L. 7. The fool’s triumph—A fool considers victory ever-lasting. He is anaware of the fact that this victory can be very short-lived.
L. 8. Love.....won—A man can lose his beloved’s favor a moment after winding it. Winning her heart does not ensure him of her love forever.
L. 9-10. Nor the best....bind—After reaping, farmer can die leaving the sheaves untied. Similarly, in our life we do not know when one will pass away, leaving his or her work unfinished. What will turn out in the future is hard to predict.
L. 11-12. What....wind?—The child is passing through the phase of innocense. He is unaware of the deep philosophy of life. He does not need to apprehend about the complexity of life.


      The poem is simple but upholds the power of innocence. In the face of innocence complicacies in human life does not appear threatening.

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