He opens the poem using a first person narrative, mixed with a simple monosyllabic dialogue “Although can see him till”, in order to emphasis the simplistic nature of the fisherman, and Yeats adds to this effect by using a very regular rhyming pattern (ABA), and enjambment of the line in order to add a harmony and fluidity to the poem. As you carry on Yeats describes a lot of rural and naturalistic imagery ‘the freckled man”… Ere Condemner clothes” emphasizing the typical old simple, and hard working Irish man, and this could in fact be compared to the ‘Irish Airman’. Because both poems are connected to a specific place in Ireland, in The Fisherman’, it is Condemner, when in the ‘Irish Airman’ it is “Kiloton Cross”, also in ‘The Fisherman’, notice how the man seems to form as part of the landscape “grey place on a hill in grey’, which shows how, not only is he wearing Condemner clothes, a local material, but seems to merge with the natural environment.
Yeats also uses a variety of different syntax’s, in order to present the Irish people, and to present their different attitudes. From the simple syntax of the fisherman, “cast his flies “reflecting the quite, simple aspects of Ireland to here people live off the land, to which in Yeats’ eyes is the perfect audience for him to write to. However the complex syntax “craven man” which is used, reflects the confusion almost, on how Yeats is traveling from his ideal reality, then arriving upon the actual reality, to which he detests.
From lines eight to twenty-five, it shows Yeats bitter attack and viewpoint towards contemporary Ireland, showing a huge change in tone, and truly contrasting the old Ireland with the new. It opens with some antithesis “wise and simple. , really summing up the fisherman and Yeats’ views on the old Ireland, using a full stop to allow the reader to reflect and almost proving how wisdom and simplicity can sometimes go together.
Carrying on there is another piece of alliteration “my own race And the reality’ which creates another piece of contrasting imagery, setting up Yeats for his rant against the real contemporary Ireland, “the living men that I hate”, that quote referring to the greedy, UN cultured Dublin businessmen, to which Yeats’ goes on listing all the types of people he dislikes, however cleverly juxtaposes these thoughts with “the dead man that I loved” who by many is Hough to be J. M Singe, although could be John O’Leary and therefore this poem could be compared to ‘September 191 3’ “O’Leary in the grave”.
Arriving at the end of that paragraph, Yeats sums up how he truly feels, “beating down of the wise And great Art beaten down”, using repetition of the word beaten, to portray the brutality of the Irish people. He describes some of the appalled types of the Irish public, “the clever man who cries” using harsh alliteration in order to show his absolute contempt, which cuts into the lines, so Yeats really believes that the people he doesn’t admire, are somehow overcoming the wisdom of who Yeats does admire, and again this could be compared to the ‘Irish Airman’ due to the inverted line.
Yeats however in the last stanza, goes back to the idea of the perfect audience and old rural Ireland, going into further detail about the fisherman “sun freckled face” and differs from the early part, which describes him, to be more Of a memory, rather than a pigment of Yeats imagination “a man who is but a dream”. Yeats uses monosyllabic wording there and anaphora’s to strengthen the line and to create an idea of nostalgia.
Yeats finally ends the poem with a very interesting few lines “l shall have written him one… As cold and passionate as the dawn”, Showing how he wants to write a poem for the perfect audience, using antithesis of cold and passionate, to show in my opinion how the poem is full of passion, yet tightly controlled, therefore making it enduring. That last line could also be compared to the ‘Cold Heaven’, as in the cold heaven there is a similar juxtaposition, between the cold sky and the rush of emotions.