Biographical references: Yeats was in love with Maud Gonne, obsessed with her but could not marry her as she was married, but they were friends. Mrs Kathleen Pitcher is Maud’s sister. This could be the people in the poem. Maud the mild woman and the friend her sister.
Title? Adam: man
Man’s curse, biblical reference/illusion, tempted by snake, ate the apple and sent to earth as punishment. Adam was cursed to work hard, labour was his curse. All men were cursed to do all labour and women were cursed to give labour, pain is her curse. the labour is holy and important as only the title has a biblical illusion and the rest of the poem does not. Biblical illusions are very common in his time.
Significance? life is hard like when adam was to earth from the garden of eden
-we: one man, on mild woman, another woman
1st stanza is yeats, 2nd stanza is Someone else, 3rd stanza yeats
Addressed? the poem is dedicated to the women he loves, only for your ears
1st Stanza: Talks about how poems are hard to right and that poetry is hard labour, also refers to hard practical work that is appreciated more than poetry. It has an understated grace. Even though poems seem to be natural and easy they are much more complicated than you think. Claim for poetry.
2nd Stanza: Claim for being beautiful. It is not easy to be beautiful and keep yourself physically beautiful. This is all said by the friend. Then Yeats claims that even love needs hard labour. That to find the beauty of love, is hard to find and it is not easy like you can find it in books.
3rd Stanza: Moon is metaphor and is the effects of time. Effects of time on human love. This poem was only for her ears, his lover. Strive is another word for labour that you push yourself for something, which is another implication of labour. Sad in the end not so happy.
- Rhymes with heroic couplets, ex: yet/set. Except the last couplets and the last stanza is quite different. Which also mean that there is hard labour behind the structure, and it is not just structured randomly.