Symbols in The Wild Swans at Coole

Symbols Examples in The Wild Swans at Coole:

The Wild Swans at Coole 2

"flown away?..."   (The Wild Swans at Coole)

The swans have been touted as a symbol of permanence or timelessness throughout this poem, retaining their youth and passion while the speaker grows old and tired. However, this rhetorical question acknowledges that these swans are not separate from the events of life, and they too will at some point migrate and move on to a different place to delight the eyes of different people. To end on this note is to further the emphasize the inevitably of change, growth, and death.

"nine and fifty..."   (The Wild Swans at Coole)

As we’ll soon see, the speaker envies the swans for their seemingly endless capacity for passion and life. Perhaps with the use of this odd number, the speaker is signaling that he would like to join the swans, to complete the group and make an even number.