"The Song of Wandering Aengus" and "Politics".
"The Song of Wandering Aengus", although structurally different to "Politics", maintains certain prevalent themes - but it is made apparent that the poet's general outlook has changed slightly in the thirty-seven years that have passed between the writing of these poems.
"The Song of Wandering Aengus" consists of three stanzas of eight lines and has an ABCBDEFE rhyme scheme. The three stanzas adopt a mythological aspect in referring to the three stages of man and the reader is subjected to a trio of varying mindsets and left to decide if a man's life is governed by intelligence or mere luck. .
The opening stanza deals with man's desire - personified by the trout. The acquisition of this trout has to be taken on more than face value as a trout is seen as mythical and the "prize of prizes," a symbol of manhood and recognition, but extremely difficult to catch. The young man in the poem is rebellious and disregards the rules of angling, using "a hazel wand" and a "berry" "hooked" "to a thread" to acquire an undersized fish. He does not return the catch as although it is not enough for a meal, but enough to satisfy the soul.
In the second stanza, the fish has become "a glimmering girl with apple blossom in her hair" and it signifies the myth of love. The beauty of nature is emphasized as and roles reversed, as Aengus is now the one who is hooked, not the fish.
The final stanza sees myth become fact as "she" is no longer the object of desire but has become reality. He realizes that his quest is an ancient one, yet there is no sense of remorse in his awareness that this journey is infinite and will be infinitely repeated. He gains some sense of identity and is content with himself by the end of his pursuit.
"Politics" shares a similar theme of desire and a futile hunt to sate a yearning, yet this poem differs in structure, mood and style. This poem consists of a single paragraph of twelve lines and the previous mythological theme has been abandoned for more of a realistic approach.