11 September 1998
William Butler Yeats wrote two poems which are together known as the Byzantium series. The first is "Sailing to Byzantium," and its sequel is simply named "Byzantium." The former is considered the easier of the two to understand. It contains multiple meanings and emotions, and the poet uses various literary devices to communicate them. Two of the most dominant themes of this poem are the desire for escape from the hardships of this world and the quest for immortality. These are circumstances of the poet's life that influenced the composition of the poem. Those personal experiences and Yeats's skillful use of words come together to emphasize the need, or at least desire, that many people have for escape and immortality.