Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Conversely, without naming it as Ireland, Yeats sets “Byzantium” in contrast to a land he calls “no country for old men.” This version of the contemporary world is marked by its teeming fertility, populated by “fish, flesh, or fowl” driven by “sensual music,” and is an uncomfortable domain for “an aged man,” as the poet characterizes himself.
*Ben Bulben (Benbulbin). Mountain rising above Yeats’s home in County Sligo, where, in “Under Ben Bulben,” from his Last Poems, he depicted the setting of his gravestone. Within “The Tower” it is Yeats’s figure for the natural world in the larger sense and also the specific region that encompasses his local community.
Ancestral houses. The term Yeats employs in the first section of “Meditations in Time of Civil War” to describe the gracious, affluent lifestyles of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, which represented for him a standard of cultural accomplishment. In accordance with his amalgam of actual and imagined locations in The Tower, these “flowering lawns,” where “life overflows without ambitious pains,” were cast at a remove from his depiction in later sections (“My House,” “My Table”) of the stone structures and wood furnishings that formed the literal and symbolic elements of his home.