Best Ghost Poems “What Then“, the Poet W.B. Yeats tells that a man achieved all the things in his life in this world but all these achievements were of no use.

Stanza 1:
His chosen comrades thought at school
He must grow a famous man;
HE thought the same and lived by rule,
All this twenties crammed with toll;
What then? Sang Plato’s ghost, ‘What then?’

Reference to the Context:
These lines have been taken from the poet Yeats’s Best Ghost Poems, “What’s Then?” The poet tells that a man achieved all the things in his life but all these achievements were of no use.

Explanation:
In these lines the poet tells us about a young boy. His close friends thought that one day he would become a great man. The young boy himself thought the same way. He stated to live a disciplined (way of working) life. Throughout his twenty’s years he worked hard with determination (resoluteness). He proved himself Plato of his time. So the ghost of Plato says that what then if he has done a hard work.

Paraphrase:
His close friends at school thought that he would become a great man. He had the same thinking and led a disciplined life. He worked hard for the twenty years. What then Plato’s ghost also repeated what then?

Stanza 2:
Everything he wrote was read,
After certain years he won (be successful)
Sufficient (enough; adequate) money for his need (expressing necessity),
Friends that have been friends indeed (used to emphasize a statement);
‘What then?’  Sang Plato’s ghost (become manifest to the living), ‘ What’s then?’

Reference to the Context:
These lines have been taken from the poet Yeats’s Best Ghost Poems, “What Then?”. The poet tells that a man achieved all the things in his life but all these achievements were of no use.

Explanation:
In these line the poet says that he worked hard and started to write so impressive things that people read all his work. After many years he earned enough money to fulfill his requirements. He won some friends through his work who were friends indeed. What then? The Plato’s ghost repeated what then?

Paraphrase:
What he wrote anything was read by the people. He earned a lot of money after many years of his requirements. He also won some true friends who were friends indeed but Plato’s ghost repeated what then?

Stanza 3:
All his happier dreams came true (come accurate or exact) —-
A small old (having lived for a long time) house, wife, daughter, son,
Grounds where plum and cabbage grew (progress to maturity),
Poets and Wits about him drew;
What then? Sang Plato’s ghost (become manifest to the living), ‘What then?’

Reference to the Context:
These lines have been taken from the poet Yeats’s Best Ghost Poems, “What Then?” The poet tells that a man achieved all the things in his life but all these achievements were of no use. Wants to say that one should make the best use of time that one passes in this world.

Explanation:
In these lines the poet says that all his good dreams (experience dreams during sleep) became true. He had a little old house, wife, daughter and son. HE also got lands where fruits and vegetables grew. Due to his work all the famous poets and scholars (a specialist in a particular (a detail) branch of study, especially the humanities (human beings collectively)) would come to him to get guidance from him. But Plato’s ghost considered all these achievements nothing.

Paraphrase:
All his good dreams became true. He had little old house, wife, daughter and a son. He had the land where fruit and vegetable grew. Famous poet and scholars of the time would come close to him by his grand work. His achievements worth nothing before Plato’s ghost.

Stanza 4:
The work is done, ‘grown old he thought (think),
‘According to my boyish plan (decide on and arrange in advance);
Let the fools rag, I swerved (change or cause to change direction abruptly) in naught (nothing),
Something to perfection (as faultless as possible) brought;’
But louder (easily audible) sang the ghost, ‘What then?’

Reference to the Context:
These lines have been taken from the poet Yeats’s Best Ghost Poems, “What Then?”. The poet tells that a man achieved (accomplish or bring about) all the things in his life but all these achievements were of no use. Wants to say that one should make the best use of time that one passes in this world.

Explanation:
In these lines the poet says that when young boy grew old he thought that he has achieved that all he desired. He does not care about the fools. It makes no difference. He has already reached to a stage where everything is in perfect condition. But Plato’s ghost repeated the same words in a louder voice. What then?

Paraphrase:
In his old age he thought the work is completed as I have planned it. I do not care of fools. If they become furious. It makes no difference. I have already reached to a stage where I am perfect. But Plato’s ghost cried loudly what then?