The world Mere means Only. The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats Poetry Foundation agenda angle-down angle-left angleRight arrow-down arrowRight bars calendar caret-down cart children highlight learningResources list mapMarker openBook p1 pin poetry-magazine print quoteLeft quoteRight slideshow tagAudio tagVideo teens trash-o. She also rejected his proposal. I would have him balance Christ who, crucified standing up, went into the abstract sky soul and body. His poems have a curious passion for generality. The second stanza begins with a proclamation 'Surely some revelation is at hand'; and the repetition, with the change from 'revelation' to 'Second Coming', itself repeated in the third line, may remind you of Christ's prophecy in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, Chapter 24. The authors each explore this disintegration with their own medium, Shakespeare through a play, Eliot a poem and Atwood a novel, despite the differences in form all three texts contain similarities in content, exploring conflict in gender, the Eliot's negative view of loveless sex has led to questions by queer theorists of his own sexuality.
Yeats had lived through tough times - World War 1 had seen unprecedented slaughter; several Irish Nationalists had been executed in the struggle for freedom; the Russian revolution had caused upheaval - and The Second Coming seemed to tap into the zeitgeist. Soon the poet sees a big image of Spiritus Mundi. This was taken from a secondary source and I now find that it is not supported in any Golden Dawn documents that I can discover. Modern man is shown here as uncontrolled and uncontrolling. Its hour has also come round at last i. The symbol here is of the end of a religion that, for Yeats, embodied hope and innocence.
It opens up with the disturbance of nature. There is no appreciation of The Innocent. In the last line, the poet says that best people have chosen to be quiet whereas the worst people have taken the front seat. At that time the people had seen so many murders and killings that they were not affected by seeing others in misery and sorrow. Yeats by George Charles Beresford, 1911;.
History is not a one-way trip into chaos, and the passage between the gyres not the end of the world altogether, but a transition to a new world -- or to another dimension. Instead, the one who believes in doing the wrong things is the one who gets more benefitted. Reference : Understanding Poetry, Indira Gandhi National Open University School of Humanities. Just like the Christ child was 2000 years ago. The Second Coming relies heavily on certain words being repeated, perhaps to emphasise the cyclic nature of things. An undated photo of Yeats by the Bain News Service. The falcons' spiralling flight is a gyre at the centre of which is a whirling centrifugal force which is about to cause total disintegration, to precipitate a catastrophe.
Though it was supposed to provide relief, the poet is troubled by seeing it. In Macbeth, when the villainous Macbeth murders the good king, a lowly porter recognizes that the horses have started to eat each other, and that there was a great and thunderous storm. Whatever the exact connotation, modern man is presented as uncontrolled or uncontrolling. The second line of the first stanza suggests that in the modern times this control has been lost and murderous instincts cannot be kept under control. Thus the poem is generally concerned with the disintegration of modern society-with the spread of anarchy and the consequent violence and bloodshed. The poetry of Yeats has a curious mixture of aestheticism and dreamy nationalism, with an undercurrent of moralism. In its place, a new historical cycle begins with the Sphinx- the intellect of a human with the body of the king of the jungle- consummating shudder in the loins with an unidentified creature that, impregnated, slouches toward Bethlehem to give birth to a rough beast.
He impresses one as the man in the poet's mask. The vision is over but so long as it has lasted it has been able to give the poet the knowledge that when twenty centuries of stony sleep before the birth of Christ were disturbed by the rocking cradle of Christ at Christ's birth the situation must have been similar to the situation now. It is indeed a sheerly destructive age. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats wrote his visionary poem, The Second Coming, in January 1919 when he was 44 years old. Yeats spent years crafting an elaborate, mystical theory of the universe that he described in his book A Vision. This was shortly after Ireland had finally gained independence from England.
Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all around it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. Yeats died in France in 1939, and his remains were moved to Sligo on his wishes in 1948. Gyre means spiral or vortex, a geometrical figure and symbol fundamental to the cyclical view of history that Yeats held to. Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Of course, twentieth-century history did turn more horrific after 1919, as the poem forebodes. Partly this is what makes it so compelling: it is a poem that asks questions, rather than providing answers.
A 22 line poem, two stanzas, in free verse, with loose iambic pentameter mostly five stresses and ten syllables per line but there are variations , The Second Coming is one of the more successful non rhyming poems Yeats wrote. Through ambiguous yet comprehensive treatment of conflict W. One era is replaced by the other which is quite opposite to the first. The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? They are incredibly smart, and dedicated to their trainers, responding immediately to any noise that their handler makes, thus for the falcon to have flown so rapidly out of the reach of the falconer shows us how the delicate balance of the world has been upset. Perhaps other civilisations, after all, have been waiting for their deities to return. And then suddenly the darkness comes over again i. These references have created a feedback loop, leading ever more writers to draw from the poem for inspiration.