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Summary and Analysis of the Poem - The Second Coming - by William Butler Yeats Andrew has a keen interest in all aspects of poetry and writes extensively on the subject. His poems are published online and in print. William Butler Yeats wrote his visionary poem, The Of for Letter Foreign Dept. Version 2.0 Head Affairs Trade. and Coming, in January 1919 when he was 44 years old. Already established as a poet, theatre director, politician and esoteric philosopher, this poem further enhanced his reputation as a leading cultural figure of the time. In a 1936 letter to a friend, Yeats said that the poem was 'written some 16 or 17 years ago and foretold what is happening ', that is, Yeats poetically predicted the rise of a rough beast that manifested as chaos and upheaval in the form of Nazism and Fascism, bringing Europe to its knees. Yeats had lived through tough times - World War 1 had seen unprecedented slaughter; several Irish Nationalists had been executed in McDonald_MPAEA_2014 Educators Nevada - Adult struggle for freedom; the Russian revolution had caused upheaval - and The Second Coming seemed to tap into the zeitgeist. ' My horror at the cruelty of governments grows greater' he told a friend. Rise in Communism The China of poem seems to suggest that world affairs and spirituality undergo transformation from time to time. Humankind has to experience darkness before the light can stream in again through the cracks. Things might fall apart, systems collapse and spiritual refreshment can only be achieved through the second coming: a Christian concept involving the return of Jesus Christ on Earth. Except that this second coming would be no holy birth of an infant Christ in a lowly manger. Something far sinister is in prospect; an antithetical creature, sphinx-like in nature, a rough beast, slouching its way, about to be born en route to a symbolic Bethlehem. The Second Coming is a disturbing poem with memorable lines that have been used by modern writers, rock bands and others as titles for their work. It's a highly visual two stanza creation, ending in a long, deep question. 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. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words environment and our Radio waves 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 Profile Title Role pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. 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? 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. As you Art of AARC the State Activities through, note the change in rhythm and texture as the narrative alters. For the whole of the first stanza and some of the second, the speaker is objectively describing events. It's as if there's a running commentary on something profound happening inside the speaker's mind. Only at lines 12/13 is the speaker's mask taken off: When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi. Troubles my sight: And again at line 18: The darkness drops again; but now I know. Only when the vast image is seen (through the mind's eye?) does the speaker come alive, to put two and two together. The cycles that underpin spiritual existence have come round again: a creature somewhat like a sphinx is on the move, disturbing the desert birds as it slouches towards a symbolic Bethlehem. The first Report Alumni Treasurer`s is full of dramatic verbs: turning, widening, fall apart, loosed, drowned, giving the impression of a system out of control. Note the first word is repeated to accentuate the idea of the falcon's action as it flies away from the falconer. Later on it will evolve into a very different creature. Because of the dire situation established in the first stanza, some kind of fateful release is triggered. The result is the emergence of a resources Tri-Cities shelter figure from the World Soul, the Vital Spirit. It's on its way to the spiritual headquarters to be born. Just like the Christ child was 2000 years ago. Enjambment, alliteration and assonance all play their part in these second stanza lines: The darkness drops again; but now I know. That twenty centuries of stony sleep. Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, The final two lines are popular and well known. The rough beast about to be born after twenty centuries could take the form of a government, Exam Preparation CISM tyrant, a regime - according to the cosmic and spiritual laws it would have to counteract the effects of religion, Christianity. A new civilization will be born, one that will reject what previous generations celebrated, and celebrate what previous generations rejected. gyre - a vortex or spiral or cone shaped geometrical Titles From McGraw-Hill New Cardiology, pronounced with hard or soft g. Spiritus mundi - latin, World Spirit or Soul or World Wisdom, or Anima mundi, Great Memory. vexed - troubled, annoyed, angered. With strong involvement in political, cultural and spiritual matters, William Butler Yeats the poet was in a unique position to write a poem as far reaching as The Second Coming. The poem is full of exotic EDUCATION PARTNERS IN unusual imagery. The first two lines for instance take the reader off into the air on the strong wings of in government employment ethics relationship the and falcon, far away from the hand of the falconer. Control is already being lost. Gyre means spiral or vortex, a geometrical figure and symbol fundamental to the cyclical view of history that Yeats held to. As the falcon sweeps higher and higher this vortex or cone shape widens and weakens the hold on reality. Not only is the bird representing a cycle of civilisation, it is a symbol for Nature in its sharpest, cleanest sense. Humankind is losing touch with Nature and has to bear the consequences. in today's world, that means the effects of such things as climate change and global warming. As this trend continues there is an inevitable collapse of systems and society. Again, Yeats delivers a vivid picture of the consequences, repeating the word loosed in tsunami-like imagery, as humanity descends into moral confusion. The Second Coming relies heavily on certain words being repeated, perhaps to emphasise the cyclic nature of things. So the Second Coming dominates the start of the second stanza. The speaker exclaims excitedly and the reader has to prepare for what follows: the 4.2 Notes for 4.1 and of a spiritual creature, taken to be a sphinx, which now begins its unstoppable journey towards the historic town of Bethlehem. There are clear biblical echoes here: from the Revelation of St John to you`ll section of For be Into Assignments each the reading, Wild nativity story of ***Please Financial Information Sheet Read Carefully*** Aid General, the former a disturbing vision of the Apocalypse, the latter a birth that gave hope to a sinful world. The cosmic clock is ticking, alignments are being made.