The Second Coming-W.B Yeats



William Butler Yeats[a] (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others.











Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold
mere anarchy is losed upon the ground
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 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 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



The poem begins with the image of a falcon flying out of earshot from its human master. In medieval times people used falcons or hawks to track down animals at ground level. In this image,the falconer has gotten itself lost by flying too far away.
In the fourth line,the poem abruptly shifts into a description of ''anarchy'' and an orgy of violence in which the ceremony of innocence is drowned. The speaker laments that only bad people seem to have any enthusiasm nowadays.
In line 9, the poet begins by setting a new vision. He talks violence which as engulfed the society has a sign that the second coming is at hand. In line 18,the vision ends as ''darkness drops again, but the speaker remains troubled.
Finally, at the end of the poem,the speaker asks a rhetorical question which really amounts to a prophecy
that the beast is on its way to Bethlehem to be born into the world

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