The Second Coming

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  • The Second Coming
    • Context
      • each gyre gradually rotates towards a point of maximum expansion, at this point a new gyre starts in the center of the previous. And thus it continues in a never ending line.
      • written at a time of fundamental change–  contraction of the English gyre (after WW1)–  the Irish gyre is starting to expand.  – ‘the widening gyre’
      • at moments of artist fervor and artistic success, the artist can access a truth from the ether (everything that has ever existed).–  it is an unseen truth – in this case: the image of the sphinx – ‘somewhere in the sands of the desert / A shape with lion body and the head of a man’
        • also: could be birds about to prey on sphinx – nature about to consume art. c/r ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ – scarecrow trying to scare away nature.
          • Links
            • ‘Among School Children’ we cannot ‘know the dancer from the dance’, here the falcon and the falconer cannot be united. Violence reaching a peak.
            • the ‘tide’ is in a constant state of flux – very ‘Yeatsian’ (everything is mutable and transient)
              • ‘And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea;and it became as the blood of a dead man’  (Revelation 16:3)
            • ‘The ceremony of innocence is drowned’Yeats believes that innocence is a fabrication born of religion and belief. He is suggesting that the harsh reality of war has killed belief.
              • Yeats yet again demonstrating his belief that fervor for any one cause kills you.c/r ‘Easter 1916’: ‘Too long a sacrifice / Can make a stone of the heart’
            • Christianity to the stone in the stream – ‘Easter 1916’ ‘the stone’s in the midst of all’
      • YEATS on Shelleys "Queen Mab" poem -- all the machineries of poetry are parts of theconvictions of antiquity, and readily become again convictions in minds thatdwell upon them….
    • Form
      • Free verse  reflects the chaos and lack of control being depicted in the poem.
        • “The Cold Heaven” were the structure reflects the poets rushing thoughts.
          • Links
            • ‘Among School Children’ we cannot ‘know the dancer from the dance’, here the falcon and the falconer cannot be united. Violence reaching a peak.
            • the ‘tide’ is in a constant state of flux – very ‘Yeatsian’ (everything is mutable and transient)
              • ‘And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea;and it became as the blood of a dead man’  (Revelation 16:3)
            • ‘The ceremony of innocence is drowned’Yeats believes that innocence is a fabrication born of religion and belief. He is suggesting that the harsh reality of war has killed belief.
              • Yeats yet again demonstrating his belief that fervor for any one cause kills you.c/r ‘Easter 1916’: ‘Too long a sacrifice / Can make a stone of the heart’
            • Christianity to the stone in the stream – ‘Easter 1916’ ‘the stone’s in the midst of all’
      • Rhetorical question to end - link Leda and the swan
      • Caesura
      • enjambment
    • Quotes
      • falcon being turned in the turmoil of the gyre to such an extent that it cannot even hear its creator
        • bird of prey now being the victim, shows how everything has gone wrong.
          • violence of war has overtaken the purpose of war.
      • "mere anarchy" anarchy is pure and undiluted.

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