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Yeats

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War Between Good and Evil

After World War I, many catastrophic events occurred- countries went under depression and the economy hit rock bottom. It was a hard period of time to live in and many people were losing hopes for the future. People strived day to day to survive and didn't know when they'll be coming out of the slump. A lot of homes were lost and food was scarce. They burned money to stay warm because it was cheaper to do so than to purchase items to make fire. Most people thought that the world was coming to an end because the future looked so dim. Each soul was crying out for help. During this sad period of time, W.B. Yeats wrote a poem, The Second Coming. The poem talks about the chaos and separation that was happening post-war. He incorporated many symbols, images, and Biblical stories in the poem to express his emotions.

Yeats' poem has a freestyle writing. He does not have rhythm so his poem cannot be a sonnet- nor would it fit his style of writing. He does not have a strict rule to follow so he expresses his feelings towards war and beliefs in an open way. Hence, this is an open form. It is written in a first-person limited point of view which lets the reader know how the writer is feeling. Usually when a poem contains rhyme, it is considered to be well planned and well thought of. Although The Second Coming does not contain any rhyme, Yeats' use of symbolism throughout the poem tells the reader that each line was analyzed.

Symbolism dominates Yeats' poem. It is overflowed with hidden messages that contain information, like pieces, to put his work together as a whole. He does not say things in a straightforward way but rather, uses symbols to gather extra emotions. He does not use any poetic devices to convey his message to the reader. The only thing that makes his work a poem is containing two stanzas and using much imagery to express his thoughts. Imagery is the second most important form to his writing.

If you were to skim over his poem, you would see a lot of images like "The ceremony of innocences" (line 6) and "A shape with lion body and the head of a man" (line 14). Images were used a great amount to collect as much emotion the reader could so that he/she would relate to Yeats. Without symbolism and imagery, the poem would not mean half as much as now. Yeats did a perfect job of emphasizing where it needed to be and accenting the important areas. For example, lines 9 and 10 are redundant but at the same time, it builds up the point Yeats is trying to make. "Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand". The two lines are exactly the same except the latter one contains a proper noun, Second Coming. Since the poem is titled The Second Coming, I thought it was significant to accentuate this area. The entire poem is built on this notion of a revelation. A hope for a change- any change.

The first stanza of Yeats' poem talks about a falcon who cannot find the falconer. "Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer;" (lines 1 and 2). The reader sees this as the falconer being the master and the falcon being the follower. In other words, the falconer is Christ and the falcon is the followers of Christ. This represents that the world is becoming more and more disobedient to Christ because it is so corrupt; therefore, "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;" (line 3). In lines 5 and 6, Yeats talks about the "blood-dimmed tide" and the "ceremony of innocence"

which represents people breaking away from Christ and people who live in the righteous, respectively. It is said that people breaking away from Christ "is loosed, and everywhere" (line 5) and the people who live in the righteous "is drowned" (line 6). There is a separation of the two worlds. The existence of sin and war begins to overrun mankind. The first three lines of the first stanza are really crucial. The first stanza is slowly read, bringing the reader to the same emotional level as the writer, while the second stanza is moderately read to seek revelation.

The second stanza is mainly focused on the revelation. It begins with redundancy and stresses the Second Coming. Since the world seemed to be coming to an end because of the war that was going on, it seems like the Second Coming is closer at hand. "Spiritus Mundi" is mentioned in line 12 and Yeats is talking about the spirit of the universe which means all individuals are connected. The line that follows can relate to the Bible, "Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert" (line 13). Christianity is originated from the Middle East. This could relate back to the "sands of the desert" where

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