The Second Coming Poem by William Butler Yeats

The Second Coming

Rating: 4.9

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 out
When a vast image out of i{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 born?

Denvor Fernandez 03 February 2009

This poem is about the second coming of Christ as predicted by the book of revelations in the Bible.This poem written in 1920 after the first world war and the russian revolution shows the poets anti-marxist stand.

20 20 Reply
Stephen W 30 September 2016

An over-simplification. He was horrified by the events of his time, for sure. The first stanza is as relevant today. 'The worst are filled with passionate intensity'. How true of our time, as well as his.

5 0
Eric Stashak 19 February 2010

no, denvor, its not. the second coming is a historical figure, a polarity of christ. for yeats, everything runs on double gyres, a cyclical interpretation of history, metaphysics, and religion. he saw christ as one end of the spectrum, and within each end is contained the seed of it's opposite. christ is the lamb and the great beast described in the poem will be the contention of all christ symbolizes focused in the form of a historical figure.

28 5 Reply
Ed Dalida 23 October 2012

People on the internet make it sound so complex. I think it's basically this. Chaos has come, it has fallen over the world and people are turning against each other and themselves. But Yeats has this hope. The hope of a brighter, more aware, less destructive future. However, that vision of a 'second coming' has an undertone of darkness and fear. The simple fear of the unknown, the uncertainty that carries. To me it's not so much of a prophecy but a reassurance to himself. He's practically begging the forces that be that there will be a better future because the present that he described in his first verse and the internal fear he has is beginning to be overwhelming.

22 9 Reply
Mary Gordley 15 January 2008

Admiral in so many ways. The lines which I find hold most impact: 'The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.' It seems to me those two lines ring truer today than ever.

24 2 Reply
MAHTAB BANGALEE 24 October 2022

Let Jesus come second time to rescue us from the unforgivable sin

2 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 23 October 2022

A wonderful work of art

1 0 Reply
Smoky Hoss 26 May 2022

Lines 3 through 9 seem so apropos to the recent shooting events happening, there is an urgency in the need for understanding (a revealing) , and hope.

1 0 Reply
Michael Walker 30 June 2020

A critical, but devastating poem about what Yeats made of the modern world. There is anarchy and needless bloodshed, and no hope of a Second Coming of Jesus. Instead: ' And what rough beast, its hour come at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? ' This is largely what I see now in the world.

1 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 08 November 2019

A free flight of creativity on winged immagination. An awesome creation by an intricate and a sober mind.

2 2 Reply
William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats

County Dublin / Ireland
Error Success