William Butler Yeats: The Second Coming
Identify the line or lines from the poem "The Second Coming":
Hi, I'm Heather Kamins for About.com, and I'm here to talk to you about the William Butler Yeats poem, "The Second Coming.""The Second Coming" was written during a period of turmoil, after World War I, the Easter rising in Ireland, and the Russian Revolution. It was a time of great chaos in the world, and this poem anticipates the end of the current age, as it devolves into chaos and the new age begins. But what will that new age be?This is one of Yeats' most famous poems, but it's mysterious and difficult to clearly understand. The last lines of the poem present a question that resonates after the poem is through. Now that you know a little bit about the poem, here is "The Second Coming," by William Butler Yeats.Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe 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 everywhereThe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction, while the worstAre full of passionate intensity.Surely some revelation is at hand;Surely the Second Coming is at hand.The Second Coming! Hardly are those words outWhen a vast image out of Spiritus MundiTroubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desertA 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 itReel shadows of the indignant desert birds.The darkness drops again; but now I knowThat twenty centuries of stony sleepWere vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,And what rough beast, its hour come round at at last,Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.