A Poem by Yeats

This morning I had a bit of synchronicity.  I opened a book of essays and excerpts from over a hundred of the most famous writer’s of the 20th century.  I found myself on a poem below by Yeats.  Supposedly, Yeats had a lot of metaphysical things going on in his work, which I had not in the past known.  And supposedly, the poem is difficult to understand and hard to identify with.*  I found neither to be the case.  I felt Yeats was right on target.  But, then my view of many religious words of transformation is they are referring to internal states.  Yeats use of the words “Spiritus Mundhi” is supposed to be referring to the collective unconscious in a Jungian sense and not in the Christian sense.  In any case, I really enjoyed this poem.  I find it amusing as well how spell check wants to changes the words of Yeats.

The Second Coming

By William Butler Yeats

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 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?
*Reference:  http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/yeats/section5.rhtml (As stated above, I don’t agree with all of the the conclusions on this site.)

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