"The Second Coming" describes William Butler Yeats' views about the universe and the future, and the vision is chaotic and unpleasant, a dark twisting of the conventional beliefs about the afterlife as expressed in the New Testament. The imagery and the structure mirror the dark meanings at work in the poem.
The images in the poem are frightening omens of things to come in the future. The falcon is turning in an ever-widening spiral, beyond the point where it can hear the falconer controlling it. This loss of control is a reflection of events in the world, where "the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned." The people in the world with ethics have lost their sense of purpose, but the people with the darkest intentions retain their "passionate intensity."
These images make the speaker move on to a vision of the "Second Coming," but this is not a Messiah but instead the collective spirit of humanity: a sphinx in the midst of the desert that has a "gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun." The poem's violent, stunning imagery suggests that the Second Coming is not to be as glorious as the Church would suggest.Learn More
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways" is the opening verse in Sonnet 43 of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's collection "Sonnets From the Portuguese." It is Barrett Browning's most well-known work.Full Answer >
A caesura is used in Anglo-Saxon poetry to divide a line into two halves. It was used by Old English writers as part of the strong-stress, or accentual, metrical system and represents a pause in the middle of a line of verse that is used to break the rhythmic monotony. The "double pipes" ("||") are used as a symbol to illustrate the caesura when scanning lines of verse in poetry analysis.Full Answer >
To commemorate a 60th wedding anniversary, browse poems that celebrate the commitment and enduring strength of a relationship in the face of time and change. From classical sonnets to modern, cutting-edge prose, choose from poems that touch on the subject of true and lasting love.Full Answer >
"She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways" is a narrative poem by William Wordsworth commemorating the life of a woman named Lucy. It is unknown whether Lucy was ever a real person, but she is a recurrent figure in Wordsworth's work, appearing as the central subject in four of his other poems: "Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower," "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal," "I Travelled among Unknown Men" and "Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known." "She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways" was written in 1798 and published in 1800 as part of "Lyrical Ballads," a collaborative poetry collection shared with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.Full Answer >