An eerily prophetic piece by William Butler Yeats




A Yeats Classic -Second Coming

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?


[Definition of Spiritus Mundi
Spiritus Mundi is a Latin term that literally means, ''world spirit.'' In Spiritus Mundi, there is, according to William Butler Yeats, ''a universal memory and a 'muse' of sorts that provides inspiration to the poet or writer.'' To Yeats, Spiritus Mundi is the source of all ''images'' and ''symbols,'' a ''collective unconscious.'' Spiritus Mundi is difficult to understand, but we will unpack it as best as we can.

W.B. Yeats married a woman, Georgie (or George) Hyde-Lees, who was thirty years his junior. George was interested in the occult and astrology. One day, in an effort to assure her husband that he had made the right choice in marrying her (he had proposed to two other women before George), she started doing what she called 'automatic writing.' She would sit in a trance and write, often as Yeats asked her questions. Both Yeats and Georgie believed that they were receiving communication from a superior spiritual source, or being. Out of these sessions came Yeats' philosophy of Spiritus Mundi, among other ideas which he published in his book Visions.]





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Written on 2020-06-30 at 17:46

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one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
thank you for posting this.
2020-06-30