William Butler Yeats wrote a very interesting poem called “The Second Coming” and I think it is the perfect poem to end our year with. I want you to read it and take a minute to work through it on your own; see if you can figure it out.
The Second Coming
*A gyre is a period of time, that is roughly 2,000 years, it is circular.
Revelation 13 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Beast out of the Sea
13 Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. 2 This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
3 I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”
5 Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. 6 And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven.[a] 7 And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. 8 And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.
Yeats was deeply into occult teaching (Mystery Babylon). So if this poem seems like prophecy to you, that is because it probably is. Occult prophecy. He is not speaking of the return of Christ in the last days to judge the world. He is talking about the coming of another “messiah,” a literal beast who will bring a New Age to the world. He is speaking of what we consider the Anti-Christ. It is weird though, because unlike how we wait with hope and joy, for Jesus–the mood of this poem is chaotic and scary.
On a technical note, this poem is written in a very rough iambic pentameter. There is so much chaos that even the meter is falling apart!!! LOL. The rhymes are random and there are only two strong ones at the beginning, then they fade away. The second stanza sounds so casual and informal that it transitions almost into free verse poetry. Line three of the second stanza has a repetition with an exclamation mark. He is either astonished or dumbfounded. This is startling to the reader.
What is crazy about the technical aspects of this poem is that this is NOT his usual style. If you look at his poems “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” and “The Song of Wandering Aengus” you will see a very traditional style or rhythm and sound. So we can be certain that his technique in “The Second Coming” was very intentional.
He even speaks of rhythm as a way to manipulate people spiritually. He says, “The purpose of rhythm, it has always seemed to me, is to prolong the moment of contemplation, the moment when we are both asleep and awake, which is the one moment of creation, by hushing us with an alluring monotony, while it holds us waking by variety, to keep us in that state of perhaps real trance, in which the mind liberated from the pressure of the will is unfolded in symbols.” So what does it mean when he chooses not to use rhythm? Maybe he doesn’t want us hushed with the alluring monotony as we read it. I don’t know . . .
I wanted to end with this poem, “The Second Coming” because it makes sense. We began with Creation, the lie of the Garden of Eden, and the Tower of Babel. I want to finish with the Biblical conclusion of where all this world literature leads us. It leads us to the end of days. The main influence after thousands of years is still Mystery Babylon, the mythology of a super man who will rule the world. Another Gilgamesh. Another Apollo. Another Nimrod.
It will come to pass. Hitler was NOTHING compared to what is about to come onto the scene. Is this a hundred years away? Is he about to be born? Or is he already alive?
“What rough beast, his hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born.”
But God will destroy him!!!!
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.”
2 Thessalonians 2:8
❤ YESS ❤
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/67470412″>In Memory of W. B. Yeats read by W. H. Auden</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user4434137″>Don Yorty</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
This Week At Home
Finish your scrapbooks and be ready for your final on Friday 🙂
Read this timeline of the major genocides of the twentieth century.
Then consider the greatest mass murder of people of our time, that is still going on in our own cities every day.