Poems of W.B. Yeats: The Rose

The Second Coming

What did Yeats describe in The Second Coming? What was the purpose of the poem?

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Yeats describes a falcon flying too far away from its master. The poem shifts into anarchy in the world where innocence is drowned. Around line nine there is another shift to the apocalypse. Rather the second coming of Christ, a sphinx is seen in the desert heralding not the saving grace of Christ but a vision of "darkness". Much of this poem has to do with the horrors of WW1. THe war to end all wars is in fact the apocalypse and the second coming is humanity's just reward. The second coming is not Christ, but darkness that man has plunged himself into.