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The Second Coming:-A Prophecy Fulfilled

The Second Coming:-A Prophecy Fulfilled | Summary of The Second Coming Poem by William Butler Yeats


“The Second Coming” is a poem written in 1919 by William Butler Yeats, and first printed in The Dial in November 1920. The poem was written after World War 1 (1914 –1918). His poem metaphorically uses Christian images of the Second and Arrival to describe the environment of post-war Europe. This Poem that professes an upcoming calamity that will devastate the order of human civilization. 

The Second Coming: A Prophecy Fulfilled

The poem was influenced by the First World War. Also, the poem is associated with the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. In the weeks leading up to W. B. Yeats’s poem, his pregnant wife, Georgi Hyde-Lis, infected by the virus and came very close to death. The high mortality rate of the epidemic was among pregnant women in some areas up to 70% (70 percent). When his wife recovered, he wrote “The Second Coming”.

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
(The Second Coming, Lines 3-4)

People are like the falcon because they cannot hear Leaders (falconer) who seek the welfare of their humans. The people are flowing the anarchy.

I think that the COVID-19 can be considered as a “rough beast” this time. Because of the post-war and the flu pandemic give him a clue about the future that we are living now. He saw the harshest thing that we are watching now.

 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

(The Second Coming, Lines 14-18)

We watched the pandemic (COVID19) But he saw World War 1 (1914-1918), Black and Tans (1919), the Russian Revolution (1917 –1923), and the Flu pandemic (Spanish flu, January 1918 – December 1920). (You are reading:- The Second Coming A Prophecy Fulfilled)

After watching those things, he knew the future and what’s going to happen so he wrote this poem, like an infinity loop, and because of that it’s never going to stop, but the darkness will come and also the Light. The lights will give us the hope that we need. It will beat the darkness. When the darkness comes into our life becomes imbalanced and hopeless. The COVID19 is like a Sphinx the rough beast from the darkness. When it moves it is like a harsh sun on a desert (ruthless). The Sphinx (COVID19) moving slowly like it is growing slowly. It brings the shadows of desert birds, and this is an indication Corpses are about to pile up.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

(The Second Coming, Lines 21-22)

The Second Coming A Prophecy Fulfilled


COVID19 is the rough beast that is closing the world when it moves like a Sphinx. But the last line of the poem is a question that it is going to the Bethlehem (world) and it is not sure. This gives a light of hope cause where there is despair, there is also hope.

Author: R.S. Ador
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