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The Second Coming

The Second Coming

by William Butler Yeats

Versions of Reality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed" (lines 3-5)

These lines are like the "nightmare" alluded to later in the poem. If you’ve seen the classic horror movie The Shining, with Jack Nicholson, remember the scene where an elevator opens and blood comes pouring out. That’s similar to the dream-like vision we get here.

Quote #2

"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" (lines 9-13)

As soon as the prophetic speaker utters the word "Second Coming," it’s like he has summoned phantoms with some magic spell. His "sight" is clouded by a huge image, so that he can’t see everyday reality anymore. He has either hallucinating or having an supernatural experience.

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