"The Second Coming" describes William Butler Yeats' views about the universe and the future, and the vision is chaotic and unpleasant, a dark twisting of the conventional beliefs about the afterlife as expressed in the New Testament. The imagery and the structure mirror the dark meanings at work in the poem.Continue Reading
The images in the poem are frightening omens of things to come in the future. The falcon is turning in an ever-widening spiral, beyond the point where it can hear the falconer controlling it. This loss of control is a reflection of events in the world, where "the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned." The people in the world with ethics have lost their sense of purpose, but the people with the darkest intentions retain their "passionate intensity."
These images make the speaker move on to a vision of the "Second Coming," but this is not a Messiah but instead the collective spirit of humanity: a sphinx in the midst of the desert that has a "gaze as blank and pitiless as the sun." The poem's violent, stunning imagery suggests that the Second Coming is not to be as glorious as the Church would suggest.Learn more about Poetry
William Stafford's poem "Fifteen" has strong themes of youth, morality and coming of age. The short poem tells the story of a fifteen-year-old who comes across a seemingly abandoned motorcycle and makes a choice about what to do with it.Full Answer >
The best way to analyze William Cullen Bryant's poem "To a Waterfowl" is by looking at each stanza individually – and then as a whole. The poem is an affirmation of the poet's belief in God and an afterlife in Heaven. The poem catalogs the flight of a bird across the sky as it is guided by the unseen hand of God.Full Answer >
"A Poison Tree" by William Blake is a poem that describes what can happen when anger is allowed to grow and fester within a person. The narrator begins the poem by saying that when he was angry with a friend and told him about it, the anger left.Full Answer >
The meaning of "Design" by Robert Frost is that all things that men relate to within the universe have a certain type of evil within their innocence. The poem focuses around the way that all of humanity is necessarily cruel.Full Answer >