Yeats Poem

December 15, 2009
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Yeats Poem



In 1921 an unknown poet named William Butler Yeats, was discovered when he wrote the poem, “The Second Coming”. In the novel, Things Fall Apart there is a very short excerpt from this poem. Achebe used these four lines to write, Things Fall Apart 30 years later. He studied this poem and designed a story out of it, which is now a great read. My understanding and translating of this poem is as follows.

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre”

My understanding is to lose control and never escape.

“The falcon cannot hear the falconer”

This line to me means there is no warning of the hunter.

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold”

When everything falls, no one can stop it.

“Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”

Everyone is free and cannot be told what to do.


Many people have very many different views but that is my translation of, “The Second Coming” As I interoperated, I kept thinking about how this relates to the whole Achebe spiel. “Turning and turning in the widening gyre”, I think this began Achebe’s idea of Okonkwo. Okonkwo lost control of himself, went haywire, and never quite escaped from exile. “The falcon cannot hear the falconer,” states that the clan and other villages of Igbo could not see Catholics coming to terrorize Mbaino villages. “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold” This line is the title of the novel, it states when things fall apart, no one can stop it. Just like in the book, nobody could stop the Christian anarchy that was bestowed. The clan could not bring peace and strength back to the land, which forced Okonkwo to hang himself. “Mere anarchy is based upon the world” connects in two different ways. Way one is the Umofian clans’ did not have a set government and ruled themselves. Way two is how it became a mere Christian anarchy or almost a monarchy.

As I said before many other people have very different views of this poem and how it connects. I stand by my own idea as my original thinking. All views are correct and I stand by them all. Achebe wrote a beautiful story off of a beautiful Yeats poem. They both had bright and new ideas and all views stand as one big idea.





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