Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
In the very beginning, he explains a moment of great change. A falconer is a person with a glove that guides and teaches the falcon (a bird of prey), but now the falcon is not being guided; hes alone.
People can't hear us anymoroe. The falconer signified stability. However, now there is non.
'mere' anarchy is apparently the lesser of their fears
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
The tide signifies violence.
There was a sense of innocence and now it is gone
The best, which are those who can think well, are lost and don't know what to believe in or how to believe; they distrust the passionate
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: a waste of desert sand;
This is a shift because he sounds optimistic, with the 'surely'
He states that in these critical moments, people will believe any new idea
He even finds it meaningful for a minute, until he says 'hardly' which brings him back to reality
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 Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
This is an image of a sphinx
Yeats says that religion goes long before Christianity
He gives us a riddle with the answer being man
he also reaises a question about religious certainty
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
"I know"= now he is certain
Twenty centuries= 2000 years from the birth of Jesus (period of stony sleep)
Christianity was a nightmare and cause of violence, while also numbing people to violence
What is next, he asks. What beast will provide stability