English IV William Butler Yeats Journal • Recall a major transition in your own life, especially one that you dreaded or resisted. Write a few sentences describing this transition and the emotions which the transition triggered in you. William Butler Yeats 1865 - 1939 1. Born in Dublin, Ireland - son of a well known portrait painter. 2. Generally regarded as 20th century’s greatest poet in English language William Butler Yeats 1865 - 1939 1. Arrived on literary scene during revival of Art Nouveau 2. Emphasized mysterious & unfathomable especially in subconscious mind (just then being explored by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung) William Butler Yeats 1865 - 1939 1. While he was in his 20s, Ireland’s dominance was transferring from English Protestantism to Irish Roman Catholicism. 2. Had a profound effect on his poetry, and his subsequent explorations of Irish identity had a significant influence on the creation of his country's biography. William Butler Yeats 1865 - 1939 1. Yeats' early poetry drew heavily on Irish myth and folklore 2. Modernists read the well-known poem "The Second Coming" as a dirge for the decline of European civilization 3. His 1920 poem, "The Second Coming" contains some of literature's most potent images of the twentieth century. Background • In Christianity, the Second Coming refers to the belief that Jesus will one day return to earth and usher in an era of peace and justice. Background 1. Yeats’ “The Second Coming” alludes not only to the Christian conception of the universe but to Yeats’ own view of human history being a cycle (gyre). 2. Each cycle begins in a rational state, and then gradually dissolves into chaos & irrationality. Alludes (allusion) • Makes reference to something well known in literature, religion, politics, history, etc... Ex. - In “The Second Coming,” Yeats alludes to the prophecy of the return of Christ. dirge • A funeral song commemorating the dead • Ex. - Modernists read the well-known poem "The Second Coming" as a dirge for the decline of European civilization Assignment 1. 2. 3. 4. Partner Read “The Second Coming” P. 946 Answer P. 946 # 1 - 8 Writing - P. 947 - Write 1 paragraph response Write 2 things you learned, plus 1 that makes you wonder.