“The Second Coming” is arguably an apocalyptic poem, but people tend to get confused about apocalypses not always having to be bad; they could simply be times of great change (one world ending and another beginning and so on and so forth). It could be interesting to consider apocalypses as a genre and whether you think this is an apocalyptic poem and if so, how and why or not?
“The Second Coming” was definitely an apocalyptic themed poem in my opinion. William Butler Yeats employed lines like “things fall apart; the centre cannot hold”, “The ceremony of innocence is drowned”, and “Surely the Second Coming is at hand”. Yeats contributed a sense of “the world is coming to an end” vibe and leaves his audiences to question what we would do during a time of crisis. He constructed his poem through a pessimistic approach of how our society would look like if “The Second Coming” were to actually occur. I wouldn’t say I completely agree with Yeats, but I wouldn’t say I completely disagree with Yeats’ approach of the apocalyptic. Yeats made great points of how our society would drown under an apocalyptic. This can be connected back to the spread of diseases like the Swine Flu and Ebola. The public was in a panic when treatments were not invented and people who were infected were roaming around the streets. Yeats also mentions “Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born”, which translates to people’s desire/pray hoping for someone/something to save them all. He wasn’t completely off about that line, but I feel like the public would actually make the effort to do what’s best to prevent any natural disaster, massive incidents, and even shootings. I just don’t think people are that desperate to the point where they think that magic would suddenly happen overnight.