August 22, 2011
Turning and turning in the widening
- This poem expresses Yeats’ idea that civilization is cyclical, and that each age, or “gyre” of history, is followed by another turn or spiral.
- Ritual, in Yeats’ view, is the foundation of civilization.
- Yeats had the Russian Revolution in mind in lines 4–8, yet they resonate today, as well.
- The spirit of the universe. Yeats believed that all souls were connected through this great memory. It is also the source of inspiration for the poet.
- This is the cradle of the newborn Jesus Christ.