What is "gyre" in "The Second Coming"?

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accessteacher's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

I have moved this question to this group, as the reference to the word "gyre" obviously refers to this famous poem by W. B. Yeats and its first line. The poem concerns the poet's prediction of the grim future that awaits humanity, and the first startling image that is used to introduce this theme uses the word "gyre" to indicate the way that culture is disintegrating. Consider the following lines:

Turnign and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

We are presented therefore with the somewhat mysterious image of a falcon going round and round in an ever widening "gyre," or a radiating spiral, moving further and further away beyond the reach of its falconer. Of course, the further that the falcon moves away from its falconer, the harder it is for the falconer to regain control over the bird and the falcon cannot be diverted or controlled in its direction. The word "gyre" therefore refers to the spiral motion of the falcon as it flies.


salimj's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

Gyre is a circular or spiral motion or form, especially a giant circular oceanic current. We see the use of the word gyre in W.B.Yeats' poem ' Second Coming. Here gyre is a diagram composed of two conic helixes overlapping each other, so that the widest part of one cone occupies the same plane as the tip of the other cone and vice versa.

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