William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet and an important 20th-century figure in literature. The Second Coming is the Christian idea that Jesus will someday return to earth. The following poem imagines the Second Coming as apocalyptic in order to describe the atmosphere of Europe after World War I. As you read, make note of the details that support the changes the speaker notices in the world. This poem is for grade 11 readers. The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats is in the public domain.