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Gyre By Barber, Claire

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM1202-1
Published: 01/10/2016
Retrieved: 22 June 2024, from


The term “gyre” describes the spiral motion of matter that widens and narrows as it moves around an axis. Also represented as a vortex, a gyre constantly expands or contracts based on its interaction with other matter. Before the modernist period, gyres appear in philosophical and literary texts by Dante Alighieri, Emanuel Swedenborg, and William Blake, among others. This figure emerges most prominently in modernism among the works of W. B. Yeats – particularly, “The Second Coming” (1920), “The Gyres” (1938), and A Vision (1925).

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Barber, Claire. Gyre. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

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