Violence upon the Roads
The second passage of named violence in ‘Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen’, and the only occurrences of the word itself, appear at the end of the poem — ‘Violence upon the roads: violence of horses’ — and announce a new and perhaps monstrous dispensation. The suggestion is that the two violences — the historical nightmare and the apocalyptic vision — are intimately connected. It is because we cannot deal with the first, cannot coherently live with the news it seems to bring, that we find ourselves, in an ugly, excitable mood of fake reluctance, half-awaiting the second. This is a key moment in so many of Yeats' poems: just before.
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