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Abstract

This article explores the connection between current ideas of ecological apocalypse and cultural form. The philosopher Timothy Morton argues that certain late modernist forms are more amenable to the imaginative representation of what he calls hyperobjects (especially, the hyperobject of global warming). However, through a consideration of Yeats’s formal choices when he faced his own apocalypse, we can broaden our ideas of viable cultural responses for our own moment. According to Barry Shiels, Yeats stands at the beginning of twentieth-century world literature idiom that draws on a expansive range of global cultural contexts: his “global poetry” enables to take on the theme of the globe’s end. Particularly, Yeats’s lifelong use of rhyme indicates that older traditions offer feasible artistic responses, beyond the protocols of late modernism.

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