Meru Poem by W.B. Yeats summary line by line

Meru Poem by W.B. Yeats summary line by line

Meru Poem by W.B. Yeats summary line by line-Meru bears significant cultural and religious significance, particularly associated with Mount Meru, a revered peak in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist traditions. This mountain represents the epicenter of the cosmos, both physically and spiritually. Conversations regarding Meru offer an intriguing journey through diverse cultural beliefs, mythical narratives, and profound philosophical concepts.

Meru Poem by W.B. Yeats summary line by line
Meru Poem by W.B. Yeats summary line by line-Mount Meru transcends its geographical reality to symbolize cosmic harmony, enlightenment, and the quest for spiritual awakening. Exploring Meru entails delving into its multifaceted cultural significance and the profound insights it provides into human spirituality and existential inquiries.

Meru Poem summary

"Civilisation is hooped together, brought" - The speaker begins by asserting that civilization is unified and held together by some form of structure or framework.

"Under a rule, under the semblance of peace" - This unity is maintained through governance and the appearance of harmony or peace.

"By manifold illusion; but man's life is thought," - Despite the appearance of unity and peace, human life is characterized by thought and consciousness.

"And he, despite his terror, cannot cease" - Despite the fear and uncertainty that humans experience, they cannot stop or cease their actions.


"Ravening through century after century," - Humans are depicted as voraciously consuming or destroying as they progress through the ages.

"Ravening, raging, and uprooting that he may come" - This destructive behavior is driven by a relentless desire to advance or reach a destination.

"Into the desolation of reality:" - Ultimately, humans seek to penetrate the harsh truths or realities of existence.

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"Egypt and Greece, good-bye, and good-bye, Rome!" - The speaker bids farewell to ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, which have fallen into decline or oblivion.

"Hermits upon Mount Meru or Everest," - The focus shifts to hermits or ascetics dwelling in remote and harsh environments, such as Mount Meru or Everest.

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"Caverned in night under the drifted snow," - These hermits are depicted as dwelling in caves or shelters beneath the snow, isolated from the world.

"Or where that snow and winter's dreadful blast" - The harshness of the environment, with snow and fierce winter winds, is emphasized.


"Beat down upon their naked bodies, know" - Despite their exposure to the elements, these hermits possess a certain understanding or knowledge.

"That day bring round the night, that before dawn" - They recognize the cyclical nature of time, where day is followed by night and darkness precedes dawn.

"His glory and his monuments are gone." - Regardless of human achievements or monuments, they eventually fade away or disappear.

Meru Poem Themes

Illusions of Civilization: The poem contemplates how civilization is constructed and maintained through illusions and structures that project an appearance of peace and order. However, beneath this veneer lies the reality of human thought and action, suggesting a deeper complexity.

Human Nature and Destructive Tendencies: It delves into the inherent tendencies of humanity to engage in destructive behaviors, such as ravaging and uprooting, driven by primal desires and fears. This theme underscores the paradoxical nature of human existence, where progress often accompanies destruction.

Transience and Decline: Through allusions to ancient civilizations like Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the poem reflects on the transient nature of human achievements and the inevitable cycle of rise and fall. It highlights the fleeting glory of civilizations and the eventual decay of their monuments over time.

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Endurance and Resilience: The portrayal of hermits enduring harsh conditions in remote landscapes suggests themes of human resilience and endurance in the face of adversity. This theme underscores the capacity of individuals to persevere despite challenging circumstances.

Cyclical Nature of Time: The recognition of the cyclical nature of time, with references to day turning into night and the disappearance of glory before dawn, reflects a broader contemplation of cosmic order. This theme invites reflection on the ephemeral nature of human existence within the larger context of time and eternity.


In conclusion, exploring the concept of Meru provides a captivating journey through various cultural, religious, and philosophical realms. Whether viewed as a sacred mountain in Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism or as a symbol of cosmic order and spiritual enlightenment, Meru offers profound insights into human spirituality and the quest for existential meaning.


1. What is Mount Meru?

Mount Meru is a sacred mountain in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist cosmology, believed to be the center of the universe and the abode of gods and divine beings.

2. What significance does Meru hold in different cultures?

Meru is revered differently across cultures. In Hinduism, it is considered the axis mundi, while in Buddhism and Jainism, it symbolizes enlightenment and spiritual ascent.

3. Is Mount Meru a real mountain?

While Mount Meru is a prominent feature in religious texts and mythology, its existence as a physical mountain is debated. Some scholars suggest it may have been inspired by real mountains in the Himalayas or elsewhere.

4. What lessons can be learned from the concept of Meru?

The concept of Meru teaches us about the interconnectedness of the cosmos, the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, and the importance of understanding cultural and religious diversity.



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