Lapis Lazuli by Yeats   Like the falcon in Yeats’s “The Second Coming,” his “Lapis Lazuli” turns and turns in a widening gyre, taking in a widening sweep of history.  Each verse paragraph marks a major turn, as the poem spirals outward.  The first paragraph, which Helen Vender aptly terms an example of the grotesque, articulates a vision of hysteria rejecting the work of art for the urgencies of politics and war.  Although this view might have a certain pragmatic appeal, were it to prevail, the life of human imagination would—like the town projected by the panicked imagination—“lie beaten flat.” The first turn prompts the voice of the poet to respond to this panic by taking up the old trope of the world as…