The following was on the Wikipedia article "gyre", but seems more appropriate for Wiktionary (since the encyclopedia article is about ocean currents). I'm not sure how to format/rewrite the info, so I'm just putting it here for now. -- Beland 00:04, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Lewis Carroll uses the verb gyre in the opening stanza of the poem "Jabberwocky" that appears in the first chapter of Through the Looking Glass; in chapter 6 Humpty Dumpty defines gyre as "to go round and round like a gyroscope" (which is a valid definition, not a nonsensical one).
The word was also used by William Butler Yeats for an occult historical concept presented in his book A Vision (a book whose ideas Yeats claimed to receive from spirits of the dead). The theory of history articulated in A Vision centers on a diagram composed of two conical spirals, one situated inside the other, so that the widest part of one cone occupies the same plane as the tip of the other cone, and vice versa. Around these cones he imagined a set of spirals. Yeats claimed that this image (he called the spirals "gyres") captured contrary motions inherent within the process of history, and he divided each gyre into different regions that represented particular kinds of historical periods (and could also represent the phases of an individual's psychological development). Yeats uses the word in many of his poems, including "The Second Coming".
A breakdown of the pronunciation would be nice. Is it a hard or soft "G" ? Exit2DOS2000 01:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)