Monday, March 6, 2017


As the Author has noted, people turn to poetry in times of crisis. In an earlier post, the Author referred to W. H. Auden's poem "September 1, 1939" in the wake of 9-11.  And the Author pointed out the prescient poem "Dover Beach," by the 19th century British poet Matthew Arnold, in an earlier post.

In the last few months W.B. Yeat's poem "The Second Coming" has been quoted more than it has ever been in recent times. In the wake of Brexit and and the US election, indeed the Centre may not Hold. And when the Author sees the green-haired strut up the gangway, he sees the Rough Beast.  The old order is collapsing and the worst, unshaven, unkempt, uncoiffed,  sidle in under cover of disarray

It's f***in' bad,  folks. We find solace, hope, and eventual renewal in the Desert of the Real.

The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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