Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things Fall Apart

I enjoy discussions about poetry, and I also enjoy philosophical and political discussions from time to time, but I love the way the late Charles Shultz could capture things in four frames of a cartoon. This is a newspaper clipping which I found recently that I had cut out years ago.

And here is the poem by W.B. Yeats, written in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I. Some say it describes post war Europe, some say it speaks to Yeats' belief in the emergence of a new cycle of history.

By William Butler Yeats

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: a waste of desert sand;
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
Wind 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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