Monday, December 28, 2009

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?

William Butler Yeats 1919.

I don’t know why this poem is on my mind today. It’s a powerful poem, reverberating in my mind. Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. This nightmarish apocalypse built out of rough iambic pentameter haunts me. Control is hopelessly lost. God, sleeping for two-thousand years, must now be at hand. Spiritus Mundi, the mind of the world, this Sphinx, rises to life. What fresh hell is this?


  1. That was a good poem.. deep.. yet worth thinking about.

  2. Ahoy from Cape Town,
    I love William Butler Yeats - thanks for sharing.

  3. Whoops, I only saw now that you haven't blog this year at all. That's a pity. I hope you you'll get back on the horse.
    Juz, Copywriter in SA.

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