William Butler Yeats “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 Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the 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?

Comments 1

  1. plumrune wrote:

    Roseveine. I hear music whenever I read the story. And each time the music’s different. And it’s so very, very REAL. It’s not about imagining. I can distinguish each individual sound. I’m beginning to feel haunted. It’s been a week now. Nothing to do with Yeats. Just one of the weirdest things that happened throughout my reading life. And so, well, I’m sharing the weirdness.

    (…) The Ideal Domicile affords its occupant an exquisite state of submerged quietude and more: inside and out it reveals a known pattern which – because of the dramatic change in scale – is simultaneously reassuring and exciting! As in nature, each Domicile contains a secret and subtle variation known only to the inhabitant and dependent upon his own corporeal dimensions and aesthetic or spiritual sensitivities. Like a sacred text that has been copied out and again by a fallible scribe, each domicile is subtly idiosyncratic.
    After years of intensive reflection, one decided upon the Trochus: it is ubiquitous and extremely pleasing to the eye – bringing nothing so much to mind as the Babel towers of Ur. Its principal spine is often edged with a handsome series of protective spines, its walls so thick as to be nearly impenetrable, its inside sumptuously nacreous.
    Within the confines of the Ideal Domicile, one may contemplate – with growing disinterest – the cyclical seasons of human emotion. One’s thoughts circle with minor variations and, as reverie is reduced to a cumulative mirroring of spiraling space, worldly velocities still to a snail’s pace. The universe, silenced, diminishes progressively until it vanishes altogether. The occupant is reduced to an embryo, a mollusk: to reverie itself. A confusion slowly sets in between inner and outer environments, and, one glorious morning, one awakens spiritually fused to the shell. The shell, no longer exterior to the self, becomes the self. One’s identification with the integument is complete. The spiral spells the soul’s intimate architecture; time and space – those most cumbersome of cuticles – cease to impinge upon the dreamer.

    Posted 25 Jul 2008 at 11:48 pm

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