Currently, at 8:43 AM, I cannot think of anything in my life that I want to have memorized more than this poem.Â I feel as though it consumes myÂ bones these days.Â In fact, ever since I read Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (a couple of years ago in my post-colonialism class) it hasÂ been part ofÂ my writing and thinking.Â Last week, my new friend Leif told me he likes to write about anarchy/end-of-the-world type poetry (I think that’s what he said) and I thought about Yeats.Â Being that it’s Christmas time, I will share.
William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Â Â Â Turning and turning in the widening gyre
Â Â Â The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Â Â Â Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Â Â Â Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
Â Â Â The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
Â Â Â The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
Â Â Â The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Â Â Â Are full of passionate intensity.
Â Â Â Surely some revelation is at hand;
Â Â Â Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
Â Â Â The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
Â Â Â When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Â Â Â Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
Â Â Â A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
Â Â Â A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Â Â Â Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Â Â Â Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
Â Â Â The darkness drops again but now I know
Â Â Â That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Â Â Â Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
Â Â Â And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Â Â Â Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?