Slouches Towards Bethlehem

The Second Coming
by W. B. 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: 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?


Has there ever been a juncture in modern times where this poem proved to be more pertinent and aligned with current events and discourse?
Maybe Mr. Yeats would argue the contrary, and I would submit to his thoughts for sure, but I think the current state of world, political, social, and economic affairs can only stand to strengthen the case for this poem being apropos.

Bush, Ahmadinejad, Abbas, Jong-il, and Bin Laden (as well as a myriad others) all play their own special and deviant parts in the spiraling of our society to the hands of anarchy, exclusionary and isolationist politics, capitalistic global domination, and militarisitc fear mongering.
Mr. Yeats, you are prescient sir.

AM Son


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