Yeats in the morning

“What’s your favourite poem today?” That’s my husband at the kitchen table and it’s eight o’clock and I’m rushing to get to an early meeting at The Vampire’s Wife offices and I haven’t got time for his bullshit.

“I’m late!” That’s me, my arms full of swatches of cloth and dresses and patterns and stuff. “Really late!”

“Well, I’m sitting here and reading the news and the world is completely fucked. I just thought I’d let you know. William Butler Yeats’ lines from The Second Coming come to mind. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

“Well, that’s very interesting. Why don’t you write a Stuff Post about it? I’ve got to go.”

“Well, maybe I might. You look good in that dress, by the way. Completely edible.”

“I’m late!”

“Camille Paglia says “Yeats’s The Second Coming has gained in prophetic power with each decade of the twentieth and now twenty-first century, from the rise of fascism and nuclear warfare to the proliferation of international terrorism. It expresses the melancholy realization that man, yearningly drawn to the divine, will never fully escape his bestial ancestry.” Just thought I’d let you know, in case you were thinking you might have a happy day.”

“Write a fucking Stuff Post!! Goodbye!!

“Well, maybe I will.”

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Here is today’s greatest poem.

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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?

By William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats as a boy.


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