Restoring the Sacred

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Words of Relevance: W. B. Yeats "The Second Coming"

William Butler Yeats,  probably the most renown of Irish poets (he even served two terms as an Irish Senator), is remembered for many of his writings other than the one deemed, at least in this corner, his most prescient.  Written in 1919, The Second Coming
presages our current state of affairs with elected officials.  Surely his two terms in political office had some influence on his writing.  Here's the first stanza of the poem without the last couplet, which will be the quote of the day:
    "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;
Here's the last two lines, and today's quote:
    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
            Are full of passionate intensity."