Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On Yeats

I keep forgetting how good this is, then stumbling over it ass-first.

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?

Instead of discussing this sucker, I'll just lick it. Licking literature is what we should have done in English class. That and make lists. Other things I repeatedly forget the unholy goodness of:

step aerobics
egg nog
showering after getting really, really dirty
Alice Munro
the recession of pain

Sometimes things are so unbearably great they need to be surrounded by inanity for your own protection. Kind of like using packing peanuts to ship your family heirlooms. Did I mention I like tomatoes? Packing peanuts are pretty cool, too.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

One of my favorite poems. I'm so glad you approve. :)