Monday, February 29, 2016

W.B. Yeats Had It Right


As I have watched the primary elections unfold, and considering the fragile state of our republic, I am reminded of W.B. Yeats' poem, written nearly 100 years ago. In the poem "The Second Coming," Yeats expressed a longing for the return of Christ. In the context of the horrors of the First World War, the sentiments are understandable. Yet, the poem also expresses the decay of the moral fiber of humanity, as expressed in the devastating losses of the war.

I believe the ideas are as relevant today as they were then. Instead of the ravages of war, however, we suffer the ravages a sick society, bent on self destruction.

Here's an excerpt:

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....

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?