So I thought it'd be fun to host some poetry discussions. Pick a piece of poetry and share it - then perhaps have a discussion about the piece in the comments. Here is a poem that has haunted me for quite some time. I had to memorize it in high school and so it always echoes in the back of my mind.
William Butler Yeats'
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: a waste of desert sand;
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
Wind 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?
The language and imagery of this piece still manage to shake me inside. "The ceremony of innocence is drowned" is a powerful inversion of Baptism. Are we now unclean? Can we not be saved? "Mere anarchy" - what does it mean that anarchy has now become so commonplace as to be "mere"? And are we doomed as "the best lack conviction" to rise up "while the worst are full of passionate intensity"? This reminds me of AtS Conviction when the commando dude told Angel that evil would win because they had conviction while good was full of doubts (I knew I could make this Buffyverse related somehow!).
Anyone else have thoughts on "The Second Coming"? Or perhaps you'd like to share a poem that's significant to you?