Wednesday, May 12, 2004

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.
~~From Yeats's The Second Coming

This passage has played through my mind for the past week, ever since the prison abuse scandal started. The Nick Berg tape makes this passage even more appropriate. I first read this poem in school a few months after 9/11. As soon as I read it I knew what Yeats was talking about. Yeats was referring to the Irish Rebellion, World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution, but this poem found new meaning in the War on Terror, esp. the line "the worst are full of passionate intensity" (6-7). As time goes by this poem becomes even more pertinent to today's issues. At times it does feel as if the end is near. "What rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? "

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