Tuesday, July 12, 2016


In discussing the latest tragedy in Dallas with my husband and brother, I dragged down my well-worn copy of William Butler Yeats poem The Second Coming and read aloud my favorite lines:

"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."

My brother is always able to out-wit and one-up me.  He commented, "So, are YOU slouching towards Bethlehem?", proving that he knew the poem as well as I.

My brother asked, "How many people have appropriated Yeats for their titles? Remember No Country For Old Men?"  I said, "That's from Sailing To Byzantium."  As I searched for that poem, I saw at the top of the page that it was from Yeats' collection THE TOWER!

When I pointed out that tidbit, my brother yelped, "Oh, PUH-LEEZE, don't say that's IRONIC because we were talking about Whitman and the tower!"

Listen to the virtual movie version of Yeats reading The Second Coming:  

Please read the link from Paris Review about the usage of Yeats' lines by other writers;  it is titled The Second Coming:  Our Most Thoroughly Pillaged Poem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maud Gonne! ML