Tag Archives: Yeats

Slouching Down River

During an unusual lull in the normal hum of activity, I heard whispering coming from the basement.

In the basement I realized the whispering was coming from the catacombs.

In the catacombs I realized the whispering was coming from the subterranean canal.

And this is what I heard, William Butler Yeats’ masterpiece, 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: 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?

What might I hear next in this burbling subterranean recitation center? Bubo is hoping for some e.e. cummings, but I think T.S. Eliot is next. Perhaps something from The Wasteland?

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