Monday, November 8, 2010

Turning in the Gyre

Turning in the Gyre
by Gideon Burton
after William Buter Yeats' "The Second Coming" (below)

Of things that fall apart, that cannot hold

their center; loosened anarchies, the tides
of bloodied time, of innocence that slides
its fathoms dark till frozen, dirty, old.
The best withdraw, or worse, to worst are sold,
and surely some conclusion will divide
this scene from seeing. Something died
to rigor mortis' feigning peace I'm told,
rough beast, whose thudding trunk has stunned the hour,
has from its desert lair in roaring anger
upheaved its widening maw and turns its mass
to strip Jerusalems of latent power,
to mock the weak who shield themselves from danger,
and slouches, scorching sands to ashy glass.

Photo: flickr - gartmann

The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats

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 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?

No comments:

Post a Comment