Sunday, September 20, 2015

A very good poem--The Second Coming--by 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: 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?


Why is it that I think that this poem by William Butler Yeats becomes more relevant for our world for each year that passes? Is it because I am getting older that I am beginning to really see the anarchy in the world and the blatant disregard for the life around us--be it human, animal, bird, fish or insect? We are polluting our planet with pesticides that are killing the bees and butterflies. Without the bees to pollinate crops, there will be fewer types of the fruits and vegetables that we at present take for granted. It will affect food production on a global scale. This is one problem. Another problem is that these pesticides are finding their way into our drinking water, and they will cause more damage to all life that way in the form of increased cancer risk and other health problems. We don't need these chemicals inside us, nor do animals, fish, birds and insects. The things we do in this life and the way we behave toward the life around us affect the lives around us. We are not the inhabitants of an island; everything we do and say has an effect on the life around us. We need to wake up and really 'see' that fact. If we see it, then it becomes a no-brainer that we need to take care of the life on this planet, for ourselves and future generations. I am glad to see that there are movements in society that are focusing on locally-grown organic farm products. I am also glad to see that many people want to know where their meat and produce come from and how they were treated before they were made available to consumers. Every bit of knowledge helps us to grow and to evolve into a society that is not preoccupied with making huge profits at the expense of our planet's future. Because we need to ask ourselves, as Yeats did--what is the beast that is moving slowly toward Bethlehem to be born? And what will happen to mankind when it is born?

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