The rough beast slouches, or Pluto on the move II

Part I.

In honour of the ‘rough beast’ that is Pluto, I offer you W.B. Yeats’ powerful poem, ‘The Second Coming’ (1920).

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center 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?

Image: Xylophanes Pluto, or Pluto Sphinx moth.


One Response to The rough beast slouches, or Pluto on the move II

  1. NR says:

    I’ve always loved this one, and I sometimes quote this part, “the center cannot hold.”

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