Sunday, June 29, 2008

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold

This poem by William Butler Yeats is relevant to our times. The poem was written in 1919 in the aftermath of the First World War. Chinua Achebe titled his most famous novel Things Fall Apart (1958), prefacing the book with the poem's first four lines. Achebe's novel adheres to Yeats' theme by evincing the sudden collapse of African societies in the age of European colonialism.

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?


Anonymous said...

Your article is very appropriate. The heat on the BN is getting unbearable. (Fuel hike, SD, MIC, MCA, etc)

The latest allegation on DSAI is well 'crafted' plan to divert the attention on their weakness.

Like your quote, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action." Very appropriate indeed !

de minimis said...

Bond, James Bond!!!!! But on a more serious note, let's see how the police investigate the sodomy allegation. The more dramatic issue is the assasination threat. It really makes M'sia look like another Third World Banana Republic.

No matter what the politcal leaders say about wanting to develop & modernise M'sia...the first thing the political leaders have to do is to develop their own minds and values.

The recent developments involving DSAI really puts M'sia in the same category as Zimbabwe, only that we are "one notch" above. That's like a maggot arguing with an amoeba as to who is higher up the chain of evolution!!!!