On Reading Yeats's The Second Coming
by Sara K. Penrod
Thursday, August 22, 2002
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On Reading Yeats’s “The Second Coming”
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…”
In a centrifuge, the center
holds everything in place.
Did you know, William, they say
the universe spins on the axis
of a massive black hole?
You would argue
that we will one day
be pulled in. And then what?
Einstein say we would evolve
into pure energy, light, starstuff.
(Those are not quite his words,
but I daresay he wouldn’t mind.)
And what, then, of anarchy?
You speak of it as though
it were just now descending
upon our lives. The world
has always been anarchy
in practice if not in legality.