A Poetry Class for the End of the World

 Milo and the Professor are back with a special episode of Friday Night’s All Right, available on Censored.tv!


With protestors storming the Capitol Building and tempers running high, what better poem to capture the Spiritus Mundi than “The Second Coming” by 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?

Milo and I talk about the meaning of the poem, its imagery and symbolism, and how well it applies to our current moment. We explore the context in which Yeats was writing in 1920, the importance of falconry, the Riddle of the Sphinx, and how much it hurts to look at the sun. What do falcons have to do with the soul? Why can’t the center hold without the falconer? And what is about to be revealed? We also talk about how memes make studying poetry easier, and how poetry is necessary to culture. And, of course, why Western civilization should properly be called “Christendom.”


Watch on Censored.tv!

Don’t miss the poetry my friends and I have been writing in the Dragon Common Room! We finished our “Dunciad” in November. Watch this space for news on where to read it!

For a complete list of my video, radio, and podcast appearances, see Bear On Air. 

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. This is a Censored.TV special! But you can watch without having to subscribe.

      Delete
  2. In reviewing your long list of books and seeing Jim Webb's "Born Fighting", I wondered if you had come across this in your "spare time":
    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/revenge-of-the-yankees

    Robert

    ReplyDelete
  3. https://censored.tv/watch/shows/friday-nights-all-right/episode/poetry-for-the-end-of-the-world

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for watching! The link was in the post, too. Was it too hard to find?

      Delete
    2. The links in the post just go to the Censored.TV homepage; you then have to search for you or Milo by name to bring up the video. No problem and not hard, just pointing it out!

      Great show by the way! Yeats' Second Coming has always been one of my favorites.

      Delete
    3. Thank you Fencing Bear for your work, It's an honor to listen, to watch and to read you.

      Sorry for posting that raw comment with the direct link, thank you DLW for your excellent explanatory reply, although in my case I had some hard time to find the awesome talk with Milo. At censored.tv they have a lot of entries and kept scrolling and scrolling to find the podcast. I did not thought of using the embedded searcher, now I know better.

      Delete

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