Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Spiritus Mundi

This evening's awe inspiring sunset stretched across the entire horizon reminding me of the Spiritus Mundi, the soul of the world at the end of time. There I sat on my patio watching this awesome painting spread before me and while the tentacles of burnt orange reached towards me as the poem The Second Coming by Yeats trickled off my lips...

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 the 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?

Yeats wrote this poem just after the horrors of the First World War and was looking towards the future which did not look all that pleasing. He repeated two lines as if he wasn't quite sure and was trying to make sense of it all.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

I too am slowly trying to figure things out. As you must know by now I enjoy Yeats, I have even posted my favourite of his poems, The Stolen Child which cries out from my youth, this poem The Second Coming is what's ahead. And as this year draws to an end, as this beautiful sunset gives a last hurrah in this trouble world, I have a sense that not all is lost. With darkness all around, filled with cries of desperation ever closing in, I stand in the light knowing that I must reach out into the darkness and grab a hand and pull them too into the light.


Anonymous said...

That was a truly spectacular sunset. I only caught a glimpse of it - I'm jealous of your view!

Jerome West said...

Heather, you must come visit sometime, you always welcome.

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