Distribution Automatique

Friday, February 18

re: The Centre Will Not Hold

In addition to a thoughtful response from
a reader, Jordan Stempleton posted the
following response to our Yeats discussion
on his fine blog, Growing Nation {click here}

Thursday, February 17

The Centre Will Not Hold

These lines from Yeats preoccupy me lately
(lots of other people are thinking about them also, I’m quite sure)

"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..."

Who knows why, but even when this poem, or
what it is telling me, creates quite a
degree of dark anxiety, it helps to see, in such
a poem, words that encompass a great degree
of how it feels to exist right now in a confused
and confusing world...

Today I thought about the line: "the best
lack all conviction." The difficulty in experiencing
so much ambivalence (example: I like where I
live but I despise and fear many
of this nation's governmental policies) is that
it becomes so necessary to seriously question,
repeatedly, all my basic convictions. This, in
turn, makes feeling whole hearted about anything
more and more difficult. This is the challenge
of this amazing poem, and even
more, the incredibly challenging
contemporary existential situation
it so succinctly describes