Jun 19, 2012

Yeats' "The Second Coming," Mob Mentality and Community

Fernandina Beach, Florida, January 2012
How scary it must be to live in Greece or Egypt right now, to name just two trouble spots. When I hear the word "anarchy," I'll likely as not think of Yeats' "The Second Coming" with its daunting line, "Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." Here's the whole of what might be the Irishman's most famous poem:


Especially with the four-minute Russian video (link below, over two million views), I wonder how we creatures can come together so harmoniously at one minute and want to eat each other the next. Sometimes it's as simple as hunger, territory, and mating (I suppose the Russian students were working on full stomachs and maybe the promise of coupling just ahead).  But often it's the neighborhood bully, clinging to power (which is both an abstraction and a visceral drive) and ordinary humanity's reaction, sooner or later. I wonder if that's the most common pattern in human history.


Kensington Metropark, Michigan, Late February 2012

Fernandina Beach, Florida


Brenda's Arizona said...

I never thought of personifying anarchy. (Is that the right term? Not quite personified, but animalizing? humanizing?).

The first couple lines capture my attention. If a falcon cannot hear the falconer, does it panic? Is it like a trial dog not knowing what way to direct the sheep? Is it like a child lost at the state fair? Or is the falcon suddenly free and loose upon the world?

Good stuff, Banjomyn. And the photos - reflective of the topic - GREAT.

Hannah Stephenson said...

That video is totally joy-inspiring. These flash mobs show the beauty of crowds....sad indeed to think of the fear they can come from and provoke.

Anonymous said...

Yeats knew stuff, stuff that wouldn't change. And Fol de rol de rolly O.

Jean Spitzer said...

Love the top photo. Amazing.

Hey, finally a poem I'm familiar with.

Love the video. I was in St. Petersburg, Russia about 10 years ago, when the fleet was in. Joyful.

Birdman said...

Why can't we all be like these birds, enjoying themselves no end?

Ken Mac said...

I'd like to go back in time and visit that beach!

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