The Second Coming
Yeats's The Second Coming is frequently quoted in times of uncertainty, and the recent UK election has been no exception. I heard it mentioned in a conversation between P J O'Rourke and Paddy Ashdown on the BBC World Service on the eve the election. Their conversation was prophetic. The centre did not hold and in the last few days, new and returning ministers interviewed on BBC Radio 4 have exhibited plenty of "passionate intensity". I sincerely hope "The best" emerge in the next weeks and months. For those unfamiliar with the poem, here's the first verse: "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."