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Friday, November 07, 2008

In Progress...

I'm reading - slowly, because I've been so busy since returning home - The Wasted Vigil by Nadeem Aslam. Each time I pick up this book, I think of this poem by William Butler Yeats:

The Second Coming (Slouching towards Bethlehem)
W.B 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 Spritus 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,
nd what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

and the lines from his Easter, 1916 -- "a terrible beauty is born."

The book is beautiful and terrible and "the worst are full of passionate conviction."

On a lighter note, some pictures of my book chaos:


  1. Ah, those look pretty good compared to my bookcases. That first picture looks like you are gearing up for another Southern Reading Challenge! :)

  2. I love your book chaos. It's beautiful.

  3. I really like that Yeats poems. So ominous and dark.

    I think your book chaos is beautiful too!

  4. Maggie - This is just in the living room, which is supposed to be more presentable. :) I need to straighten up and/or move some of these books.

    bookfool - It is chaotic, but I never seem to find the energy to actually organize them in any way. Only a book lover would find it beautiful, but there are plenty of us, aren't there?

    Bybee - Ha! Bet your shelves are neater!

    Nymeth - The book, like the poem, seems ominous. I'm enjoying it, but it is a frightening look at Afghanistan's violence.