land of rest

Land of Rest is a blog of Peter Jenks. Poems, quotes and photos are by Peter Jenks (unless otherwise noted or I miss noting an older post's photo) and are copyrighted, you are free to use these if you acknowledge their source.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Violence and our American Culture

In the wake of the Newtown shooting there have been biblical connections to the passages of Jesus, when he spoke to his disciples who were trying to keep the children from bothering him, Suffer not the children from coming to me. More recently there have been connections to the massacre of the innocents, whose feast day is right after Christmas, remembering when Herod had the children slaughtered in an attempt to rid him from the new messiah/king. The trouble with this connection is that it is the established government fearful of a new ruler that perpetrated the violence. The violence in Newtown was from a lone child himself attacking the most vulnerable. There is a connection that can be seen, but there is more. Personally, I am drawn to William Butler Yeats poem, the Second Coming, and how this monster is being born upon us and our world that we have unleashed by the The best lacking in all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. The Second Coming by William Butler 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 i{Spiritus Mundi} Troubles my sight: somewhere in 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?

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