Adams Statue, Washington, D.C., by Augustus Saint Gaudens
Popularly known as “Grief”
Great Consolation for Eleanor Roosevelt in Major Family Tragedies of Her Life
But IS there any consolation for me, for us, for environmentalists, for the Planet?
I have so many beautiful new nature experiences to share.
Marvelous examples of fellowship, usually wrapped in nature.
Luminous times – whether with the short-eared owls of the Pole Farm just now, or savoring Epiphany’s King’s Cake with Janet Black and Jeanette Hooban, when Janet was out here from Manhattan for her Epiphany birthday celebration.
But I cannot rhapsodize. Not even Nature herself blinds me to the horrors of tomorrow, January 20, 2017. Doomsday to me; and, I fear, to the Planet itself, to Mother Nature herself.
My new pictures will remain in their files
Recent epiphanies will not be shared.
Instead, I offer the only poem that comes to mind — written in 1919, on the hem of the First World War — which I always thought was looking back into time — which turns out to have been prophecy.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
THE SECOND COMING
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 Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
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
Wind 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?