The Second Coming

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2 Responses to The Second Coming

  1. Jonathan says:

    Fr Kimel, I’ve been enjoying reading your meditations on Four Quartets. (Just discovered this wonderful blog recently and have been reading around a lot.) For a long time the Quartets have been among my favorite poems in English. Sadly, if not surprisingly, the literary world has washed its hands of T.S. Eliot. But Yeats retains a large and admiring following, from the most erudite to the least, and this gives me much hope.

    I would love to know what is an Eclectic Orthodox take on Yeats’ “Sailing to Byzantium” and “Byzantium.” Not that I mean to equate the history and culture of the eastern Roman Empire with that of Orthodox Christianity, but in those poems it seems to me that Yeats’ philosophical-theological cards are on the table in a moving and intriguing way (that pairs well with his “Among School Children”). Whereas in “The Second Coming” I’ve concluded, after teaching the poem several times, that he’s either confused or else speaking so much to a specific historical moment for the Irish that no scholarly gloss — or melodramatic, Halloweenish recitation — can straighten it out for me. Still, though, it is a wonderful poem and contains some of his finest turns of phrase.

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