japonisme: things fall apart

11 March 2011

things fall apart


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: 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?

W. B. Yeats

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Blogger Haji baba said...

A timely post.

11 March, 2011 11:38  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

indeed. it was the best of times, it was the worst of times

11 March, 2011 11:50  
Blogger Ellen Shipley said...

Thank you, this really helps.

11 March, 2011 13:27  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i am so glad you feel that way, ellen. thanks.

11 March, 2011 16:16  
Anonymous evan said...

What, no sphinx (lion body, head of a man- Manticore?)? The images that come with this great poem are gorgeous & poetic. I think we forget that our planet is not some big, solid round rock, but rather a series of islands (plates) that float on a sea of fiery magma & those plates move & when they do, the entire planet shudders & the ocean gives birth to waves.
And still, here we are.

12 March, 2011 11:11  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

evan, what a beautifully written comment. thank you.

these are at last my favorites of mila von luttich's images that i scanned.

and here we are.

12 March, 2011 13:58  
Blogger dlregh said...

I previously thought that the Stephen Dunn poem "Sweetness" was the most poignant of your postings - this Yeats piece takes my breath away...........gorgeous!

12 March, 2011 19:01  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

there are so many. fortunately, there is also much breath. thank you.

12 March, 2011 19:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zwei Fragen Two Questions

What's a fairy tale, mummy,
Won't you tell me?"-
"My child, it's a dream of happiness
From long since past days,
From times, where with a clear glance
We were reading in the Book of destiny---
It lasts a few pages,
And then- then it's gone!"-

"Dear mummy, what's happiness,
Won't you tell me?"-
Happiness? it's a bird, small and shy,
Carried by small golden wings;
It sings such a wondrous song,
That the heart and the soul are shaking-
But if you try longingly to grab it,
You see it going away! C.K.

More or less,d

13 March, 2011 17:11  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

D!!!!!!! that's so wonderful, and i am grateful. isn't it interesting that the magazine all these are from was known as a satire/humor magazine.

13 March, 2011 17:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Now wanders, silent, its way
The fullmoon, big and clear,
And evokes, wonderful,
A golden path to heaven.

Like love, which, heavenly mild,
Knocks on the bridge,
Like love, which pours from above
And, silent, thinks of above. R.V.

This needs a serious check by a native speaker.
I didn't have the time yet to go through those magazines but I'm on my way. Thanks for the information. A votre service, très chère. d

13 March, 2011 19:05  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh i tried on that one but i couldn't seem to make any sense out of it. you are my new translation master, so gentle, this poem.

may your springtime shower you with moonlight.

13 March, 2011 21:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the promotion, I just had new holes in my pocket. I know it's not the one, but have a look on Fernand Khnopff's interesting signature on 'Study of a woman',1896 (To Sir Edward Burne-Jones from Fernand Khnopff). It's different than the one on 'Un masque',1899, pointe sèche, and of all his other signatures.d

14 March, 2011 10:38  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thanks -- i'll check it out.

14 March, 2011 12:05  
Blogger Ho hapax epekeina said...

The first image reminds me of the old John Bauer paintings for "Bland tomtar och troll" children's books and his rendition of princesses with the crown and all. Fabulous!

03 September, 2012 12:55  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

bauer's work looks more to my eyes like kay neilsen's work....

04 September, 2012 12:01  

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