The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
– William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming
Okay, maybe not the cheeriest way to start out an August issue, but times are strange and getting stranger, and this snippet of verse has been popping up in various places.
W.B. Yeats was an Irish poet and student of ancient Gaelic legends, metaphysics, and the occult. He could have cranked out those lines last week, but he wrote them a century ago in 1919, reacting to the horrors of World War I – the War to End All Wars, it was called.
The Lizard King.
Yeats believed in the cyclical nature of things, and would probably feel right at home nowadays. Based on this verse, he was the Jim Morrison of his day, speaking truth, no matter how savage. (Yeats died in 1939. Morrison was born in 1943. Hmmm…)
Imagine the Lizard King chanting those lines, with the Doors behind him. Read it again, especially those last two lines – and keep an eye out for really big waves.