Sunday, October 24, 2004

A quotation, a poem and a book

From Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche: *
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby becomes a monster.
And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
* I haven't read Nietzsche's work. I learned of this quotation - at least a version of it - from Watchmen, the exceptional graphic novel by Alan Moore. Oh yeah, Rorsharch is The Man.

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 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?

Iron John by Robert Bly is a story about men and manhood built around the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name. The book was recommended to me by one of the best teachers I've ever had, David Norris, while I finished out my Army stint in Korea.

- Eric

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