The Second Coming (After Yeats, adapted for 2016) -Jedediah Purdy



Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The drone cannot hear the operator;
Things fall apart; the center has been sold;
Some dick-pic talk is loosed upon the world,
The Twitter feed is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of democracy is drowned;
The best run out of sick burns, while the rest
Convict them with passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely Hamilton will save us now?
His Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Dealio
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of upscale Queens
A shape with lion body (corpulent, zoo-kept) and the head of a man (lion-maned),
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of indignant Romney tweets.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That demagoguery’s stoned sleep
Was vexed to nightmare by a country it did not care to recognize
Or feel itself recognized by.
And what rough beast, its hour come round again,
Slouches towards Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Center to be born?

Jedediah Purdy is a professor of law at Duke University. He is also a prominent cultural, social, religious, and political thinker who is the author of books such as Being America: Liberty, Commerce and Violence in an American World. His modern classic For Common Things: Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today has drawn comparisons to Henry David Thoreau. He is a fellow at the New America Foundation.

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