What Rough Beast

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In the darkness before sunrise I got up, put the kettle on for tea, and went to the computer for a first pass at headlines and email. It was a bit early for poetry, but my eyes were caught by a snatch of it, in all places on the New York Times op-ed page. My favorite econo-guy Paul Krugman had titled his Monday column “The Widening Gyre,” and quoted the first three lines of the poem right up front.

What caused Krugman to think of Yeats’s famous poem while studying economic data? And did he think twice before summoning the spectre of some unnamed dread whose hour has “come round at last”? It is certainly a sobering metaphor for the economic crisis which is now spreading to developing nations, especially at 6 a.m. when one hasn’t even had a cup of black tea yet.

I have more to say about these myths and stories that are being tossed around both consciously and unconsciously these days. Much more, especially given the threads I spoke about in my last blog post. But one thing at a time here at the Blog o’ Gnosis, and right now I have to pick up my daughter, walk the dog, and make dinner. Life does shuffle on, with or without the slouching.

2 thoughts on “What Rough Beast

  1. Anne Post author

    Good question. Why not Kipling? Pound? Seuss? Yeats does evoke well that “Celtic twilight” tone, a combination of earthy, grandiose, mythic and ominous.

    Krugman is working on the new revision of The Return of Depression Economics, out next month. Maybe that, combined with the Nobel speech, just put him over the top?

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