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: a waste of desert sand;
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
Wind 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?
“As a child, I couldn’t sleep alone In fear Of monsters Lurking in the corner Or ghastly hands That will snatch me in the dead of the night. I rely on oceans of blankets And it’s deafening silence to drown my worries For another night.
Now that i’m older I can’t sleep alone In fear Of monsters Lurking in my mind Or ghastly hands That will snatch you from my arms in the dead of the night
Because Beneath the oceans of blankets and waves of troubles Wrapping me up
The shore of your arms and the winds of your calm breathing assure me that This isn’t silence
My goodness how you’ll dislike that book [To the Lighthouse]! Honestly you will—Oh but you shan’t read it. Its a ghost between us. Whether its good or bad, I know not: I’m dazed, I’m bored, I’m sick to death: I go on crossing out commas and putting in semi-colons in a state of marmoreal despair. I suppose there may be half a paragraph somewhere worth reading: but I doubt it.
Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West (Feb 11st 1927)