Posts Tagged ‘No Country for Old Men’

(Some) No thoughts on Cormac McCarthy and Poetry

June 17, 2008

Ah, the miracles of technology! Yesterday, after having written about a thousand words on the abovementioned subject, I pushed the save button, and set about to dig up some links for my article. To make a short story even shorter, when I came back to view my draft it was all gone. Not a good feeling. Thus, instead of publishing my thoughts on some new tendencies I thought I had detected in McCarthy’s last two novels, I’ll just put up the links to the poems I was discussing in relation to the master’s work. They are both very good poems, and should be of interest to anyone familiar with No Country for Old Men and The Road. The first, Sailing to Byzantium, is by one of my personal favourites, W.B.Yeats. The title and partly the theme of NO Country for Old Men can be found here.

The second poem is by the famous, but not always consistent Lord Byron (He really needs that “Lord” ahead of his name, doesn’t he?) Darkness is rather chilling and seems to me almost a companion piece to The Road.

Finally, as we are in the semigothic, mystic realm and war is everywhere, here is a poem everyone should read and learn by heart. W.B. Yeats’ The Second Coming might well be so well known that it borders on cliché, but it’s still a hell of a read!

The Second Coming

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 Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the 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?