Ukraine War, April 12, 2022 (III): Russian General Alexandr Dvornikov, and “The Second Coming” by W.B. Yeats

Dispatches

1) Monika Bolliger, Francesco Collini und Fritz Schaap,,”Der General, der Putin die Wende bringen soll; Der russische General Alexander Dwornikow ist berüchtigt für seine erbarmungslose Kriegsführung in Syrien. Jetzt setzt Putin ihn an die Spitze seiner Armee in der Ukraine – mit welchem Ziel?” Der Piegel, den 11. April 2022 (22.36 Uhr);

2) “Ukraine War, March 24, 2022 (I): William Butler Yeats, ‘The Second Coming,'” The Trenchant Observer, March 24, 2022.

Commentary

The picture of Russian General Alexandr Dvornikov in the article in Der Spiegel, above, shows a man whose “gaze as pitiless as the sun” made me think of W. B. Yeats renowned poem, “The Second Coming”, particularly the second stanza.

Yeats’ apprehension or premonition of The Second Coming” is a clarion call to action by the civilized nations of the world if they are to throttle “the second coming” of the barbarism which characterized mankind for thousands of years, now represented by General Dvornihov and the Russian army in Ukraine.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

The Second Coming (1919)

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?

in Yeats words.

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