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Sam Tanenhaus examines disaster poetry:

[C]atastrophe defies logic. It faces us with disruption and discontinuity, with the breakdown of order. The same can often be said of poetry itself. It operates outside the realm of “logic.” Rather, it obeys the logic of dreams, of the unconscious. This is especially the case with lyric poetry, with its suggestion of vision and prophecy.

“The Second Coming,” by W. B. Yeats seems most apt.

(Photo: A man holds a portrait of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi as he stand in the wreckage of the Boussetta Libyan navy base on March 22, 2011, the day after it was bombarded some 10 kilometres east of Tripoli center. By Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)

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