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Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Sopranos and Poetry

"Our society is going to the brink of extinction due to male aggression, and so is the Sopranos."-swvl.

I'm loving all the poetic references in the recent eps of the Sopranos... too bad AJ had to drop out of college so we can't get his English teacher talking more than she already has about Wordsworth "The world is too much with us") and Yeats' ("The Second Coming"--appropriate title for this episode).

Last week's Wordsworth's sonnet emphasized a sense of weariness and being overwhelmed by the inhumanity of the industrial age, while the episode focused on AJs growing discontent and sadness with similar aspects of our society. This week, Yeats' apocalyptic lines were about the anti-christ and the end of our age (his belief system is mad complicated, so we won't get into it) while the episode was about the "precipice of an enormous crossroads" (thanks Little Carmine) that both Tony and AJ have reached. AJ tried to bring about his own mini-apolocalypse with a suicide attempt, while Tony is doing what I've been saying he's going to do, which is "suicide by Phil Leotardo"--either way, folks, the Falcon really cannot hear the Falconer.

Who knows what will happen? The previews make it look like all occasions are about to inform against Tony, to spur someone's dull revenge. In other words, he's about to get turned on. And the stuff about terrorism is obviously meant to parallel the specter of violence, endless revenge, and dread that both we and the characters experience. The episode was truly top-notch, so I'm going to leave my commentary at that.

And now, for your over-analyzing/general edification benefit, here are the two poems.

The World is Too Much With Us
William Wordsworth
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. -Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

The Second Coming
W.B Yeats

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?


  1. Anonymous3:30 PM

    I discuss Yeats' poem at:

    My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon, by my hand!
    Read My Inaugural Address
    My Site=

  2. The end may come for Tony at a dinner called for reasons related to the intensifying relationship between Meadow and the son of Tony's associate.

    We may see the entire Soprano family at a restaurant with the boyfriend and perhaps his parents too.

    The boyfriend's father may want Tony dead for a couple of reasons. Chiefly because Tony killed the man's brother.

    Phil Leotardo, meanwhile, is undoubtedly willing to co-opt the father. They've got mutually compatible aims. Phil learns about the dinner and sends a shooter to the restaurant.

    That's the moment the reborn AJ shows his stuff. When the shooting starts and Tony goes down with a bullet in him, AJ grabs his gun and pops the shooter to save his other family members.