..”the centre cannot hold”…..with apologies to W.B. Yeats

The towering American Agave that I have been watching as I drive past it as I leave and return to my home has altered quite suddenly.

I first noticed the change at its base over the weekend when the weather was too wet to stop and take a photograph.
The phrase from Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming” was instantly in my mind “the centre cannot hold”…..but from when I wonder? I wrestled with analysing this poem perhaps in High School or perhaps University but despite my poor memory about timing, the phrase was instantly there and it seemed so fitting to describe what I could see.

Its lengthy flower head has withstood a myriad of howling north westerly winds in this changeable and frustrating summer we are experiencing. Despite the force of the winds the flower head continues to move from yellow toning flowers high above to now more finger-like growths which I presume are the seed pods.
But today I have taken these photographs to show how “the centre cannot hold” for much longer. The once tough, rubbery, wide, strong leaves have softened and droop noticeably now.
Up close there is more evidence of its succulent heritage and there are places where the gelatinous contents within the leaves are becoming obvious.
The wind today was a brisk and chilly southerly so the Agave had more shelter but to muddle Yeats’s work further “things fall apart” and I think that has begun as nature takes its course.


5 thoughts on “..”the centre cannot hold”…..with apologies to W.B. Yeats

  1. Juliet

    We had one of these at our apartment complex last year, and it became alarmingly tall and unstable. In the end, gardeners had to remove it before it fell on someone! So I know exactly what you mean.

  2. Gallivanta

    It’s amazing that it has stood this long! And, I am impressed that your thoughts are on Yeats. Did you know that he died on this day, 28 January, 1939? I have been trying to make sense of my poem for the day which is Yeats’ ‘These are the Clouds’.

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      It has been at full height for over a month now withstanding the gales and the earthquake on Anniversary day! What a coincidence that it is the anniversary of Yeat’s death. I just cannot remember when I had to study that poem but it required some mental wrestling as I recall. I am about to look up “These are the Clouds.”


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