Saturday, 3 January 2009

Monuments of unageing intellect

That line comes from the first verse of a poem by W.B. Yeats:

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees -
Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

Sailing to Byzantium (1927)
I paraphrase - don't get so caught up in the immediate, in the satisfaction of desire, as to miss the true wonder of the world around you and the achievements of humanity.

Yeats' words, as true today as when first written, were used by Jacob Bronowski in the introduction to his awesome series on mankind's cultural evolution The Ascent Of Man (1973).

Although filmed long ago this still remains one of the best TV documentaries of all time. If you've never seen it, I urge you to set aside the time. If you have seen it you will know it is well worth seeing over and again.

PART ONE - Lower than the Angels [51:17]

Now head over to Online Documentaries 4 U for the next 12 episodes of this 'Monument of unageing intellect'.

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