Apocalyptic Visions is originally inspired by the eerie feeling of impending apocalypse in W. B. Yeats’ poem, The Second Coming. Later Martin Miller (Baltimore, MD), the creator of these images, realized that, for him, these images suggested mysterious dark emotions far beyond the scope of the poem. To his sensibilities, the portfolio does have a thematic coherence, but his efforts to express it have succeeded only in limiting its meaning. So he decided to simply offer up the original inspiration and let the images speak for themselves.
The Second Coming
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?
– William Butler Yates (1920-21)