The Hollow Man
Who Wears Long Ties

Over a half century ago while I was in high school, I would have to recite a couple hundred lines of poetry or prose each year to my English teachers before or after school. Many of those lines I still remember...some nearly verbatim. Others, I need to look up to come close to the writer’s actual words. Nonetheless, some of the words that I memorized were merely repeated without really understanding where the author was trying to lead the reader.

T.S. Eliot was such a writer. I missed his messages in most of his poetry. However, each semester, I had to recite 100-lines. Therefore, I memorized the last stanza of Eliot’s The Hollow Men.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Does that impress you? Hey, it meant four less lines that I had to memorize that semester. In reality, I didn’t think about what those lines or the larger part of the poem meant.

The Hollow Men

However, that was while I was in high school nearly 60-years ago. Today, at the other end of my journey down the yellow brick road, I understand poetry and prose more clearly than I did decades ago. I wrote an essay, Better Angels of Our Nature, which is an example of understanding The Hollow Men. In that article, I used a photo of Donald the Dumb speaking about Charlottesville. Look at Donald the Dumb’s eyes.

Donald the Dumb is a lesser angel or more to the point, a hollow man.

When I looked into those eyes, I thought of Eliot’s poem, The Hollow Men. He wrote that poem in 1925 about the spiritual emptiness of those days nearly a century ago. Nevertheless, Eliot would say that those eyes of Donald the Dumb were of a hollow man...a hollow and empty village idiot.

Eliot’s ethical void of emptiness can be seen in Donald the Dumb’s eyes. If it wasn’t for Trump being a racist, I would feel sorry for that pathetic fake president moving around in the hollow emptiness of his life. He is to be pitied...if he wasn’t a racist, bigot, and xenophobe who wears long ties.

The hollow man who wears long ties

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