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Our reaction to one boy's death gives us all hope

Published 16/09/2015

Given the dreadful news cycle, one would be forgiven for thinking the world is falling apart. We have been here before.

TS Eliot began his dark masterpiece, The Waste Land, in 1919 after the horrors of the First World War, depicting a world on the edge of ruin. Bob Dylan took up the theme with songs such as A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - seen by many as the view of the world following a nuclear war.

Poet Charles Bukowski wrote about a world in chaos in Dinosauria, We. Human history seems to have one constant - its ability to repeat the horrors of war by even greater horrors touched on by Leonard Cohen in Anthem: "Bought and sold and bought again the dove is never free".

If there is hope, perhaps it lies in the fact that humanity is appalled by a three-year-old boy being washed up dead on a shore.

The day mankind becomes immune to such images is the day Eliot's poem will come to pass.


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