That passionate intensity

I said to J a couple of days ago, nodding sagely (and, probably, irritatingly):

‘The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of a passionate intensity…’

It seems to me that Fintan O’Toole, in the Irish Times, is onto something here:

There are many ways to measure the state of the world and economists, ecologists and anthropologists labour mightily over them. Opening the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo last week, I suggested another one: the Yeats Test. The proposition is simple: the more quotable Yeats seems to commentators and politicians, the worse things are. As a counter-example we might try the Heaney Test: if hope and history rhyme, let the good times roll. But these days, it is the older Irish poet who prevails in political discourse – and that is not good news.
— Read on www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-yeats-test-criteria-reveal-we-are-doomed-1.3576078

That passionate intensity

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