“Dover Beach,” poem by Matthew Arnold, https://www.poetryfoundation.org
Penned by a Victorian on his honeymoon! This is hardly a celebratory poem, but I get from it what the French call a “morne plaisir,” a gloomy satisfaction. Its somber music moves me, and lends assurance that human folly is eternal, as regular and repeating as a Hollywood superhero franchise. Wars have kept coming, do keep coming, and will keep coming as long as waves fling pebbles up the high strand.