Virginia Woolf famously remarked (c.1926, I think),"On or about December, 1910, human character changed."
So this month is the centennial.
In response to requests for commentary:
I wrote the poem below to express my feelings looking back on the 20th century, which Woolf was witnessing the beginning of with her remark, and looking forward at this new century. I think her observation was meant a bit facetiously, but recognized that the world had changed so radically that we had to come up with new new modes of feeling and being to live in it. We are in a similar position today - we won't survive the damages wrought by the 20th century in the 21st without deeply rethinking our relationship to the planet and each other.
"On or about December, Nineteen Ten,
Human character changed." None too soon.
Prometheus had visited again,
Could we learn to be worthy of his boon?
The Gatling gun would put an end to war,
No glory in a weapon so obscene
Clearly threatening esprit de corps
Four years hence it had become routine.
The car, that liberates as it confines,
The Arts in flower, hacking at the trunk.
Blind faith in Progress, History's design,
And always, spewing smoke and spouting gunk.
This century, can we adapt and learn
To live when there is no world left to burn?