Stephen Burt in The Boston Review:
Like many of you, I have spent the days since the election in a combination of frantic distraction; intermittent, flailing activism; attempts to focus on my private and professional life; and fear. The more I read from experts in relevant fields, the more I envision the next four, or eight, or ten years not so much as a Republican administration—enacting policies that will hurt immigrants, people of color, and the poor—but rather as a kleptocratic, potentially authoritarian, generation-long takeover, one that could extend outward and downward from Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue into the federal judiciary, the civil service, and the national security state.
…So instead I have been rereading W. B. Yeats—for example, “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing” (1913):
Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who were it proved he lies
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbours’ eyes. . . .
No other poet has captured so well the feeling of noble failure—of having lost an unfair fight—along with the feeling of conflict between serving a very flawed nation and serving the ideals embodied in art.