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Poetry

Modernist Poets.

More Eliot. More of the first quartet: Burnt Norton. The term twittering has more meaning in these days, as it is now branded, monetized, and used for virtue signaling and to engender the spirals of hate.

But the poet says this is without meaning. The poet says it is not the twittering: it is the continual sacrifice of personality to art.

Burnt Norton III

Here is a place of disaffection
Time before and time after
In a dim light: neither daylight
Investing form with lucid stillness
Turning shadow into transient beauty
With slow rotation suggesting permanence
Nor darkness to purify the soul
Emptying the sensual with deprivation
Cleansing affection from the temporal.
Neither plenitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker
Over the strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after.
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here
Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.

T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets, 1941