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Poetry

Lent Poem

This is the final part of Ash Wednesday. It feels as if we are being forced into Lent by a virus beyond Easter: it is akin to Winter without Christmas. But needs must. VI Although I do not hope to turn again Although I do not hope Although I do not hope to turn Wavering […]

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Poetry

Lent Poem

In my view, the time for warning about COVID 19 is over. We are moving into the shutdown, and too many people fear silence: for in silence you have to deal with the resources you have in your soul. But our society has ignored the soul: it has not fed it with beauty or truth […]

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Poetry

Lent Poem IV

You are reformed and ignore the liturgical colours, and the symbols of Mary (though Eliot would have not) and the need to redeem the time: work out our salvation. For the exile will be silence: death awaits eventually, though this is the start of a dark age, and that is another kind of exile. IV […]

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Poetry

Lent Poem III

In Lent, this should not need a commentary. III At the first turning of the second stair I turned and saw below The same shape twisted on the banister Under the vapour in the fetid air Struggling with the devil of the stairs who wears The deceitul face of hope and of despair. At the […]

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Poetry

Lenten Poem II

Continuing with Ash Wednesday. Eliot was a master of symbols: the white Lady is the virgin: the object of Catholic Veneration for many a soldier/scholar and physician/monk, but not, the woman of righteousness who venerates the virgin and was the sister who chose a religious life (for white reflects purity). He is reflecting on the […]

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Poetry

As one becomes older evolution fails: Poetry.

Eliot was writing in a time of crisis: as an American living among the English, before there was a formal alliance, there would have been a certain distance between him and his neighbour. Not from lack of good will, but a question of loyalty. Yes, the Yanks had helped in the first war, but by […]

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Poetry

Tuesday modernism

Modernism is now passe, and a poem written in 1941 is not seen as new, exciting, but a excreble output of a man who was not on the progressive side of history and therefore one who should no longer be taught or analyzed. Dliot is difficult unless one has faith, and then he is hard. […]

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Poetry

Tuesday Middle Aged Quartet.

One of the reasons I now enjoy Eliot’s later work is that I am now old enough to have lost any sense of immortality but still young enough to care: perhaps too much. One of the reasons I blog poetry is because many do not read: and if they do, they read from this generation, […]

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Life Poetry

Anglo-Catholics make good poets: Eliot quartet.

Transubstantiation in four lines. Our condition in four stanzas. Enough said. East Coker, IV The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere. The chill ascends from feet to knees, The […]

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Poetry Christianity Writing

Tuesday quartet, Eliot.

Mindfulness is Buddhist meditation, and Buddhist meditation is nihilism, abnegation, without pleasure, passion or desire. It is not that through Christ we have crucified our passions, it is that we pretend they don’t exist, and that there is no existential terror. There is. Passage III, East Coker contains this bit of reportage. Or as, when […]