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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 […]

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Poetry

Four Quartets, Humility.

Is T.S. Eliot Modern? Perhaps not. He did live in the time of peak modernity, dying before it was shatterd in 1968 when the middle class snobs decided everything must be destroyed. Roger Scrunton, dead this week, lived through that. Many people became radicals during that time. Scrunton found himself a conservative. In his essay […]

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Poetry

Tuesday Poem

I am returning to the four quartets after the Christmas break. This is from the first part of the second quartet, East Coker. The second quartet was published at Easter, 1940. Eliot is buried in this village. East Coker In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls Across the open field, leaving the […]

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Poetry

Tuesday Modernism

Eliot knew his Pound and his Joyce. He had seen what happens in the modernist project: one moves beyond communication to technique, and without meaning technique is worthless. I’ve read Joyce — there are rewards in it, but the barrier to entry is too high. The writers and artists forgot that they were competing with […]

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Poetry

Back to the late imagism.

The Four Quartets are rich, deep, and simply good. To write this simply requires practice, publication, and a depth that comes not from mere experience, but pain. Burnt Norton IV Time and the bell have buried the day, The black cloud carries the sun away. Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis Stray […]

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Poetry

The modern situation.

More from Four Quartets. The modern situation is one of distraction: all information is propaganda, and the real must be supplanted with virtual reality. Too many people believe their statistical models, not enough doubt the theories, and use their traitorous lies to see the poverty that exists. Perhaps Eliot was prophetic. From Burnt Norton III […]

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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 […]

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Poetry

One of those Modernist Poets.

This is T.S. Eliot, late, and from a text that is seen as critical. Eliot is not that long gone. This is not all of the four quartets. But it has this quote: Humankind cannot bear very much reality. This is late Eliot: the man who has faith, and has moved beyond imagism and symbols […]

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Poetry

Tuesday poem: cat.

We have had a series of serious poems. Eliot is one such: an imagist, and wrote difficult poems, but (being more charitable than Pound) provided footnotes. He also wrote comic poems. Crafted well. Some became part of a musical. This, I think, did not. The Naming of Cats The Naming of Cats is a difficult […]