Home is where One starts from !


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Four Quartets is a set of four poems written by T. S. Eliot that were published individually over a six-year period. The first poem,Burnt Norton, was written and published with a collection of his early works following the production of Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral. After a few years, Eliot composed the other three poems, East CokerThe Dry Salvages, and Little Gidding, which were written during World War II and the air-raids on Great Britain. The poems were not collected until Eliot’s New York publisher printed them together in 1943. They were first published as a series in Great Britain in 1944 towards the end of Eliot’s poetic career.

Four Quartets are four interlinked meditations with the common theme being man’s relationship with time, the universe, and the divine. In describing his understanding of the divine within the poems, Eliot blends his Anglo-Catholicism with mystical, philosophical and poetic works from both Eastern and Western religious and cultural traditions, with references to the Bhagavad-Gita and the Pre-Socratics as well as St. John of the Cross andJulian of Norwich.    –via

 

East Coker

 

  • In my beginning is my end. (I)
  • There is, it seems to us,
    At best, only a limited value
    In the knowledge derived from experience.
    The knowledge inposes a pattern, and falsifies,
    For the pattern is new in every moment
    And every moment is a new and shocking
    Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived
    Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm. (II)
    • Do not let me hear
      Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
      Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,
      Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
      The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
      Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
       (II)
    • O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
      The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,

      And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,
      Nobody’s funeral, for there is no one to bury. (III)
    • I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
      For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
      For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
      But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
      Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
      So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. (III)
    • You say I am repeating
      Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
      Shall I say it again?
       In order to arrive there,
      To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
      You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstacy.
      In order to arrive at what you do not know
      You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
      In order to possess what you do not possess
      You must go by the way of dispossession.
      In order to arrive at what you are not
      You must go through the way in which you are not.

      And what you do not know is the only thing you know
      And what you own is what you do not own
      And where you are is where you are not. (III)
    • Trying to use words, and every attempt
      Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
      Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
      For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
      One is no longer disposed to say it.
       (V)
    • And so each venture
      Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
      With shabby equipment always deteriorating
      In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
      Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
      By strength and submission, has already been discovered
      Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
      To emulate —but there is no competition—
      There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
      And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
      That seem unpropitious.
       But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
      For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. (V)
    • Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
      The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
      Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
      Isolated, with no before and after,
      But a lifetime burning in every moment
      And not the lifetime of one man only
      But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
       (V)
    • Love is most nearly itself
      When here and now cease to matter.
      Old men ought to be explorers
      Here or there does not matter
      We must be still and still moving
      Into another intensity
      For a further union, a deeper communion
      Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
      The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
      Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning. (V)  

 

 

 

 

still.” Shall I say again? In order to arrive there,

          To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,

           You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.

             ……

          In order to arrive at what you are not 

          You must go through the way in which you are not.

          And what you do not know is the only thing you know

           And what you own is what you do not own

           And where you are is where you are not! “

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