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The poetry meme - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
The poetry meme
From everyone.

When you see this, post a bit of poetry in your own journal.


Excerpts from "Ash-Wedensday" by T.S. Eliot, the full form of which can be found at
http://www.pmms.cam.ac.uk/~gjm11/poems/ashwed.html
(I)
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us...


(II)
As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden


(V)
...Will the veiled sister pray
For children at the gate
Who will not go away and cannot pray:
Pray for those who chose and oppose

    O my people, what have I done unto thee.

Will the veiled sister between the slender
Yew trees pray for those who offend her
And are terrified and cannot surrender
And affirm before the world and deny between the rocks
In the last desert before the last blue rocks
The desert in the garden the garden in the desert
Of drouth, spitting from the mouth the withered apple-seed.

    O my people.


(VI)
...Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden,
Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will
And even among these rocks
Sister, mother
And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.


I know, I'm supposed to like "The Waste Lands" better--Eliot's masterpiece and all that--but something about "Ash-Wednesday" really appeals to me, a call for redemption even without totally believing in its possibility. And it's so passionate! Disjointed and surreal (I like surrealism), but just... you can feel the emotion in it, just in the rhythm of the words. (Maybe I just like Eliot using his poetry to call for redemption, because it makes me sad that such a brilliant poet had some, er, not terribly good ideas floating around in his head.)
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Comments
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fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 16th, 2004 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, cool! I read it when Stephen King led me to "The Waste Land" (used prettily in his The Waste Land), and I just started reading all the poems in the little book. It's just so... It's an incredible poem.
todayiamadaisy From: todayiamadaisy Date: October 17th, 2004 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Have you read The Tournament by Australian writer John Clarke? It imagines what the French Open tennis would be like as played by the great writers and thinkers of the 20th century, with the matches described in the style of the participants. Top seed in the men's drawer: SuperTom Eliot. Well worth a read!
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