Sunday, 7 May 2017

T.S. Eliot – Selected Poems 1954

“There will be time, there will be time,
To prepare a face to meet the faces you meet;
There will be time to murder and create.” (Eliot ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’, 1954, p.4).

“I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.” (Eliot ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’, 1954, p.7).

“Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon
You have the scene arrange itself – as it will seem to do –
With ‘I have saved this afternoon for you’;” (Eliot ‘Portrait of a lady’, 1954, p.8).

“And when all the world came back
And the light crept up between the shutters,
And you heard the sparrow in the gutters,
You had a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands.” (Eliot ‘Preludes, 1954, p.14).

“Twleve o’clock.
Along the reaches of the street
Held in lunar synthesis,
Whispering lunar incantations
Dissolve the floors of memory
And all its clear relations,
Its divisions and precisions.” (Eliot ‘Rhapsody on a windy night’, 1954, p.16).

“I saw the ‘potamus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.” (Eliot ‘Gerontion’, 1954, p.31).

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.” (Eliot ‘The waste land’, 1954, p.41).

“Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.

                                       A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.

                                     Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.” (Eliot ‘The waste land’, 1954, p.53).

“After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palaces and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.” (Eliot ‘The waste land’, 1954, p.54).

“”This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.” (Eliot ‘The hollow men’, 1954, p.70).

“Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will.” (Eliot ‘Ash Wednesday’, 1954, p.74).

“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 deceitful face of hope and of despair.” (Eliot ‘Ash Wednesday’, 1954, p.77).

“And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the centre of the silent Word.” (Eliot ‘Ash Wednesday’, 1954, p.80).

“This: were we led all the way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, on the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.” (Eliot ‘Ash Wednesday’, 1954, p.88).

 “The pain of living and the drug of dreams
Curl up the small soul in the window seat.” (Eliot ‘Animula’, 1954, p.91).

“What seas what shores what grey rocks and what islands
What water lapping the bow
And scent pf pine and the woodthrush singing through the fog
What images return
O my daughter.

Those who sharpen the tooth of the dog, meaning
Those who glitter with the glory of the hummingbird, meaning
Those who sit in the sty of contentment, meaning
Those who suffer the ecstasy of animals, meaning

Are become unsubstantial, reduced by a wind,
A breath of pine, and the woodsong fog
By this grace dissolved in place.” (Eliot ‘Marina’, 1954, p.93).

“The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge and motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.97).

“All men are ready to invest their money
But most expect dividends.
I say to you: Make perfect your will.
I say: take no thought of the harvest,
But only of proper sowing.” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.99).

“Of all that was done in the past, you eat the fruit, either rotten or ripe.
And the Church must be forever building, and always decaying, and always being restored.” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.103).

“When the Stranger says: ‘What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?’
What will be your answer? ‘We all dwell together
To make money from each other’? or ‘This is a community’?
And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert.
O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.

O weariness of men who turn from GOD
To the grandeur of your mind and the glory of your action,
To arts and inventions and daring enterprises,
To schemes of human greatness thoroughly discredited,
Binding the earth and the water to your service,
Exploiting the seas and developing the mountains,
Dividing the stars into common and preferred,
Engaged in devising the perfect refrigerator,
Engaged in woring out a rational morality,
Engaged in printing as many books as possible,
Plotting of happiness and flinging empty bottles,
Turning from your vacancy to fevered enthusiasm
For nation or race or what you call humanity;
Though you forget the way to the Temple,
There is one who remembers the way to your door:
Life you may evade, but Death you shall not.
You shall not deny the Stranger.” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.107).

“…what have we to do
But stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards
In an age which advances progressively backwards?” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.110).
“Out of the formless stone, when the artist unites himself with stone,
Spring always new forms of life, from the soul of man that is joined to the soul of stone;” “…what have we to do
But stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards
In an age which advances progressively backwards?” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.111).

“The LORD who created must wish us to create
And employ our creation again in His service
Which is already His service in creating.” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.112).

The visible reminder of Invisible Light.” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.112).
“Be not too curious if Good and Evil;
Seek not to count the future waves of Time;
But be ye satisfied that you have light
Enough to take your step and find your foothold.” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.113).
“Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward
And see the light that fractures through unquiet water.
We see ligh but see not whence it comes.

O Light invisible, we glorify Thee!” (Eliot ‘Choruses from the Rock’, 1954, p.114).

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