Remembering T S Eliot IV

Excerpts from “Family Room”

Family room is a play in poetry by T S Eliot intriguing, deep, full of secrets, behind the scenes dialogues, philosophical and mystical. Typical T S Eliot. It has lot to teach and has many quotable quotes, that i will blog separately. But the ultimate short story on life – the piece de resistance is here below. Do read the original play when you get a chance.

Life in a verse

We do not like to look out of the same window, and

see quite a different landscape.

We do not like to climb a stair, and

find that it takes us down.

We do not like to walk out of a door, and

find ourselves back in the same room.

We do not like the maze in the garden,

because it too closely resembles the maze in the brain.

We do not like what happens when we are awake, be- cause

it too closely resembles what happens when we are asleep.

 

We understand the ordinary business of living,

We know how to work the machine,

We can usually avoid accidents,

We are insured against fire, Against larceny and illness,

Against defective plumbing,

But not against the act of God.

 

We know various spells and enchantments,

And minor forms of sorcery, Divination and chiromancy,

Specifics against insomnia, Lumbago, and the loss of money.

But the circle of our understanding Is a very restricted area.

Except for a limited number Of strictly practical purposes

We do not know what we are doing; And even,

When you think of it,

We do not know much about thinking.

 

What is happening outside of the circle?

And what is the meaning of happening?

What ambush lies beyond the heather

And behind the Standing Stones?

Beyond the Heaviside Layer

And behind the smiling moon?

And what is being done to us?

And what are we, and what are we doing?

To each and all of these questions

There is no conceivable answer.

We have suffered far more than a personal loss—

We have lost our way in the dark.

Excerpt from – “Family Reunion” – T S Eliot

Remembering T.S.Eliot III

II of the FOUR QUARTETS, T.S. Eliot – East Coker

Everything is Cyclical

In my beginning is my end.

In succession

Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,

Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place

………

Houses live and die: there is a time for building

And a time for living and for generation

And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane

And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots

And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.

In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls

………..

 

Limited value of Knowledge

Knowledge, At best, only a limited value

In the knowledge derived from experience.

The knowledge imposes 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.

……….

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.

………

 

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 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.

………..

You have right only to work – This is the essence of what Krishna says in Gita

For us, there is only the trying.

The rest is not our business.

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.

There is a time for the evening under starlight,

A time for the evening under lamplight

(The evening with the photograph album).

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.

  • Abridged FOUR QUARTETS, T.S. Eliot

Remembering T S Eliot – II

 

First of the FOUR QUARTETS – Burnt Norton

Some timeless quotes on TIME 

Time:

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future,

And time future contained in time past.

If all time is eternally present

All time is unredeemable.

What might have been is an abstraction

Remaining a perpetual possibility

Only in a world of speculation.

What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

But to what purpose

………………

 

 

Still Point

At the still point of the turning world.

Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards;

at the still point, there the dance is,

But neither arrest nor movement.

And do not call it fixity,

Where past and future are gathered.

Neither movement from nor towards,

Neither ascent nor decline.

Except for the point, the still point,

There would be no dance,

and there is only the dance.

I can only say, there we have been:

but I cannot say where.

And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.

……….

To be conscious is not to be in time

……

Only through time, time is conquered.

……..

Time before and time after

Descend lower, descend only

Into the world of perpetual solitude,

World not world, but that which is not world,

Internal darkness, deprivation

And destitution of all property,

Desiccation of the world of sense,

Evacuation of the world of fancy,

Inoperancy of the world of spirit;

This is the one way, and the other

Is the same, not in movement

But abstention from movement; while the world moves

In appetency, on its metalled ways

Of time past and time future.

…….

 

 

……….

Or say that the end precedes the beginning,

And the end and the beginning were always there

Before the beginning and after the end.

And all is always now.

…..

Excerpts from T S Eliot

Remembering T S Eliot

 

The Fire Sermon

Departed, have left no addresses.

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept…

Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,

Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.

But at my back in a cold blast I hear

The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear

…………

“My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart

Under my feet. After the event

He wept. He promised ‘a new start.’

I made no comment. What should I resent?”

…………

He who was living is now dead

We who were living are now dying

With a little patience

……………..

 

Who is the third who walks always beside you?

When I count, there are only you and I together

But when I look ahead up the white road

There is always another one walking beside you

Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded

I do not know whether a man or a woman

—But who is that on the other side of you?

………

I have heard the key

Turn in the door once and turn once only

We think of the key, each in his prison

Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison

………

By this, and this only, we have existed

Which is not to be found in our obituaries

Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider

Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor

In our empty rooms

……….

2. The Hollow Men

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

Shape without form, shade without colour,

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

 

Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom

Remember us-if at all-not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men

The stuffed men.

……..

 

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception

And the creation

Between the emotion

And the response

Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

 

Between the desire

And the spasm

Between the potency

And the existence

Between the essence

And the descent

Falls the Shadow

 

For Thine is

Life is

For Thine is the

 

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

 

T S Eliots

 

P.S – Today is the anniversary of the T S Eliot, the immortal poet. In commemorating, it is my attempt to revisit some of his writings.