Wednesday, August 5, 2009

T.S. Eliot's Dark Night

In undergraduate school, I read "The Wasteland" by T.S. Eliot. Didn't understand it a bit. I was sure I didn't like the poet and vowed never to read anything else by the man.

But then he ends up on my required reading list for comprehensive exams in graduate school. I had no choice. I simply had to read (and be able to write literary analysis of) a collection of poetry called Four Quartets.

With more than a little resentment, I searched for the book at Borders Bookstore and forked over good money for it. Very quickly, I realized that I actually do like the poet. And here is a little taste of Eliot just for you.

Four Quartets, by T.S. Eliot
-From “East Coker III”

I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness;
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama
And the bold imposing façade are all being rolled away—

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness
the dancing.
***If you are reading Four Quartets for a class, I recommend reading it with Thomas Howard's book Dove Descending. I came across the book many years after graduate school ended. Too late for me to benefit from it academically, but I enjoyed it immensely on a personal level.


No comments:

Post a Comment