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TSE  January 2002

TSE January 2002

Subject:

Re: FQ by the numbers (Parts I)

From:

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Date:

Mon, 07 Jan 2002 12:08:23 EST

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Some recent posts have reminded me of the value of reading FQ out of the intended sequence: specifically, all the Parts I together, etc.

I've done this from time to time and have found it enlightening (or at least thought-provoking) each time.
It's also a bit inconvenient, though, especially if one tries to do a line-by-line comparison.

For my own purposes, I've done a cut-and-paste to facilitate this sort of review.  I send it along in case it may be useful to anyone else.  If I come up with anything I consider interesting on my read through, I'll pass it along and, of course, hope you'll do the same.

I'm sending each Part as a separate email, named "FQ by the numbers (Parts I, II, etc.")  I hope the formatting does not prevent its use by anyone who might be interested.

Tom K

PARTS ONE


    BURNT NORTON                     

           I

                        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.
                        Footfalls echo in the memory
                        Down the passage which we did not take
                        Towards the door we never opened
                        Into the rose-garden. My words echo
                        Thus, in your mind.
                                                      But to what purpose
                        Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
                        I do not know.
                                                Other echoes
                        Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
                        Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
                        Round the corner. Through the first gate,
                        Into our first world, shall we follow
                        The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
                        There they were, dignified, invisible,
                        Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
                        In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
                        And the bird called, in response to
                        The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
                        And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
                        Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
                        There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
                        So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
                        Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
                        To look down into the drained pool.
                        Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
                        And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
                        And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
                        The surface glittered out of heart of light,
                        And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
                        Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
                        Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
                        Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
                        Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
                        Cannot bear very much reality.
                        Time past and time future
                        What might have been and what has been
                        Point to one end, which is always present.


    EAST COKER

                        I

                        In my beginning is my end. In succession
                        Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
                        Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
                        Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
                        Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
                        Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
                        Which is already flesh, fur and faeces,
                        Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
                        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
                        Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
                        Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon,
                        Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
                        And the deep lane insists on the direction
                        Into the village, in the electric heat
                        Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
                        Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
                        The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
                        Wait for the early owl.

                                                            In that open field
                        If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
                        On a summer midnight, you can hear the music
                        Of the weak pipe and the little drum
                        And see them dancing around the bonfire
                        The association of man and woman
                        In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie—
                        A dignified and commodiois sacrament.
                        Two and two, necessarye coniunction,
                        Holding eche other by the hand or the arm
                        Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire
                        Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,
                        Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter
                        Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,
                        Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth
                        Mirth of those long since under earth
                        Nourishing the corn. Keeping time,
                        Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
                        As in their living in the living seasons
                        The time of the seasons and the constellations
                        The time of milking and the time of harvest
                        The time of the coupling of man and woman
                        And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
                        Eating and drinking. Dung and death.

                            Dawn points, and another day
                        Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind
                        Wrinkles and slides. I am here
                        Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning.


    THE DRY SALVAGES


                        (The Dry Salvages—presumably les trois sauvages—is a small
                        group of rocks, with a beacon, off the N.E. coast of Cape Ann,
                        Massachusetts. Salvages is pronounced to rhyme with assuages.
                        Groaner: a whistling buoy.) 



                        I

                        I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
                        Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
                        Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
                        Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
                        Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
                        The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
                        By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
                        Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
                        Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
                        By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
                        His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
                        In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
                        In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
                        And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

                            The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
                        The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
                        Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
                        Its hints of earlier and other creation:
                        The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
                        The pools where it offers to our curiosity
                        The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
                        It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
                        The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
                        And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
                        Many gods and many voices.
                                                                      The salt is on the briar rose,
                        The fog is in the fir trees.
                                                                The sea howl
                        And the sea yelp, are different voices
                        Often together heard: the whine in the rigging,
                        The menace and caress of wave that breaks on water,
                        The distant rote in the granite teeth,
                        And the wailing warning from the approaching headland
                        Are all sea voices, and the heaving groaner
                        Rounded homewards, and the seagull:
                        And under the oppression of the silent fog
                        The tolling bell
                        Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
                        Ground swell, a time
                        Older than the time of chronometers, older
                        Than time counted by anxious worried women
                        Lying awake, calculating the future,
                        Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
                        And piece together the past and the future,
                        Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
                        The future futureless, before the morning watch
                        When time stops and time is never ending;
                        And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
                        Clangs
                        The bell.



    LITTLE GIDDING


                        I

                        Midwinter spring is its own season
                        Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
                        Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
                        When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
                        The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
                        In windless cold that is the heart's heat,
                        Reflecting in a watery mirror
                        A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
                        And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
                        Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
                        In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
                        The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
                        Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
                        But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow
                        Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
                        Of snow, a bloom more sudden
                        Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
                        Not in the scheme of generation.
                        Where is the summer, the unimaginable
                        Zero summer?

                                      If you came this way,
                        Taking the route you would be likely to take
                        From the place you would be likely to come from,
                        If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges
                        White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness.
                        It would be the same at the end of the journey,
                        If you came at night like a broken king,
                        If you came by day not knowing what you came for,
                        It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
                        And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade
                        And the tombstone. And what you thought you came for
                        Is only a shell, a husk of meaning
                        From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled
                        If at all. Either you had no purpose
                        Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured
                        And is altered in fulfilment. There are other places
                        Which also are the world's end, some at the sea jaws,
                        Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city—
                        But this is the nearest, in place and time,
                        Now and in England.

                                      If you came this way,
                        Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
                        At any time or at any season,
                        It would always be the same: you would have to put off
                        Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
                        Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
                        Or carry report. You are here to kneel
                        Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
                        Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
                        Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
                        And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
                        They can tell you, being dead: the communication
                        Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
                        Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
                        Is England and nowhere. Never and always.

###

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