am 8.1.2003 21:12 Uhr schrieb Frances Rushworth unter
[log in to unmask]:

> Dear Caroll and Gunnar, Peter and all,
> As ever, I have much enjoyed your posts as I lurk quietly at the shallow end
> of the pool of contributors to the list.  I have been mulling over the
> importance of those lines of debated scanscion, wondering why I agree with
> Gunnar - they are central to the Four Quartets.
> Who then devised the torment? Love.
> Love is unfamiliar Name
> Behind the hands that wove
> The intolerable shirt of flame
> Which human power cannot remove.
> The idea that Love is not just wonderful fulfilment, joy and being at one,
> or at least, that one of its consequences may be the duty to deny oneself
> desires - an unfamiliar name.  Echoing the command to say to one's soul, be
> still, to wait without love, or hope or thought, and later, the idea of
> detachment - is this a freedom from love, or loss of self in a universal
> concept which might be called love?  'liberation - not less of love but
> expanding of love beyond desire'.  Love ... 'Caught in the form of
> limitation Between un-being and being.'  that state so often alluded
> throughout the poem, beyond human power, though striven towards.
> The annoyance that I cannot clearly think through, much less express, where
> such meanderings take me,

...they take you towards the right direction,

dear Frances.

Your agreeing to my hapless gut feeling that those lines constitute the very
core 4Q has moved me deeply -- you have said it the way I wish I were able
to. Thank you.

Here's a W.H. Auden poem most of you surely are familiar with (and may find
all too trivial) on the topic -- I always loved its light spirit and
alternating verse meter:

O tell me the Truth about Love.

Some say that love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.            (Right she was, old fag:-))

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn't over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.




"Screw Grammar", the first part of the topic line coined by our venerable
DOCTOR Monty (trying to pull rank or what? ;-)) stems from my benevolent
off-line chiding him on his use of who's instead of whose, which I
considered sloppy for a prof.

I wonder why you wrote back to the whole list, Pete.