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, leads me to offer you a favourite poem by Mervyn Peake (author of Gormenghast). I cannot give the reasons, I only sing the tunes: the sadness of the seasons the madness of the moons. I cannot be didactic or lucid, but I can be quite obscure and practic- ally marzipan. In gorgery and gushness and all that's squishified, My voice has all the lushness of what I can't abide And yet it has a beauty most proud and terrible denied to those whose duty is to be cerebral. I've never really liked the last verse, but here it is, for completeness sake, along with a challenge - can anyone write me a better one - please? Among the antlered mountains I make my viscous way and watch the sepia fountains throw up their lime-green spray. Cheers Fran.