"O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken."
[William Shakespeare, 'True Love']
Eliot once explained (to Philip Mairet, 31 October, 1956; the collection of Violet Welton)
that, even if a poem meant different things to different readers, it was still necessary
to assert its "absolute" meaning. [Peter Ackroyd, 'T.S. Eliot: A Life']
"Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come."
- WB Yeats, 'Sailing to Byzantium'
a passing thought