Lots of humphs too, Peter. ;-)

"With the voices singing in our ears, saying / That this was all folly."


From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: Gerontion: earth's tenant
Sent: Fri, May 18, 2012 1:43:19 PM

Oops! Takes a lot of oomph, that is, to go along with all that, I believe.

Hope you agree with me on this, Peter.


From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: Gerontion: earth's tenant
Sent: Fri, May 18, 2012 12:46:58 PM

Takes a lot of humph, Peter, to pass through this and much more
that in Eliot's poetry constitutes the dark night of the soul. Well, it
augurs well for the pilgrim in my view.

"Here is a place of disaffection
Time before and time after
In a dim light: neither daylight
Investing form with lucid stillness
Turning shadow into transient beauty
Wtih slow rotation suggesting permanence
Nor darkness to purify the soul
Emptying the sensual with deprivation
Cleansing affection from the temporal.
Neither plentitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker
Over the strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after.
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here
Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.

      Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Dessication of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movememnt; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future."
('Burnt Norton')


"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 facade are all being rolled away-
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations
And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about;
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing-
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing."
('East Coker')

So, if one views Eliot's poetry retrospectively, everything falls into place
in a larger perspective that underscores an overall unity of thought.


From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: Gerontion: earth's tenant
Sent: Fri, May 18, 2012 2:38:45 AM

Takes a bit of umph to wrap one's mind around that thought.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]">Chokh Raj
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:44 AM
Subject: Gerontion: earth's tenant

Today's Quotation at

"Yes; but if not of the earth, for earth's tenant Jerusalem was the omphalos of mortality."
 (Thomas De Quincey, 'Suspiria de Profundies') 


"Thou hast nor youth nor age
 But as it were an after dinner sleep
 Dreaming of both." 

                   "Tenants of the house,
 Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season." 

                                                           "Think at last
We have not reached conclusion, when I
Stiffen in a rented house." 


Jules Laforgue: "And thou, Silence, pardon the earth; 
the little madcap hardly knows what she is doing."
(Lyndall Gordon, 'Eliot's Early Years', p. 35) 


Poetry has many voices.