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http://gratefultothedead.wordpress.com/2010/09/07/dorothy-sayers-on-romantic-theology-in-dante-alighieri-and-charles-williams/
 and


http://northwestern.academia.edu/BarbaraNewman/Papers/625309/Eliots_Affirmative_Way_Julian_of_Norwich_Charles_Williams_and_Little_Gidding
_2011_

are interesting, I think, in this context.

Charles Williams was a profound but under-rated influence on Eliot

On 15 September 2012 18:38, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Poets have sung of their mystical yearning for God. They have dwelt on
> the simplicity or complexity of their relationship with God. They have
> all been, in varying degrees, intense and poignant. But when was it that
> a poet suffered and stood apart from his suffering so as to give it an
> impersonal voice of universal suffering? When was it that you made the
> entire tradition chant with you, to make a chorus of your song, to
> express a universal yearning for the waters of spirituality?
>
> If there were water
> And no rock
> If there were rock
> And also water
> And water
> A spring
> A pool among the rock
> If there were the sound of water only
> Not the cicada
> And dry grass singing
> But sound of water over a rock
> Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
> Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
> But there is no water
>
> Ages have cried, and shall cry, for these waters. There's a prophetic
> voice at the outset of The Waste Land that calls upon you to come in under
> the shadow of "this red rock" where you'll be shown "fear in a handful of
> dust". And if you care to put your ears to the rock, you might hear
> resonances of God's voice asking you to smite that rock and it will yield
> water.
>
> CR
>
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Saturday, September 15, 2012 12:45 PM
>
> *Subject:* Re: TS Eliot, the greatest religious poet?
>
> I cannot but be random. Well, just contemplating these lines from The
> Waste Land:
>
> Unreal City,
> Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
> A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
> I had not thought death had undone so many.
> Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
> And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
> Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
> To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
> With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
> There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!
> You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
> That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
> Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
> Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
> Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
> Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
> You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”
>
> The Waste Land is largely an orchestration of the absence of God/Love from
> things --
> it is this that defines an inferno. The poet draws upon a manifold
> tradition to view it
> in contemporary light if only to enrich it. No poet had reminded us of so
> much in so
> few a lines, and not without their religious implications.
>
> CR
>
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Saturday, September 15, 2012 11:36 AM
> *Subject:* Re: TS Eliot, the greatest religious poet?
>
> And the peerless quality of its incantatory music:
>
> STAND on the highest pavement of the stair—
> Lean on a garden urn—
> Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair—
> Clasp your flowers to you with a pained surprise—
> Fling them to the ground and turn
> With a fugitive resentment in your eyes:
> But weave, weave the sunlight in your hair.
>
> ---
>
> It's a poetic ritual of the first order.
>
> ---
>
> The religious impulse that informs and imbues Eliot's poetry:
>
> Hence the soul cannot be possessed of the divine union,
> until it has divested itself of the love of created beings.
>
> St. John of the Cross.
>
> ---
>
> I shall linger a while more on Eliot's early poetry, on some of his
> peerless moments.
> Peerless they are all, the poems Eliot chose to publish. My emphasis here
> is on
> the manifold beauty of his religious thought and expression.
>
> CR
>
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Saturday, September 15, 2012 10:49 AM
> *Subject:* Re: TS Eliot, the greatest religious poet?
>
> I'm struck by the amount of condensation and consequent intensity
> of thought and expression, and the epic reach of Eliot's images.
> Here's just one instance -- a timeless expression of the sense of
> earthly disillusion which is ancillary to an aspiration for the absolute:
>
> No contact possible to flesh
> Allayed the fever of the bone
>
> There is an inexhaustible quality about its religious appeal.
>
> We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
> By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
> Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
>
> CR
>
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 13, 2012 5:59 PM
> *Subject:* Re: TS Eliot, the greatest religious poet?
>
> The Guardian article
>
> Which religious poets do you love?
> Andrew Brown
> 1 June 2009
> guardian.co.uk
>
> "[T]he most powerful English religious poet started off as an American.
> There is something in the solemn and desolate music of The Waste Land
> which conveys to me an idea of god by absence and by indirection."
>
>
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2009/jun/01/religion-poetry
>
>
> CR
>
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Thursday, September 13, 2012 9:59 AM
> *Subject:* TS Eliot, the greatest religious poet?
>
> If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
> If the unheard, unspoken
> Word is unspoken, unheard;
> Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
> The Word without a word, the Word within
> The world and for the world;
> And the light shone in darkness and
> Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
> About the centre of the silent Word.
>
> ---
>
> That is what I had read in an article in The Guardian (UK).
> It resonated well with what I had felt all along.
> It raises certain questions, though, of how and why.
> We need to raise them and answer them as best we can.
> I'd love to share my feelings on the subject.
> The list is welcome.
>
> CR
>
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