Nancy et al, I hope that you enjoy this poem based upon Eliot's poem based upon the sermon delivered on Christmas Day 1622; and honoring Valerie Eliot. Happy Holidays to all on this list! Eugene Schlanger A Poet’s Wife (for Valerie Eliot 1926-2012) Valerie Eliot has just died. It is said that when she first heard John Gielgud recite the Journey of the Magi She instinctively knew What she wanted to do And what to do. Imagine if in our self-important world You were told that someone Fell in love with life’s purpose Upon hearing a poem; odder still, A poem that recounts an arduous journey Towards an unlikely birth centuries ago. Odd? Uncommon? Or In the England between the wars Was there still some lingering presence Of that past in the present before The dismal future that always Portends another end? Perhaps the Magi saw all that and more— In the caravan, in the small town, Among those playing dice and Among those wanting women— And now, centuries later, As winter sets upon us again, I see and hear once more, Melancholic yet magnanimous, Among carpenters and plumbers, Christians and Jews, in Brooklyn, The borough of churches, That same desire for direction.