Blick ins Chaos

On 21 Feb 2016 11:24 a.m., Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I agree with Ken (interesting) that there is a major issue in all these about how they could be implemented. And I don't think them quirky either. As critiques, they are also sometimes perceptive and even prescient.

I would not wish to see them either implemented or widely accepted: Eliot's apparent solution, at least in some cases, is the creation of a uniform society (as in "Notes toward the Definition of Society" or empire (as in "Virgil and the Christian World"). Neither could be implemented without at least great exclusion and control if not violence, and he does not address that. Even his notion of "Europe" seems to exclude what he called in his essay on Goethe "germanism." That meant Goethe could not be a "universal classic."
How others could be "universal" if "germanism" is excluded is not at all clear--"Holy Roman Empire" or not. Interestingly, even in the United Kingdom, Scotland was never part of that empire. There are military outpost Roman artifacts but no settlements, and that presumably ended with Hadrian and his wall.

On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 12:51 PM, Chanan Mittal <> wrote:
Some truths _are_ timeless. 
And poetry continues to remind us of them. 
It may not make things happen. 
But it does unsettle us.
If only to make us more acutely aware of those truths. 

Here is one, from 'Four Quartets': 

I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god - sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities - ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons, and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

       The river is within us, the sea is all about us;


All history is finally cyclical. 

"And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."


On Sunday, February 21, 2016, Ken Armstrong <> wrote:
When I read through them, engaging as they are, I couldn't at the end identify which would be considered quirky. Or unsettling, except in the sense that perceptive as they are, how do you get them more widely into operation, ie. more accepted and acted upon by the larger society. I suppose the easy answer could be, "you don't." That would at least leave his observation on the huge labor vs. small results of poetry intact. But it would fall short of his observations about the indifference of the spiritualists and the utopian preoccupation of the materially bound.

Ken A

On 2/21/2016 10:07 AM, Chanan Mittal wrote:
Startling. At times unsettling. 


On Sunday, February 21, 2016, Rickard A. Parker <> wrote:
The Quirky Wisdom of T. S. Eliot

A blog by Philip Yancey containing a collection of Eliot quotations on the problems of the day.


In tribute to T. S. Eliot, I have compiled the following quotations spelling out his insights, which are far less familiar than his poetry.  Some of his opinions seem quirky, while others are downright prophetic.

On modern capitalism:
(I’m waiting to hear Bernie Sanders quote these.)

On Christian essentials:
(Tea Party Republicans would do well to ponder these.)

On global dangers:
(In Eliot’s day, Communism loomed.  Think now of ISIS.)

On the church and society:
(Are Christians truly a counter-culture, or just another slice of modern culture?)

On writing:
(Ah, how well I know this sense of melancholy struggle.)

"Of what use is this experimenting with rhythms and words, this effort to find the precise metric and the exact image to set down feelings which, if communicable at all, can be communicated to so few that the result seems insignificant compared to the labor."