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*Eliot’s Poetry - Nerves in Patterns *


Most of Eliot’s poetry is in the nature of introspection, a dialogue with
his own self, “a thousand small deliberations,” “These matters that with
myself I too much discuss / Too much explain.”  PRUFROCK, GERONTION, THE
WASTE LAND, HOLLOW MEN, ASH-WEDNESDAY, FOUR QUARTETS — introspective
explorations, one and all.

*Time for you and time for me,*

*And time yet for a hundred indecisions,*

*And for a hundred visions and revisions,*

*Before the taking of a toast and tea.*

*Do I dare*
*Disturb the universe? *


*I am no prophet — and here’s no great matter;*

*I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,*

*And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,*

*And in short, I was afraid.*


*And would it have been worth it, after all,*

*After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,*

*Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,*

*Would it have been worth while,*

*To have bitten off the matter with a smile...*

*I grow old ... I grow old ...*

*-         -         - *


*I would meet you upon this honestly. *

*I that was near your heart was removed therefrom *

*To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition. *

*I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it *

*Since what is kept must be adulterated? *

*I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch: *

*How should I use it for your closer contact? *


*These with a thousand small deliberations *

*Protract the profit of their chilled delirium, *

*Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled, *

*With pungent sauces, multiply variety *

*In a wilderness of mirrors.  What will the spider do *

*Suspend its operations, will the weevil *

*Delay?  De Bailhache, Fresca, Mrs. Cammel, whirled *

*Beyond the circuit of the shuddering Bear *

*In fractured atoms. Gull against the wind, in the windy straits *

*Of Belle Isle, or running on the Horn, *

*White feathers in the snow, the Gulf claims, *

*And an old man driven by the Trades *
*To a sleepy corner. *

*-         -         - *


*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. *

*-         -         -*

Ain’t it so?
CR