Monday, August 22, 2011

Poet Know It

I know this poem. I've known it since I was 17. I don't know every line by heart, nor by grey matter but I do know it. I know it because it explains me to myself. This poem illuminates and names a lot of how I feel right now- both personally and professionally, spiritually and intellectually. Whenever I feel like I am leaving one season, one place, one mind-set, one rut, one success, one support...whenever I feel that I am making a leap from one thing to the next I think of this poem.

Ash Wednesday- T.S. Eliot

Because I do not hope to turn again

Because I do not hope

Because I do not hope to turn

Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope

I no longer strive to strive towards such things

(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)

Why should I mourn

The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know again

The infirm glory of the positive hour

Because I do not think

Because I know I shall not know

The one veritable transitory power

Because I cannot drink

There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there

Is nothing again

Because I know that time is always time

And place is always and only place

And what is actual is actual only for one time

And only for one place

I rejoice that things are as they are and

I renounce the blessed face

And renounce the voice

Because I cannot hope to turn again

Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something

Upon which to rejoice

And pray to God to have mercy upon us

And I pray that I may forget

These matters that with myself I too much discuss

Too much explain

Because I do not hope to turn again

Let these words answer

For what is done, not to be done again

May the judgment not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly

But merely vans to beat the air

The air which is now thoroughly small and dry

Smaller and dryer than the will

Teach us to care and to not care

Teach us to sit still

No comments: