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(Bear with…  it is closely based on Eliot’s poem and so

goes on a bit!)

 

Thomas Stearns Eliot by Lady Ottoline Morrell (1934).jpg

(T S Eliot, 1934

Image by Lady Ottoline Morrell;

cropped by Octave.H)

 

I

Because I do hope to turn again…

because I do hope;

because I do hope to turn,

desiring my own gift and my own scope.

I do strive to strive towards such things.

( Why shouldn’t I mount up with eagles’ wings?

Why shouldn’t  I celebrate

my replenished power and the banishment of pain?)

 

Because I do hope to feel again

the glory of the positive hour;

because I do think;

because I am known and I shall know

the sole veritable eternal power.

Because I can drink

there, where trees flower and springs flow,

for there is something again.

Because I know that time is always time,

but place is never only place

and what is actual is actual for eternity

and not just for the here and now.

I rejoice that things will be as they will be

and I cherish the blessed face;

internalise the voice.

Because I hope to turn again-

consequently I rejoice, not having to construct something

upon which to rejoice.  I have been given choice.

 

I pray to God to have mercy on me

and know that He will forget

those matters that with myself I too much discuss-

too much justify and explain…

because I do hope to turn again,

let these words answer

for what was done and for those things

from which I should have refrained.

Judgement need not lie heavy upon us.

 

Because these wings still have a capacity to fly

and will buoy me up in the air-

the air which is fresh and pure, though dry,

expansive and inspirational.

Teach me to care and not to care.

Teach me to sit still,

confident that an advocate prays for me

now and will do at the hour of death.

 

II

After the leopards fed to satiety on my heart,

my innards and the contents of my mind,

my skeletal remains shone with brightness;

your oblivion transformed what had been rejected

into something substantial and resurrected.

Now my bones live; I do not prophesy to the wind,

but am transported to a garden where torment has vanished

and I am glad to have my bones scattered under a tree

in the cool of the day, where neither unity nor division matter

and I am to have my inheritance and will not be banished.

 

III

I no longer fear the devil on the stair-

the one whose face shows hope and dark despair.

I have climbed beyond the second stair

and caught the scent of hawthorn there.

I heard the antique flute’s distracting notes

but found the shibboleth I needed in my throat.

Lord, You made me worthy.

 

 

The final stanzas tomorrow.  This is a long haul poem

and I am trying to follow, but counter Eliot!