Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Clootie Tree (& T. S. Eliot)

Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
into the silence

Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness

Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still

The detail of the pattern is movement,
As in the figure of the ten stairs.
Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being

***from, Four Quartets, 'Burnt Norton'

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