Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Little Giddings - T.S.Elliot

The following few lines are taken from Elliot's - Four Quartets, and we found them taped to the kneeling chair in front of the altar at Lastingham church.  Bleak of course, like a heavy hand christianity takes hold of Elliot's words and forces you to think on death, a good subject of course down in a crypt.  Still the church sitting proud on its mound was reminded by the pub opposite that there is also cheerful optimism in the human race as well.

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment
Is England and nowhere. Never and always

Taken from Allspirit it gets gloomier of course.  And for an explanation as to where Eliot was coming from this Wiki will explain

E.M.Forster criticised the poem
"Of course there's pain on and off through each individual's life... You can't shirk it and so on. But why should it be endorsed by the schoolmaster and sanctified by the priest until the fire and the rose are one when so much of it is caused by disease and bullies"


  1. Wow a lot to think about. Words are such powerful things, but can bring just as much comfort too.

  2. Yes very powerful I think Elliot was coming to the end of his life as well.
    Thank you for the info about Bram Stoker, we would have liked him buried up at St.Marys ;)


Love having comments!