18-01-18

2

vrij naar T.S. Eliot

 

the awful daring of a moment's surrender
which an age of prudence can never retract

 

footfalls echo in the memory
down the passage which we did not take
towards the door we never opened
into the rose garden
my words echo
thus
in your mind
but to what purpose
disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose leaves
I do not know
other echoes
inhabit the garden
shall we follow
quick
said the bird
find them
find them
round the corner
through the first gate
into our first world
shall we follow
the deception of the thrush
into our first world
go
go
go
said the bird
human kind
cannot bear very much reality
time past and time future
what might have been and what has been
point to one end
which is always present
distracted from distraction by distraction
filled with fancies and empty of meaning
tumid apathy with no concentration
descend lower
descend only into the world of perpetual solitude
desiccation of the world of sense
evacuation of the world of fancy
inoperancy of the world of spirit
I was still the same
knowing myself
yet being someone other
and he a face still forming
yet the words sufficed to compel
the recognition they preceded
of a meeting nowhere
no before and after
we trod the pavement in a dead patrol
I said :
the wonder that I feel is easy
yet ease is cause of wonder
therefore
speak
I may not comprehend
may not remember
and he :
I am not eager to rehearse
my thoughts and theory which you have forgotten
these things have served their purpose
let them be
so with you own
and pray they be forgiven by others
as I pray you to forgive
both bad and good
between two worlds become much like each other
so I find words I never thougt to speak
in streets I never thought I shoud revisit
it is possible
you are the consciousness of your unhappy family
indeed this is possible
you may learn hereafter
moving alone through flames of ice
chosen to resolve the enchantment
under which we suffer
there are flood and drouth
over the eyes and in the mouth
dead water and dead sand
contending for the upper hand
the parched eviscrate soil
gapes at the vanity of toil
laughs without mirth
water and fire succeed
the town
the pasture and the weed
water and fire deride
the sacrifice we denied
water and fire shall rot
the marred foundations we forgot
this is the death of water and fire
if you came this way
taking the route you would be likely to take
from the place you would be likely to come from
if you came this way in May time
you would find the hedges white again
it would be the same at the end of the journey
if you came at night like a broken king
if you came by day not knowing what you came for
it would be the same
when you leave the rough road
and turn behind the pig sty to the dull façade
and the tombstone
and what you thought you came for
is only a shell
a husk of meaning
from which the purpose breaks only when is is fulfilled
it at all
either you had no purpose
or the purpose is beyond the end you figured
and is altered in fulfillment
there are other places
which also are the world's end
some at the sea jaws
or over a dark lake
in a desert or a city
but this is the nearest
in place and time
and so each venture
is a new beginning
a raid on the inarticulate
with shabby equipment always deteriorating
in the general mess of imprecision of feeling
undisciplined squads of emotion
and what is there to conquer
by strength and submission
has already been discovered
once or twice
or several times
by men whom one cannot hope
you say I am repeating
something I haved said before
I shall say it again
shall I say it again
in order to arrive there
to arrive where you are
to get from where you are not
you must go by a way
wherein there is no ecstasy
in order to arrive at what  you do not know
you must go by a way
which is the way of ignorance
in order to possess what you do not possess
you must go by the way of dispossession
in order to arrive at what you are not
you must go through the way in which you are not
and what you do not know is the only thing you know
and what you own is what you do not own
and where you are is where you are not
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
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
love
that it were possible
to undo things done
to call back yesterday
delight in sense
in learning and in thought
music and philosophy
curiosity
the purple bullfinch in the lilac tree
the tiltyard skill
the strategy of chess
love in the garden
singing to the instrument

peace
peace
he is not dead
he doth not sleep

now we come to discover the the moments of agony
whether or not
due to misunderstanding
having hoped for the wrong things or
dreaded the wrong things
are likewise permanent

  (1976)

12-01-18

1

1735772110.jpg