FOUR QUARTETS T.S.ELIOT PDF

Eliot Poems Back to Poems Page. Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton by T. I Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable.

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T he greatness of the Four Quartets lies partly in their abstract considerations, but also in the way that they are so particular in their imagery. They are poems of long walks in the English countryside, and boating off the north-eastern US and of London in gloomy threatened peace and the dust and smoke of war; they are poems of middle age and a sense of fading powers.

They are at once an attempt at making a final general statement about the spiritual life and an intense last flowering of the poetry of a very specific person. Eliot almost entirely abandoned poetry after Little Gidding and turned, for good and ill, to the theatre; I don't propose to consider his plays in this series. There is a paradox here — Eliot talks of faring forward, or not ceasing from exploration, but these four great poems are a total statement after which there was nothing much left for him to say.

This is partly because of their essentially musical structure — in which themes are constantly recapitulated in major and minor ways. The ghost children who never were get their major moment in Burnt Norton but are reprised in a few lines of Little Gidding; other poems of Eliot engage in metonymy of other texts, and so do these, but here echoes of other poems in the sequence are even more important. Not only is Eliot telling us that "all time is eternally present", that "in my end is my beginning", he is constantly showing us this as a matter of technique.

Further, by implication, he is saying that the destiny of our souls is constantly constructed and reconstructed by meditations that are an echo chamber both of what is real and what might have been. There's a sort of ecclesiastical tourism going on — he is shoring up fragments again but with a view to curing his soul this time. But for all their obsession with Anglicanism as a living tradition, the Four Quartets are only occasionally a way of talking about the spiritual, specifically Christian.

As you would expect from the descendant of New England Puritans, there is a deep consciousness here both of personal sin and original sin but salvation is seen in terms of personal annihilation as much as purgation "consumed by either fire or fire". Christ is "the wounded surgeon" but not otherwise here; Eliot feels the deep guilt of the redemptive sacrifice of incarnate flesh but not the joy of birth or resurrection.

Christians have been so glad of having such a great poet as a recruit that they have sometimes not noticed his less-than-entire orthodoxy. These are poems, or rather one long great poem in many segments, about old age and about regret and about hope for some sort of mystical annihilation of a redeemed self; they are also poems about art and poetry and structure.

This is not a sneer at the expense of the belief with which Eliot struggled and his attempt to make right in a spiritual realm what could not be fixed in this world — a poet cannot but conceive of the building and correction of a soul save through poetic structure. Eliot created the symphonic self-recapitulating structure of the Four Quartets as a way of modelling what he hoped was possible in a religious sense; without sharing his belief, we can see these poems as magnificent in the purely aesthetic sense that he hoped he had moved beyond.

If we believe that the making of art is one of the highest justifications of human life, it is possible to be consoled and moved and perhaps ennobled by these poems. Eliot might have hoped for more, but that's something. Topics TS Eliot How to believe. Poetry Religion Philosophy comment. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All.

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A spiritual reading of T. S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’

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Four Quartets: TS Eliot's struggle to make the real world right in a spiritual realm

Four Quartets was T. After its publication in the early s, Eliot would write occasional minor verses, but much of his creative energy was directed into the theatre, where he wrote a series of attempts to bring about a renaissance in English verse drama with mixed results. Eliot wrote that the last three poems that make up Four Quartets are patriotic poems — but then he crossed out this statement. Others analyse T. This does leave us with the question, though: how should we analyse Four Quartets? Following his split with his wife in the early s, T.

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A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets

T he greatness of the Four Quartets lies partly in their abstract considerations, but also in the way that they are so particular in their imagery. They are poems of long walks in the English countryside, and boating off the north-eastern US and of London in gloomy threatened peace and the dust and smoke of war; they are poems of middle age and a sense of fading powers. They are at once an attempt at making a final general statement about the spiritual life and an intense last flowering of the poetry of a very specific person. Eliot almost entirely abandoned poetry after Little Gidding and turned, for good and ill, to the theatre; I don't propose to consider his plays in this series. There is a paradox here — Eliot talks of faring forward, or not ceasing from exploration, but these four great poems are a total statement after which there was nothing much left for him to say. This is partly because of their essentially musical structure — in which themes are constantly recapitulated in major and minor ways. The ghost children who never were get their major moment in Burnt Norton but are reprised in a few lines of Little Gidding; other poems of Eliot engage in metonymy of other texts, and so do these, but here echoes of other poems in the sequence are even more important.

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Four Quartets

I first read T. As a child feeling the pull of approaching adolescence, about to move away from the safety of a neighborhood school to a large high school nearly half an hour away, I was feeling anticipatory nostalgia for the ways that Sacred Heart School had shaped me, and T. Eliot helped me process that experience. The poems in T. John of the Cross. Each time I read Four Quartets, that phrase about exploring struck me like a gong. The fourth section of each, for example, is a brief lyric interlude that connects to prayer, Mary or the Trinity.

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