Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Little Something from "Four Quartets"


{I took this photo at our church on the Sunday of the Cross, a few weeks ago}


The Fourth Part of "East Coker"

IV

The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

- T.S. Eliot

Also, here's another poem for Holy Week, this one by Boris Pasternak:

He had renounced with no hostility
as if returning property on loan
his works of wonder and his might
and now,like us,was mortal.
Nights distance seemed the brink
of annihilation of nonexistence
the universe's span was void of life
the garden only a ground of being...
Seest thou, the passing of ages is like a parable
and in its passing it may burst to flame
In the name then of its awesome majesty
I shall in voluntary suffering descend into my grave
I shall descend into my grave.
And on the third day rise again
And even as barges float down a river
So shall the centuries,trailing live a caravan,
come for judgement,
out of the dark, to me.

- Boris Pasternak

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3 Comments:

Blogger The Ochlophobist said...

Beautiful.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

Interesting how death can be seen as a curse, except that Christ restored that death to life. I suppose that is where death hath no sting (paschal sermon). Death itself has been put to death.

great poems

4:50 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

just tesing my new blogger account... :)

12:39 PM  

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