Monday, January 20, 2014

Early Eliot

Two lovely pre-Prufrock poems by T. S. Eliot.


Sunday: this satisfied procession
Of definite Sunday faces;
Bonnets, silk hats, and conscious graces
In repetition that displaces
Your mental self-possession
By this unwarranted digression.

Evening, lights, and tea!
Children and cats in the alley;
Dejection unable to rally
Against this dull conspiracy.

And Life, a little bald and gray,
Languid, fastidious, and bland,
Waits, hat and gloves in hand,
Punctilious of tie and suit
(Somewhat impatient of delay)
   On the doorstep of the Absolute.


Along the city streets
It is still high tide,
Yet the garrulous waves of life
Shrink and divide
With a thousand incidents
Vexed and debated:–
This is the hour for which we waited–

This is the ultimate hour
   When life is justified.
   The seas of experience
   That were so broad and deep,
   So immediate and steep,
   Are suddenly still.
   You may say what you will,
   At such peace I am terrified.
   There is nothing else beside.

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