Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Little Gidding" by TS Eliot (read by Tom O'Bedlam)

What we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. (TS Elliot)


T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Section V.

What we call the beginning is often the end 

And to make an end is to make a beginning. 
The end is where we start from. And every phrase 
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home, 
Taking its place to support the others, 
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious, 
An easy commerce of the old and the new, 
The common word exact without vulgarity, 
The formal word precise but not pedantic, 
The complete consort dancing together) 
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, 
Every poem an epitaph. And any action 
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea's throat 
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.

We die with the dying: 
See, they depart, and we go with them. 
We are born with the dead: 
See, they return, and bring us with them. 
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree 
Are of equal duration. A people without history 
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern 
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails 
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel 
History is now and England.

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling

We shall not cease from exploration 

And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 
Through the unknown, remembered gate 
When the last of earth left to discover 
Is that which was the beginning; 
At the source of the longest river 
The voice of the hidden waterfall 
And the children in the apple­tree 
Not known, because not looked for 
But heard, half­heard, in the stillness 
Between two waves of the sea. 
Quick now, here, now, always- 
A condition of complete simplicity 
(Costing not less than everything) 
And all shall be well and 
All manner of thing shall be well 
When the tongues of flame are in­folded 
Into the crowned knot of fire 
And the fire and the rose are one.