Reflections on Lines from two poems by T.S. Eliot.
Reflections on Lines from Two Poems by T.S. Eliot ['Teach us to care and not to care, teach us to sit still...'--'Ash Wednesday'] ['At the still point of the turning world... '--'Burnt Norton'] to care is hope not to care is faith I who am an unbeliever learn to accept this acceptance which is neither belief nor disbelief not a shrug but a stare releases me from some point of responsibility enough is left I who am an unbeliever have been taught too studiously to care not caring is another aspect of morality madness is caring too much sanity the still point from which all action is possible from which one can move in any direction the random buffeting of neutrons leads one home who relies on probability there is more than one voice in the world listen check what you hear against the hum of the universe it is perhaps foolish to invoke his name who was hateful to women and jews (I am both) it is perhaps foolish for a poet to invoke his name who was master of this art to invite absurd comparison I do not wish to rewrite history that which is written and true I wish to add what is unwritten and also true to be free of debts one must pay them in his words I reconcile the foolish and the wise the rhetoric and the emotion the group and the individual because the centre is not the middle but the still point where I sit still and let what will pass over me not passive but impassive the still point where my eyes see centre and peripheries the still point where I take that which sustains me take and am glad to take with the paradoxical indifference of nature which for all its divine distance makes heroic and detailed efforts to perpetuate itself it cannot matter to the dead poet that I thank yet do not forgive it can matter only to me of his bread with all its mould I eat to perpetuate myself I eat of it to be once and for all free of debt I am thankful for the rest I learn to care and not to care to sit still at the still point to turn and stare
Leah Fritz, an American ex-pat in London since 1985, has had her writings published on both sides of the Atlantic. Her essays and reportage in the United States were collected in Thinking Like a Woman, published by WINBooks in New York, and Dreamers and Dealers: An Intimate Appraisal of the Women's Movement, by Beacon Press in Boston. Both her prose and poetry have appeared in The Guardian, Poetry Review, PN Review, Acumen, The Literary Review, and London Magazine, among many others, and in anthologies, as well. She has judged several poetry competitions. Her archives are at Duke University in the United States.
Leah's first Romanian poetry co-translations, with Alina-Olimpia Miron providing the literal interpretation, are in Deepening the Mystery, by Cristiana Maria Purdescu, published by Editura Semne in Bucharest. Poems from that volume, and with Ioana Buse from Born in Romania by Liviu Ioan Stoiciu, published in both languages on the internet by Contemporary Literature Press in Bucharest, have been reprinted in Modern Poetry in Translation, Acumen and Poem Magazine. Working with Prof. Lidia Vianu of the University of Bucharest, she has re-interpreted the work of numerous Romanian poets for Poesis, an internet anthology of the Writers' Union of Romania. '
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|Publication:||European English Messenger|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2015|
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