memory and desire
"April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter."
- from T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
T.S. Eliot is my favorite poet. Everything essential in Christian theology is contained in The Waste Land and the Four Quartets.
I wanted to post the first stanza of The Waste Land today, because you always hear that first line, but never anything that comes after it. But look what's there: the smell of lilacs brings back memories and desires you'd left for dead; winter felt safe; summer was an adventure in a foreign language and land; "In the mountains, there you feel free;" I read all night and go south when it's cold. Poetry.