Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, every poem an epitaph.

As a Lit major, I love poetry. If you had told me that the hours I spent analyzing it and writing papers would make me actually memorize passages I would have told you I’m not that hardcore.

And yet.

It comes to me at unexpected moments. When I wrote the post about the latest in our CKD Adventure, T.S. Eliot kept popping into my head.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;                            
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
– The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot

Eliot transcends my thoughts so that I know that we have plenty of time. And things will change, and change again, and there will still be time.

As I was driving home last night I got parts of Eliot’s Little Gidding.

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.

Today is a day of hushed conversations behind closed doors. Of waiting for the phone to ring and hoping that it doesn’t. People’s lives will change today.

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make and 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.

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