Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The detail of the pattern is movement

The detail of the pattern is movement . . . .

T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton, Four Quartets (1943)

Herewith the concluding lines to Burnt Norton, the first of T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets:

  • The detail of the pattern is movement,
  • As in the figure of the ten stairs.
  • Desire itself is movement
  • Not in itself desirable;
  • Love is itself unmoving,
  • Only the cause and end of movement,
  • Timeless, and undesiring
  • Except in the aspect of time
  • Caught in the form of limitation
  • Between un-being and being.
  • Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
  • Even while the dust moves
  • There rises the hidden laughter
  • Of children in the foliage
  • Quick now, here, now, always —
  • Ridiculous the waste sad time
  • Stretching before and after.

A shaft of sunlight
Children in the foliage


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