bookshelves: radio-4, published-1943, winter-20132014, poetry, nobel-laureate, philosophy, religion
Read from January 16 to 19, 2014
Sat 18/1/2014 R4
Jeremy Irons reads TS Eliot's four linked meditations.
BBC description: Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T.S. Eliot's career as a poet. While containing some of the most musical and unforgettable passages in twentieth-century poetry, its four parts, 'Burnt Norton', 'East Coker', 'The Dry Salvages' and 'Little Gidding', present a rigorous meditation on the spiritual, philosophical and personal themes which preoccupied the author. It was the way in which a private voice was heard to speak for the concerns of an entire generation, in the midst of war and doubt, that confirmed it as an enduring masterpiece.
With an introduction by Michael Symmons Roberts, Lord David Alton and Gail McDonald.
It is all very Proustian:
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
Found it a wonderful experience to read as I listened, and you can listen too. Without this I would have read salvages the wrong way: Eliot wrote it to be pronounced 'salve-ages', which is incredibly neat and in context.
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
the world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
4* Four Quartets
3* The Waste Land
5* Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
3* Murder in the Cathedral
Four Quartet is one of my favorite poem, especially "East Coker." I enjoy reading it aloud even though I still can't get much of the sense most of the time. It has the abstract beauty that features many high modernist works and maybe that's why I can still appreciate it while having no idea what it talks about.
Perhaps it really takes time to undestand a poem, and certainly new reflections pop up everytime I read it. Or maybe they are not really "new" reflections at all because I keep feeling that they are just summoned from the unconscious, from what is often felt but not said. (That's why I feel like shouting "Yes, that's it!!" when I read it sometimes.) Just as Eliot puts: "There is only the fight to recover what has been lost/ And found and lost again and again." Reading, in this sense, has already become the fight for consciousness, for memory of life... (gibberishing now XD)
Even though I mark this book as "finished," certainly I will still reread it again and again......Continua