Monday, June 27, 2011
TS Eliot: Choruses from the Rock
Every summer I spend some time with TS Eliot's remarkable poem 'Choruses from the Rock' as one element of my reading for personal reflection and renewal. I will offer a selection from that poem here each day this week, and hope that some readers might likewise profit from a fresh consideration of the poet's challenging words.
Choruses from the Rock
The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of The Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Brings us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.