Friday, April 02, 2010

Poetry for Good Friday: "Little Gidding IV," by T. S. Eliot

The dove descending breaks the air

With flame of incandescent terror

Of which the tongues declare

The one discharge from sin and error.

The only hope, or else despair

Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre—

To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.

Love is the unfamiliar Name

Behind the hands that wove

The intolerable shirt of flame

Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire

Consumed by either fire or fire.

Read the complete poem here.


  1. Thanks for sharing Cheryl, love classics like this one.

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  2. Ah, T.S. Eliot. One of the few things I couldn't bring myself to re-sell when I was a dead-broke student? My copy of the COMPLETE WORKS. Definitely gonna go read me some "Four Quartets" today. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Beautiful.

    Before Sir Mix-a-lot, there was...

    T.S. Eliot.

  4. "All shall be well."

  5. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This is a wonderful poem - thank you for sharing. I have a torment myself. I'm dying to read the next Moribito book. I know you mentioned that the success of the second book is needed to get the next in the series published. Well I've bought my copy and bought friends copies as gifts. I've raved about it to everyone. I love Balsa. I'm dying to read the next installment. In desperation I rented the entire anime series on Netflix and was shocked to find that all 8 episodes are only about the 1st book. I loved the first book but I adored the second book. What else can I do to help see more Balsa printed?

  7. Patricia NesbittApril 04, 2010 6:56 PM

    Personally, I loved seeing the pictures of babies and toddlers enthralled with a book. If any of you out there need a book to present as a shower or birth gift, check out On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. It is a precious book.

  8. it seems a bleak view of life and love to me. i seem to be in the minority. the only line by eliot I really appreciated is the "claws scuttling across" etc.

  9. He has it nailed with that first phrase "break the air," I think.

    Thanks from poetry-land for celebrating National Poetry Month! Enjoy.

  10. Neat poem, Cheryl!

    I wanted to say that I VERY MUCH appreciate your older blog post, "A Definition of YA". I am beginning a YA novel (my first attempt at such), so I was looking at my blogging connections to see what you all said about the YA genre.

    Your particular post was REALLY helpful in getting me started. So, THANKS!! :)