Eliot’s Poetry

by: T. S. Eliot

Four Quartets: “East Coker”

1

There is, it seems to us, At best, only a limited value In the knowledge derived from experience. The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies, For the pattern is new in every moment And every moment is a new and shocking Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm.

2

And we all go with them, into the silent funeral, Nobody's funeral, for there is no one to bury. I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you Which shall be the darkness of God.

3

Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning. The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry, The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony Of death and birth.

4

The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

5

Old men ought to be explorers Here or there does not matter We must be still and still moving Into another intensity For a further union, a deeper communion Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.