theme
something like a phenomena
i speak in smoke signals and you answer in code

Who is the third who walks always beside you? 
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?

   What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
Unreal

   A woman drew her long black hair out tight
And fiddled whisper music on those strings
And bats with baby faces in the violet light
Whistled, and beat their wings
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall
And upside down in air were towers
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.

   In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the rooftree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain

   Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence,
Then spoke the thunder
DA
Datta: what have we given?
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
DA
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key
Turn in the door once and turn once only
We think of the key, each in his prison
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison
Only at nightfall, aethereal rumours
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus
DA
Damyata: The boat responded
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient
To controlling hands

                                       I sat upon the shore 
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me 
Shall I at least set my lands in order? 
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down 
Poi s’ascose nel foco che gli affina 
Quando fiam uti chelidon
—O swallow swallow 
Le Prince d’Aquitaine à la tour abolie
These fragments I have shored against my ruins 
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe. 
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. 
            Shantih shantih shantih

-TS Eliot, from The Waste Land

  1. welcomethoughts reblogged this from lipstickgryffindor and added:
    Reading this in AP Lit and it is FANTASTIC
  2. paris-is-far-away-from-me reblogged this from metalshell
  3. lipstickgryffindor reblogged this from borgevino
  4. metalshell reblogged this from positivecapability and added:
    WHY SO EPIC AND BEAUTIFUL, WHY?
  5. positivecapability reblogged this from borgevino
  6. faantine reblogged this from borgevino
  7. andrezel said: i probably don’t need to make my feelings about this explicit at this point, but YES. GOD YES. I am working on memorizing the whole poem, actually. I can get most of the way straight through The Burial of the Dead… super fun project.
  8. borgevino reblogged this from sea-change
  9. sea-change posted this