Excerpts from “The Rock” by T. S. Eliot (1888–1965)
The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
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The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
О perpetual revolution of configured stars,
О perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
О world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
BLOOD is my daylight, and darkness too.
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Blessing of night has been gouged from my cheeks
Bearing with it my more lucky sight.
Within those holes, for tears, fierce fire inflamed
The bleeding socket as if for brain a balm –
While my bright eyes died on my own palm.
I once beheld on earth celestial graces
And heavenly beauties scarce to mortals known,
Whose memory yields nor joy nor grief alone,
But all things else in cloud and dreams effaces.
I saw how tears had left their weary traces
Within those eyes that once the sun outshone,
I heard those lips, in low and plaintive moan,
Breathe words to stir the mountains from their places.
Love, wisdom, courage, tenderness, and truth
Made in their mourning strains more high and dear
Than ever wove soft sounds for mortal ear;
And heaven seemed listening in such saddest ruth
The very leaves upon the bough to soothe,
Such sweetness filled the blissful atmosphere.
Translated by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1903)
Photo: Courtesy of Annie Spratt / Unsplash
The great thing
is not having
a mind. Feelings:
oh, I have those; they
govern me. I have
a lord in heaven
called the sun, and open
for him, showing him
the fire of my own heart, fire
like his presence.
What could such glory be
if not a heart? Oh my brothers and sisters,
were you like me once, long ago,
before you were human? Did you
to open once, who would never
open again? Because in truth
I am speaking now
the way you do. I speak
because I am shattered.
As I began to love myself
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I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living
against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is Authenticity.