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T.S. Elliot – The Four Quartets

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present

                                                                Burnt Norton

Came across this rather nicely presented Four Quartets website, which is more enjoyable to read simply because of the colours and layout. The link is also in the blogroll under poetry.

By the way, 3 Quarks is putting up poetry nowadays. Here Frost’s Birches.

January 25, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, T.S. Elliot | | Leave a comment

Autumn leaves

It’s winter now. As I write out a description of leaves being picked up by a blackbird looking for worm and insects, somewhere in the back of my mind is an ancient Chinese poem about leaves. In looking, there is Rilke’s

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

…wake, read, write letters long to friends
And will the alleys up and down
Walk restlessly, when falling leaves dance.

Check out the five versions in the links in the Rilke post to see how hard it is to translate ‘walking’, alleys’, ‘ leaves’.

December 23, 2007 Posted by | Poetry, Rilke, translation | Leave a comment