Saturday, July 16, 2005


"...in light upon the figured leaf..."

I never figured out quite what Eliot was talking about in the opening of the second part of Burnt Norton, the first of the Four Quartets. Perhaps not having an obvious meaning allows the music of the words, and the images that float through my mind as I read them, to create some kind of pattern amongst the synapses in my brain in such a way that the words are mediators of a communication even without having to form a coherent, rational structure. But whatever the process, I find these words curiously calming:

"Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf
And hear upon the sodden floor
Below, the boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars."

Maybe the boarhound and the boar would be chasing around below these:

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