Thank you. How appropriate for today.
I found Eliot when I entered college in 1961. On my own; even then Eliot was not part of the humanities curriculum we engineers took. I doubt he's part of the English curriculum in most colleges today.
He was instantly one of my favorite poets, even though I don't understand half his stanzas, and I was raised Catholic in the old style.
My other favorite is Yeats, another Catholic. Something must have stuck.
Why is there no poetry being written any more? I have a whole self of modern poetry, authors recommended by the English faculty at Kenyon, that barely scans. I do like Berry, however. Mostly because he reminds me of Frost.
I apologize. I forgot where I was. I'm getting old. Some of your stuff is pretty good. The pseudo-Frost below is interesting.
Beautiful, Gerard, and thank you.
Mr. Sykes, never having been to college, I can't answer your question, but of late, my favorite poets are the ones you have listed, along with Auden, Manley and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. For starters...
The power of poetry is that it can lead the mind anywhere.
I went from seeing a narrow winding staircase to heaven with stations of the cross to looking up the youtube version of the Byrds- "Turn! Turn! Turn !
We can intellectually struggle to find God, or we can just open up and he will enter.
A. E. Houseman, and he only.
Wonderful to read this again (and especially as I am more aware in this "certain" age than I have been at reading this previously). As always, I thank you.
I read this yesterday on the interwebs:
Love Calls Us to the Things of This World
- Richard Wilbur
The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.
Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly there they are.
Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing;
Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water; and now of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
The soul shrinks
From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessèd day,
“Oh, let there be nothing on earth but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven.”
Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world’s hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,
“Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
keeping their difficult balance.”