Friday, November 30, 2007

Another favourite -- the Dove descending

This one is a short extract (one section) from T S Eliot's longer poem "Little Gidding" (One of his "Four Quartets"). Who else but a poet of Eliot's skill would have both the audacity and sublimity to combine the pentecostal descent of the Holy Spirit with the firebombing of London in WWII?
read and be stunned ..

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre—
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.


pearlie said...

Hi Lynne,
I happen to come across your blog and find it quite amusing that we share quite the same things, except for some differences, we are both part-time theological student and loving it!and both INFPs! haha

God bless you!

Tom said...

Hello! I was having a nostalgia moment, remembering when I sang the Igor Stravinsky setting of this stunning little poem at the National Cathedral in DC, in 1974. So I googled it to get the words. So thanks! I'm INFP as well. Funny.

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