Sonnets: III. Love Constrains

Being your slave, what should I do but tend Upon the hours and times of your desire? I have no precious time at all to spend, Nor services to do, till you require. Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour, Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you, Nor think the bitterness of absence sour, When you have bid your servant once adieu. Nor … Continue reading Sonnets: III. Love Constrains

Sonnets: II. Love Inspires

How can my Muse want subject to invent While thou dost breathe, that pour’st into my verse Thine own sweet argument, too excellent For every vulgar paper to rehearse? O, give thyself the thanks if aught in me Worthy perusal stand against thy sight, For who’s so dumb that cannot write to thee, When thou thyself dost give invention light? Be thou the tenth Muse, … Continue reading Sonnets: II. Love Inspires

Sonnets: Shakespeare The Psalmist

For the Down-and-Out When in disgrace with Fortune and men’s eyes I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featur’d like him, like him with friends possess’d, Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope, With what I most enjoy contented … Continue reading Sonnets: Shakespeare The Psalmist

“Four Quartets: IV. Every Life a Poem” by T. S. Eliot

Words move, music moves Only in time; but that which is only living Can only die. Words, after speech, reach Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern, Can words or music reach The stillness, as a Chinese jar still Moves perpetually in its stillness. Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts, Not that only, but the co-existence, Or say that … Continue reading “Four Quartets: IV. Every Life a Poem” by T. S. Eliot

“Four Quartets: III. Freedom” by T. S. Eliot

The Dry Salvages Eliot weaves together almost seamlessly the teachings of Eastern and Western religions and philosophies in “The Dry Salvages”. First, there is a lesson from the Hindu scripture The Bhagavad Gita, “Do not think of the fruit of action. Fare forward”, which seems very similar to the deontological ethics of Kant and the ancient Stoics. We’re not to think of the fruit of … Continue reading “Four Quartets: III. Freedom” by T. S. Eliot

“La Vita Nuova” by Dante Alighieri

The Death of Beatrice I was a-thinking how life fails with us Suddenly after such a little while; When Love sobb’d in my heart, which is his home. Whereby my spirit wax’d so dolorous That in myself I said, with sick recoil: ‘Yea, to my lady too this Death must come.’ And therewithal such a bewilderment Possess’d me, that I shut mine eyes for peace; … Continue reading “La Vita Nuova” by Dante Alighieri

“Four Quartets: II. Fear and Humility” by T. S. Eliot

East Coker A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion, Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle With words and meanings. The poetry does not matter. It was not (to start again) what one had expected. What was to be the value of the long looked forward to, Long hoped for calm, the autumnal serenity And the wisdom of age? Had they deceived us Or … Continue reading “Four Quartets: II. Fear and Humility” by T. S. Eliot