from EAST COKER — Eliot
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.
Old men ought to be explorers
Here or there does not matter
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.
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Beneath the Aegean
When all Earth’s seas shall Levitate,
Dark shawled within the skies,
Upon our eyes will Starfish dance
Their waltz of Blind surprise.
The sun will Rise within wine Dark
As Argonauts imbibed,
Whose drunken arms embrace that sleep
Where Phaeton’s horses Stride.
Upon all of Earth’s wind-sanded shores,
As dolphins Learn to soar,
All we once were on the land
Shall be sealed behind the door
Of Ivory and Chastened Gold,
That the Mystery solved complete
Shall never til the seas’ Long fall
Wake mariners from their sleep.
— Van der Leun
Song of Myself
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
— Walt Whitman
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
— The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot
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