Sunday 19 January 2014

And all shall be well and/ All manner of thing shall be well

Whether we BBC critics like it or not, Radio 4 has a lot of devoted listeners who will defend it, it purely metaphorical terms of course, to the death. 

And if they keep on asking Jeremy Irons to read T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets I might well join them.

A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England.

And, as the dark penetrates our windows on a winter's night, in a crowded house in Morecambe, blogging is now and England, and here are the mystical closing lines of Little Gidding...

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flames are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

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