Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thinking About T.S. Eliot Today

After such knowledge, what forgiveness? Think now
History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
Guides us by vanities. Think now
She gives when our attention is distracted
And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late
What's not believed in, or if still believed,
In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon
Into weak hands, what's thought can be dispensed with
Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think
Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues
Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes.
These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.


Mick Conefrey said...

If Jane Austen were alive today, what would she be interested in? I'm making a news report for ITN news in the UK on an aspect of contemporary life seen through Jane Austen's eyes. What would be the perfect story?

Kathleen said...

It is fascinating to imagine what Jane Austen would be doing if she were living today -- her genius would have such a larger field to operate in. I think she would have worked for The Onion for a while in her youth, or as a writer for The Daily Show -- she had that sort of a sense of humor. Later she would have moved on to something more serious, but still funny. She would have been interested in the satirical possibilities of blogs and twitter and a world where everyone can be a celebrity, at least for a little while.