October Poem--T.S. Eliot--Preludes


T. S. Eliot


            The winter evening settles down
            With smell of steaks in passageways.
            Six o'clock.
            The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
            And now a gusty shower wraps
            The grimy scraps
            Of withered leaves about your feet
            And newspapers from vacant lots;
            The showers beat
            On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
            And at the corner of the street
            A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
            And then the lighting of the lamps.


            The morning comes to consciousness
            Of faint stale smells of beer
            From the sawdust-trampled street
            With all its muddy feet that press
            To early coffee-stands.

            With the other masquerades
            That time resumes,
            One thinks of all the hands
            That are raising dingy shades
            In a thousand furnished rooms.


            You tossed a blanket from the bed,
            You lay upon your back, and waited;
            You dozed, and watched the night revealing
            The thousand sordid images
            Of which your soul was constituted;
            They flickered against the ceiling.
            And when all the world came back
            And the light crept up between the shutters
            And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
            You had such a vision of the street
            As the street hardly understands;
            Sitting along the bed's edge, where
            You curled the papers from your hair,
            Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
            In the palms of both soiled hands.


            His soul stretched tight across the skies
            That fade behind a city block,
            Or trampled by insistent feet
            At four and five and six o'clock;
            And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
            And evening newspapers, and eyes
            Assured of certain certainties,
            The conscience of a blackened street
            Impatient to assume the world.

            I am moved by fancies that are curled
            Around these images, and cling:
            The notion of some infinitely gentle
            Infinitely suffering thing.

            Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
            The worlds revolve like ancient women
            Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 30, 2003 7:43 AM.

A Reminder About the Efficacy and Necessity of Prayer was the previous entry in this blog.

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