T.S. Eliot

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Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was an American-born English poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century.[4] The poem that made his name, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock—started in 1910 and published in Chicago in 1915—is regarded as a masterpiece of the modernist movement. He followed this with what have become some of the best-known poems in the English language, including Gerontion (1920), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1945).[5] He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.[6]

Poems Published in Translatum:
Burnt Norton (Four Quartets)
Portrait of a Lady, from Prufrock and Other Observations
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
The Waste Land, I. (April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing...)
Waste Land: I. The Burial of the Dead
Waste Land: II. A Game of Chess
Waste Land: III. The Fire Sermon
Waste Land: IV. Death by Water
Waste Land: V. What the Thunder Said
The Hollow Men [Οι Κούφιοι Άνθρωποι, μετάφραση: Γιάννης Αντιόχου]


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Thou hast nor youth nor age
But as it were an after dinner sleep
Dreaming of both.

Here I am, an old man in a dry month,
Being read to by a boy, waiting for rain.
I was neither at the hot gates
Nor fought in the warm rain
Nor knee deep in the salt marsh, heaving a cutlass,
Bitten by flies, fought.
My house is a decayed house,
And the jew squats on the window sill, the owner,
Spawned in some estaminet of Antwerp,
Blistered in Brussels, patched and peeled in London.
The goat coughs at night in the field overhead;
Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds.
The woman keeps the kitchen, makes tea,
Sneezes at evening, poking the peevish gutter.

I an old man,
A dull head among windy spaces.

Signs are taken for wonders. "We would see a sign":
The word within a word, unable to speak a word,
Swaddled with darkness. In the juvescence of the year
Came Christ the tiger

In depraved May, dogwood and chestnut, flowering Judas,
To be eaten, to be divided, to be drunk
Among whispers; by Mr. Silvero
With caressing hands, at Limoges
Who walked all night in the next room;
By Hakagawa, bowing among the Titians;
By Madame de Tornquist, in the dark room
Shifting the candles; Fraulein von Kulp
Who turned in the hall, one hand on the door. Vacant shuttles
Weave the wind. I have no ghosts,
An old man in a draughty house
Under a windy knob.

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.

The tiger springs in the new year. Us he devours. Think at last
We have not reached conclusion, when I
Stiffen in a rented house. Think at last
I have not made this show purposelessly
And it is not by any concitation
Of the backward devils.
I would meet you upon this honestly.
I that was near your heart was removed therefrom
To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition.
I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it
Since what is kept must be adulterated?
I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch:
How should I use it for your closer contact?

These with a thousand small deliberations
Protract the profit of their chilled delirium,
Excite the membrane, when the sense has cooled,
With pungent sauces, multiply variety
In a wilderness of mirrors. What will the spider do,
Suspend its operations, will the weevil
Delay? De Bailhache, Fresca, Mrs. Cammel, whirled
Beyond the circuit of the shuddering Bear
In fractured atoms. Gull against the wind, in the windy straits
Of Belle Isle, or running on the Horn,
White feathers in the snow, the Gulf claims,
And an old man driven by the Trades
To a sleepy corner.

Tenants of the house,
Thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season.


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Waste Land


APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding   
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing   
Memory and desire, stirring   
Dull roots with spring rain.   
Winter kept us warm, covering            5
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding   
A little life with dried tubers.   
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee   
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,   
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,     10
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.   
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.   
And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,   
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,   
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,     15
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.   
In the mountains, there you feel free.   
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.   
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow   
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,     20
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only   
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,   
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,   
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only   
There is shadow under this red rock,     25
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),   
And I will show you something different from either   
Your shadow at morning striding behind you   
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;   
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.     30
                Frisch weht der Wind   
                Der Heimat zu.   
                Mein Irisch Kind,   
                Wo weilest du?   
'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;     35
'They called me the hyacinth girl.'   
—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,   
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not   
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither   
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,     40
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.   
Od' und leer das Meer.   
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,   
Had a bad cold, nevertheless   
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,     45
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,   
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,   
(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)   
Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks,   
The lady of situations.     50
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,   
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,   
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,   
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find   
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.     55
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.   
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,   
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:   
One must be so careful these days.   
Unreal City,     60
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,   
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,   
I had not thought death had undone so many.   
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,   
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.     65
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,   
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours   
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.   
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying 'Stetson!   
'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!     70
'That corpse you planted last year in your garden,   
'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?   
'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?   
'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,   
'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!     75
'You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!'   


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Waste Land


THE Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,   
Glowed on the marble, where the glass   
Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines   
From which a golden Cupidon peeped out     80
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)   
Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra   
Reflecting light upon the table as   
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,   
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;     85
In vials of ivory and coloured glass   
Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,   
Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused   
And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air   
That freshened from the window, these ascended     90
In fattening the prolonged candle-flames,   
Flung their smoke into the laquearia,   
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.   
Huge sea-wood fed with copper   
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,     95
In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam.   
Above the antique mantel was displayed   
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene   
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king   
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale    100
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice   
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,   
'Jug Jug' to dirty ears.   
And other withered stumps of time   
Were told upon the walls; staring forms    105
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.   
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.   
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair   
Spread out in fiery points   
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.    110
'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.   
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.   
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?   
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'   
I think we are in rats' alley    115
Where the dead men lost their bones.   
'What is that noise?'   
                      The wind under the door.   
'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?'   
                      Nothing again nothing.    120
'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember   
  I remember   
Those are pearls that were his eyes.    125
'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?'   
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag—   
It's so elegant   
So intelligent    130
'What shall I do now? What shall I do?'   
'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street   
'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?   
'What shall we ever do?'   
                          The hot water at ten.    135
And if it rains, a closed car at four.   
And we shall play a game of chess,   
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.   
When Lil's husband got demobbed, I said—   
I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself,    140
Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart.   
He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you   
To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.   
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,    145
He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you.   
And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert,   
He's been in the army four years, he wants a good time,   
And if you don't give it him, there's others will, I said.   
Oh is there, she said. Something o' that, I said.    150
Then I'll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.   
If you don't like it you can get on with it, I said.   
Others can pick and choose if you can't.   
But if Albert makes off, it won't be for lack of telling.    155
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.   
(And her only thirty-one.)   
I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face,   
It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.   
(She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.)    160
The chemist said it would be alright, but I've never been the same.   
You are a proper fool, I said.   
Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, I said,   
What you get married for if you don't want children?   
Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,   
And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—   
Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.    170
Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.   
Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.   


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Waste Land


THE river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf   
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind   
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.    175
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.   
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,   
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends   
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.   
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;    180
Departed, have left no addresses.   
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept...   
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,   
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.   
But at my back in a cold blast I hear    185
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.   
A rat crept softly through the vegetation   
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank   
While I was fishing in the dull canal   
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse    190
Musing upon the king my brother's wreck   
And on the king my father's death before him.   
White bodies naked on the low damp ground   
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,   
Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year.    195
But at my back from time to time I hear   
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring   
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.   
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter   
And on her daughter    200
They wash their feet in soda water   
Et, O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole!   
Twit twit twit   
Jug jug jug jug jug jug   
So rudely forc'd.    205
Unreal City   
Under the brown fog of a winter noon   
Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant   
Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants    210
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,   
Asked me in demotic French   
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel   
Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.   
At the violet hour, when the eyes and back    215
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits   
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,   
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,   
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see   
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives    220
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,   
The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights   
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.   
Out of the window perilously spread   
Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays,    225
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)   
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.   
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs   
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—   
I too awaited the expected guest.    230
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,   
A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare,   
One of the low on whom assurance sits   
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.   
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,    235
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,   
Endeavours to engage her in caresses   
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.   
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;   
Exploring hands encounter no defence;    240
His vanity requires no response,   
And makes a welcome of indifference.   
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all   
Enacted on this same divan or bed;   
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall    245
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)   
Bestows on final patronising kiss,   
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit...   
She turns and looks a moment in the glass,   
Hardly aware of her departed lover;    250
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:   
'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.'   
When lovely woman stoops to folly and   
Paces about her room again, alone,   
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,    255
And puts a record on the gramophone.   
'This music crept by me upon the waters'   
And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street.   
O City city, I can sometimes hear   
Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street,    260
The pleasant whining of a mandoline   
And a clatter and a chatter from within   
Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls   
Of Magnus Martyr hold   
Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold.    265
      The river sweats   
      Oil and tar   
      The barges drift   
      With the turning tide   
      Red sails    270
      To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.   
      The barges wash   
      Drifting logs   
      Down Greenwich reach    275
      Past the Isle of Dogs.   
            Weialala leia   
            Wallala leialala   
      Elizabeth and Leicester   
      Beating oars    280
      The stern was formed   
      A gilded shell   
      Red and gold   
      The brisk swell   
      Rippled both shores    285
      Southwest wind   
      Carried down stream   
      The peal of bells   
      White towers   
            Weialala leia    290
            Wallala leialala   
'Trams and dusty trees.   
Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew   
Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees   
Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.'    295
'My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart   
Under my feet. After the event   
He wept. He promised "a new start".   
I made no comment. What should I resent?'   
'On Margate Sands.    300
I can connect   
Nothing with nothing.   
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.   
My people humble people who expect   
Nothing.'    305
      la la   
To Carthage then I came   
Burning burning burning burning   
O Lord Thou pluckest me out   
O Lord Thou pluckest    310


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Waste Land


PHLEBAS the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,   
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell   
And the profit and loss.   
                          A current under sea    315
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell   
He passed the stages of his age and youth   
Entering the whirlpool.   
                          Gentile or Jew   
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,    320
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.   


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Waste land

Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σίβυλλα τί θέλεις; respondebat illa: ἀποθανεῖν θέλω*.


AFTER the torchlight red on sweaty faces   
After the frosty silence in the gardens   
After the agony in stony places   
The shouting and the crying    325
Prison and place and reverberation   
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains   
He who was living is now dead   
We who were living are now dying   
With a little patience    330
Here is no water but only rock   
Rock and no water and the sandy road   
The road winding above among the mountains   
Which are mountains of rock without water   
If there were water we should stop and drink    335
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think   
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand   
If there were only water amongst the rock   
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit   
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit    340
There is not even silence in the mountains   
But dry sterile thunder without rain   
There is not even solitude in the mountains   
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl   
From doors of mudcracked houses
                                 If there were water    345
  And no rock   
  If there were rock   
  And also water   
  And water   
  A spring    350
  A pool among the rock   
  If there were the sound of water only   
  Not the cicada   
  And dry grass singing   
  But sound of water over a rock    355
  Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees   
  Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop   
  But there is no water   
Who is the third who walks always beside you?   
When I count, there are only you and I together    360
But when I look ahead up the white road   
There is always another one walking beside you   
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded   
I do not know whether a man or a woman   
—But who is that on the other side of you?    365
What is that sound high in the air   
Murmur of maternal lamentation   
Who are those hooded hordes swarming   
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth   
Ringed by the flat horizon only    370
What is the city over the mountains   
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air   
Falling towers   
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria   
Vienna London    375
A woman drew her long black hair out tight   
And fiddled whisper music on those strings   
And bats with baby faces in the violet light   
Whistled, and beat their wings    380
And crawled head downward down a blackened wall   
And upside down in air were towers   
Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours   
And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.   
In this decayed hole among the mountains    385
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing   
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel   
There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home.   
It has no windows, and the door swings,   
Dry bones can harm no one.    390
Only a cock stood on the rooftree   
Co co rico co co rico   
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust   
Bringing rain   
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves    395
Waited for rain, while the black clouds   
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.   
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.   
Then spoke the thunder   
D A    400
Datta: what have we given?   
My friend, blood shaking my heart   
The awful daring of a moment's surrender   
Which an age of prudence can never retract   
By this, and this only, we have existed    405
Which is not to be found in our obituaries   
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider   
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor   
In our empty rooms   
D A    410
Dayadhvam: I have heard the key   
Turn in the door once and turn once only   
We think of the key, each in his prison   
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison   
Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours    415
Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus   
D A   
Damyata: The boat responded   
Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar   
The sea was calm, your heart would have responded    420
Gaily, when invited, beating obedient   
To controlling hands   
                      I sat upon the shore   
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me   
Shall I at least set my lands in order?    425
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down   
Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina   
Quando fiam ceu chelidon—O swallow swallow   
Le Prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie   
These fragments I have shored against my ruins    430
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe.   
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.   
            Shantih shantih shantih   

*The translation generally associated with Eliot's poem is as follows: For with my own eyes I saw the Sibyl hanging in a bottle, and when the young boys asked her, 'Sibyl, what do you want?', she replied, 'I want to die' .


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The Hollow Men

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

      A penny for the Old Guy


We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
                                Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
Οι Κούφιοι Άνθρωποι (μετάφραση: Γιάννης Αντιόχου)

Κύριο Κουρτς – πέθανε.

       Μια δεκάρα για τον Γέρο-Γκάι


Είμαστε οι κούφιοι άνθρωποι
Είμαστε οι παραφουσκωμένοι άνθρωποι
Γέρνοντας μαζί
Με την περικεφαλαία γεμάτη με άχυρο. Αλίμονο!
Οι εξαντλημένες μας φωνές όταν
Μαζί ψιθυρίζουμε
Είναι βουβές και άσκοπες
Όπως ο αέρας στο ξερό χορτάρι
Ή τα πόδια των ποντικών πάνω σε σπασμένα γυαλιά
στο ξηρό μας κελάρι

Μορφή δίχως φόρμα, σκιά δίχως χρώμα,
Δύναμη παραλυμένη, χειρονομία δίχως κίνηση
Εκείνοι που διέσχισαν
Με το βλέμμα ευθύ, στου θανάτου την άλλη Βασιλεία
Μας θυμούνται —όπως ήμασταν— όχι σαν χαμένες
λυσσαλέες ψυχές, αλλά μοναχά
Σαν τους κούφιους ανθρώπους
Τους παραφουσκωμένους ανθρώπους.


Βλέμματα που δεν τολμώ στο όνειρο να αντικρίσω
Στου θανάτου το ονειρικό βασίλειο
Αυτά δεν εμφανίζονται:
Εκεί, τα βλέμματα είναι
Ηλιόφως σε έναν σπασμένο κίονα
Εκεί, είναι ένα δέντρο που ταλαντεύεται
Και υπάρχουν φωνές
Στου ανέμου το τραγούδι
Πιότερο μακρινές και ακόμα πιο ιερές
Απ’ ότι ένα αστέρι που σβήνει.

Ας μη βρεθώ πιο κοντά
Στου θανάτου το ονειρικό βασίλειο
Κι ακόμα ας ντυθώ
Με μια τέτοια προμελετημένη μεταμφίεση
Τη δορά του ποντικού, το πετσί του κορακιού,  σανίδια σταυρωτά  
Σε ένα λιβάδι
Και όπως φυσάει ο άνεμος τα πάει
Όχι πιο κοντά—

Όχι αυτή η τελική συνάντηση
Στο βασίλειο του λυκόφωτος.


Αυτή είναι η νεκρή χώρα
Αυτή είναι  του κάκτου η χώρα
Εδώ τα λίθινα ειδώλια
Υψώνονται, εδώ δέχονται
Την ικεσία από το χέρι ενός νεκρού ανθρώπου
Κάτω από την μαρμαρυγή ενός αστεριού που σβήνει.

Κάπως έτσι είναι
Στου θανάτου την άλλη βασιλεία
Ξυπνάς μοναχός
Εκείνη την ώρα που εμείς
τρέμουμε με τρυφερότητα
Χείλη που θα φιλούσαν
Πλάθουν προσευχές για τη σπασμένη πέτρα.


Τα βλέμματα δεν είναι εδώ
Εδώ δεν υπάρχουν βλέμματα
Σ’ αυτή την κοιλάδα των άστρων που πεθαίνουν
Σ’ αυτή την κούφια κοιλάδα
Το σπασμένο αυτό σαγόνι των χαμένων βασιλείων μας

Σε αυτόν τον ύστατο τόπο συνάντησης
Μαζί ψαχουλεύουμε
Και αποφεύγουμε τα λόγια
Συγκεντρωμένοι  στην αμμούδα του ξεχειλισμένου ποταμού

Τυφλοί, εκτός κι αν
Τα μάτια επανέλθουν
Όπως το αιώνιο άστρο
Ρόδο εκατόφυλλο
Της λυκόφωτης του θανάτου βασιλείας
Η ελπίδα μόνο
Των κενών ανθρώπων.


Γύρω-γύρω όλοι
Φραγκόσυκο στη μέση
Γύρω-γύρω όλοι
Στις πέντε ξημερώνει

Μεταξύ της ιδέας
Και της πραγματικότητας
Μεταξύ της κίνησης
Και της πράξης
Ενσκήπτει η Σκιά
                  Ότι Σου εστίν η Βασιλεία

Μεταξύ της επινόησης
Και της δημιουργίας
Μεταξύ του αισθήματος
Και της ανταπόκρισης
Ενσκήπτει η Σκιά
                  Η ζωή είναι μακριά πολύ

Μεταξύ της επιθυμίας
Και του σπασμού
Μεταξύ της ισχύος
Και της ύπαρξης
Μεταξύ της ουσίας
Και της πτώσης
Ενσκήπτει η Σκιά
                  Ότι Σου εστίν η Βασιλεία

Ότι Σου εστίν
Είναι η ζωή
Ότι Σου εστίν

Έτσι τελειώνει ο κόσμος
Έτσι τελειώνει ο κόσμος
Έτσι τελειώνει ο κόσμος
Όχι με έναν κρότο αλλά με ένα κλαψούρισμα.


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Burnt Norton (Four Quartets)

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                              But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                        Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.


Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf
And hear upon the sodden floor
Below, the boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving,
Erhebung without motion, concentration
Without elimination, both a new world
And the old made explicit, understood
In the completion of its partial ecstasy,
The resolution of its partial horror.
Yet the enchainment of past and future
Woven in the weakness of the changing body,
Protects mankind from heaven and damnation
Which flesh cannot endure.
                                          Time past and time future
Allow but a little consciousness.
To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.


Here is a place of disaffection
Time before and time after
In a dim light: neither daylight
Investing form with lucid stillness
Turning shadow into transient beauty
With slow rotation suggesting permanence
Nor darkness to purify the soul
Emptying the sensual with deprivation
Cleansing affection from the temporal.
Neither plenitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker
Over the strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs
Time before and time after.
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here
Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.

    Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Desiccation of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future.


Time and the bell have buried the day,
The black cloud carries the sun away.
Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis
Stray down, bend to us; tendril and spray
Clutch and cling?
Fingers of yew be curled
Down on us? After the kingfisher's wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.

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 the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.

    The detail of the pattern is movement,
As in the figure of the ten stairs.
Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being.
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always—
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.

« Last Edit: 28 Sep, 2012, 13:34:52 by wings »


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Burnt Norton is the first poem of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets. He created it while working on his play Murder in the Cathedral and it was first published in his Collected Poems 1909–1935 (1936). The poem's title refers to a Cotswolds manor house Eliot visited. The manor's garden served as an important image within the poem. Structurally, the poem is based on Eliot's The Waste Land with passages of the poem related to those excised from Murder in the Cathedral.

The central discussion within the poem is on the nature of time and salvation. Eliot emphasizes the need of the individual to focus on the present moment and to know that there is a universal order. By understanding the nature of time and the order of the universe, mankind is able to recognize God and seek redemption. Many reviewers of Burnt Norton focused on the uniqueness and beauty of the poem. However, others complained that the poem does not reflect Eliot's earlier greatness and that the use of Christian themes harmed the poem.

« Last Edit: 28 Sep, 2012, 13:41:02 by wings »
Communicate. Explore potentials. Find solutions.


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What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.

Ό,τι θα μπορούσε να ήταν είναι μια αφαίρεση
Που παραμένει αέναη δυνατότητα
Μόνο σε έναν κόσμο εικασιών.
Ό,τι θα μπορούσε να ήταν και ό,τι ήταν
Τείνουν προς ένα τέλος, που είναι πάντοτε παρόν.
Βήματα αντηχούν στη μνήμη
Στο μήκος του διαδρόμου που δεν πήραμε
Βλέποντας προς την πόρτα που δεν ανοίξαμε ποτέ
Στον ροδόκηπο. Έτσι, τα λόγια μου
αντηχούνε στο μυαλό σου.

Κρυφή ερωτική αλληλογραφία του Τ.Σ. Έλιοτ στη δημοσιότητα – Η σπαρακτική του σχέση με την Έμιλι Χέιλ


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Beautiful and faithful translation, as usual!  I see the difficulty with the word "abstraction," and I suspect Eliot was thinking less of a "removal" or "remoteness" and more of an abstract concept (αφηρημένη έννοια;), a purely theoretical possibility;  but such an expression might fit awkwardly into the Greek.


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Another meaning of "αφαίρεση" is indeed "abstract concept".

αφαίρεση [aféresi] η, gen αφαίρεσης & αφαιρέσεως, (L) ① taking away, removal, abstraction, elimination (ant πρόσθεση): χειρουργική αφαίρεση όγκου | αφαίρεση διπλώματος (οδηγήσεως) suspension of (driver's) licence | αφαίρεση χρημάτων από το ταμείο | εκείνος που οφείλει ένα πράμα, που αφαιρέθηκε με παράνομη πράξη, είναι υπερήμερος αφότου έγινε η αφαίρεση (Christidis AK) | μοιράστηκε με το σύντροφό της διωγμούς, εξορίες, αφαίρεση της υπηκοότητας (Palaiologos) | να κάνεις αφαίρεση του ό,τι τυχόν γνωρίζεις, για να μην πέσεις σε αντιγραφή (Stratou) ⓐ math subtraction ⓑ gramm loss of initial vowel of word following another word ending in a vowel, aphaeresis, e.g. μου 'φερε (fr μου έφερε), θα 'χει (fr θα έχει), να 'σαι (fr να είσαι) etc ② philos, art etc act or process of disregarding certain secondary or external qualities or characteristics of sth in order to concentrate on the primary or central ones, abstraction: λογική, νοητική αφαίρεση | ο ορισμός των νόμων απαιτεί αφαίρεση από τα αισθητά (Theodorakop) | πώς να φτάσουμε στην αφαίρεση να μη βλέπουμε στην Aθηνά του Φειδία την προστάτισσα θεά της Aθήνας; (Andronikos) | η αρχιτεκτονική κατατάσσεται συνήθως με τη μουσική μαζί στις τέχνες που κάνουν μεγαλύτερη αφαίρεση και χρησιμοποιούν σχήματα αφηρημένα (Michelis) | μια καλή ζωγραφική ήταν απαραίτητο να πλανάται στα σύννεφα της αφαιρέσεως (Papantoniou) ⓒ abstract idea, abstraction: το γενικό συμφέρον είναι μια αφαίρεση, μια έννοια άπιαστη (Kasimatis) [fr kath αφαίρεσις ← MG, PatrG ← K (also pap), AG, der of ἀφαιρῶ]

αφαίρεση (η) [αρχ.] {-ης κ. -έσεως | -έσεις, -έσεων} (+από) 1. το να αποσπά κανείς (κάτι) από σύνολο ή σώμα: η αφαίρεση ενός φύλλου από το τετράδιο | τής πινακίδας κυκλοφορίας από το αυτοκίνητο | τού καλύμματος από ένα έπιπλο | επίμαχου άρθρου από το κείμενο νόμου | οργάνου ή όγκου με εγχείρηση ΣΥΝ. (καθημ.) βγάλσιμο, απόσπαση 2. η εξάλειψη, η εξαφάνιση (ενοχλητικών) στοιχείων από μια επιφάνεια: η αφαίρεση των στιγμάτων 3. η στέρηση (δικαιώματος) από τον νόμιμο κάτοχο του, λόγω μη νόμιμης ενέργειας του: - άδειας κυκλοφορίας από οδηγό | πινακίδων | ιθαγένειας | άδειας ασκήσεως επαγγέλματος 4. η απόσπαση και ιδιοποίηση (ξένης περιουσίας): η αφαίρεση κοσμημάτων από το θησαυροφυλάκιο | χρημάτων από το ταμείο ΣΥΝ. αρπαγή, κλοπή, υπεξαίρεση 5. ΜΑΘ. η μαθηματική πράξη με την οποία βρίσκει κανείς τη διαφορά ανάμεσα σε δύο αριθμούς ή ποσά ή πίνακες ή διανύσματα κ.λπ. και η οποία δηλώνεται με το σύμβολο «πλην» ή «μείον» (-), π.χ. 10-7 = 3 6. ΓΛΩΣΣ. η αποβολή τού αρχικού φωνήεντος μιας λέξης, όταν η προηγούμενη τελειώνει σε φωνήεν (να έρθει -> να 'ρθει)- είδος εκκρούσεως (βλ.λ.) κατ' αντιδιαστολή προς την έκθλιψη (το όνομα → τ' όνομα) 7. ΦΙΛΟΣ, η νοητική διαδικασία κατά την οποία απομονώνονται τα κοινά στοιχεία συνόλου ομοειδών πραγμάτων, πράγμα που επιτρέπει τον καθορισμό τής γενικής έννοιας στην οποία υπάγονται αυτά 8. (ειδικότ. στις εικαστικές τέχνες) η απομάκρυνση τού καλλιτέχνη από τη ρεαλιστική απεικόνιση τής πραγματικότητας και η απόδοση τού αισθητικού αντικειμένου με τρόπο αφηρημένο, που βασίζεται στην προβολή αυθύπαρκτων μορφών, χρωμάτων κ.λπ.
Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας Γεωργίου Μπαμπινιώτη


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