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Ash Wednesday with TS Eliot

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Lent at Jacob's Well | Kansas City, MO 2012

Lent at Jacob’s Well | Kansas City, MO 2012

Oh the strange, dark mystery that is Ash Wednesday — “the dreamcrossed twilight between birth and dying” as T.S. Eliot so aptly describes in his poem simply titled, Ash Wednesday.

Just wanted to share a few of his lines that particularly struck me.

Not enough silence #TSEliot #quote |

Teach us to sit still #TSEliot #quote |

His unusual request to be taught “not to care” made me actually sigh. Ah — to learn how to care about the things that matter, and not to care about the things that don’t. Sounds lovely. And pleasantly still.

Redeem the dream #TSEliot #quote |

Lent at Jacob’s Well | Kansas City, MO 2012

I don’t even know what to do with this quote. Its rich simplicity is like a gong in my head. Time and dreams — so often illusive; can they be redeemed, simply by asking? The succinct version [above] follows this introductory phrase — Redeem the time. Redeem the unread vision in the higher dream — which is lovely, too. Oh, Eliot.

And finally, towards the end of the poem is a stunning, stumbling stanza that ends with this wondrous line:

the unsettled world still whirled #TSEliot #quote |

I could sit with that phrase — the unstilled world still whirled — for a long time.

»Read the full poem.
»Listen to T.S. Eliot reading from Ash Wednesday.

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bet mercer

Bet Mercer is a poet-photographer who writes at Gimme Some Reads and Everyday Poetry. She loves quotes, reading her favourite books over again, great conversation, laughter, trees, films, and travelling the world. Follow along with Bet on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Etsy and Google+.

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0 comments on “Ash Wednesday with TS Eliot”

  1. Beautiful, thanks for sharing. Will sit still and ponder it in the quiet stillness.