In Keeping and Why Not

  • Happy Birthday, Thomas Sterns, just a little belated, we still go through “those certain, half-deserted streets, the muttering retreats…”
  • Born: September 26, 1888, St. Louis
  • Died: January 4, 1965, London
  • Cause of Death: Emphysema
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
Ah, yes, the man.
The hero of many a lit class, many an English survivor. Who among us did not read “The Wasteland” or at least “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock”? It occurs to me now though not then, why were we not queried on behalf of “love song”? Why indeed is it called a love song?
And about the above, how do we make it thru the parts where there is not only no ecstasy, but torment?
 In The Paris Review

2nd June 1951: American-English poet and playwright, TS Eliot (1888 – 1965). He wrote amongst many other things, ‘The Waste Land ‘ and the plays, ‘The Cocktail Party’ and ‘Murder in the Cathedral’. Original Publication: Picture Post – 5314 – Are Poets Really Necessary? – pub. 1951 (Photo by George Douglas/Picture Post/Getty Images)