Monday, May 28, 2012

Day of Memorial


T. S. Eliot wrote about war in a way that's both so vague and so pointed that it makes perfect sense. If that makes any sense at all. I thought today would be a good day to share a small part of one of those poems. This is a favorite fragment of his Four Quartets.

Ash on an old man's sleeve
Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended
Marks the place where a story ended.
Dust inbreathed was a house-
The walls, the wainscot and the mouse,
The death of hope and despair,
         This is the death of air.

There are flood and drouth
Over the eyes and in the mouth,
Dead water and dead sand
Contending for the upper hand.
The parched eviscerate soil
Gapes at the vanity of toil,
Laughs without mirth.
         This is the death of earth.

Water and fire succeed
The town, the pasture and the weed.
Water and fire deride
The sacrifice that we denied.
Water and fire shall rot
The marred foundations we forgot,
Of sanctuary and choir.
         This is the death of water and fire.

Thank you to all the service members past and present. May we someday honor your sacrifice with a commitment to peace.

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