Hurrah for National Poetry Day! I hope you enjoyed the clip of Maggie Smith and Kenneth Williams reading Betjeman's Death in Leamington...Betjeman, Williams and Smith all together on Parky, now that's what I call good telly. You know, I'm the kind of mother who sends the kids to school with a poem in their bag even if their teachers have not specifically asked that the class do so. Their teachers must love me.
Well, anyway, I was gobsmacked to learn that T. S. Eliot was voted Britain's favourite poet this year. He's hardly accessible is he? My hunch is that a lot of people saw that excellent poetry series on BBC4 and half fell in love with Robert Webb and his exploration of Eliot's Prufrock...Let us go then you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherised upon a table;" ...he wasn't half good at first lines "April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire"...good stuff!
Well for your delectation here are the final lines of Choruses from the Rock (X). Enjoy!
In our rhythm of earthly life we tire of light. We are glad
when the day ends, when the play ends: and ecstasy
is too much pain.
We are children quickly tired: children who are up in the
night and fall asleep as the rocket is fired; and the day
is long for work or play.
We tire of distraction or concentration, we sleep and are
glad to sleep,
Controlled by the rhythm of blood and the day and the
night and the seasons.
And we must extinguish the candle, put out the light and relight it;
Forever must quench, forever relight the flame.
Therefore we thank Thee for our little light, that is
dappled with shadow.
We thank Thee who hast moved us to building, to finding,
to forming at the ends of our fingers and beams
of our eyes.
And when we have built an altar to the Invisible Light, we
may set thereon the little lights for which our
bodily vision is made.
And we that Thee that darkness reminds us of light.
O Light Invisible, we give Thee thanks for Thy great