Poet’s Corner and a Poem for T.S. Eliot

I’ve put a little more work into my bedside Poet’s Corner. I repurposed some typewriter cases to create a small bookcase.

Last night I worked through some Seamus Heaney. I read his “Oysters,” and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on there. Greek myths, oysters, and some rude Romans. I liked his use of the word disgorged. That or another poem used the word tench. Had to look that up: freshwater fish in Europe.

Tonight, as I was stacking my shelves, I stopped to leaf through T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. Who doesn’t love Eliot? I have the first part of “Burnt Norton” memorized. I opened my copy, one of my few rare books, and began to read:

Among others, Henri Bergson had an influence on how Eliot wrote about time. As I read, however, my mind became tired slogging through abstractions. This is how life works. Work, daily work–the job job–saps energy. I may not be building with my hands, but teaching can be exhausting. So here’s my reply to Mr. Eliot:

Anyway, the first page of my copy has a note from a Letty and a Kathy to a friend who evidently enjoyed a good cigarette–as evidenced from these sallow pages.

I’ll wrap up this book again. I don’t like to handle it too often, time being the great destroyer.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. joevc says:

    I like your response to Elliot. And the repurposed typewriter cases are very clever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mcfeats says:

      Thanks, Joe. I don’t have an attic or basement. Necessity is the mother of invention.


  2. I get confused with time coming and going there. I like the humour in your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mcfeats says:

    Thank you! It just occured to me that Eliot’s “perpetual possibility” is like Stephen’s reflection on history in the “Nestor” episode—about a world in which Caesar had not been killed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed that. Good observation. I just read the quarters again, and Ulysses too – it’s been years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Uggh. My spellchecker changed must to just. I MUST read the quartets and Ulysses again. There are so many editions of the latter now, I’m not sure which to buy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mcfeats says:

        That’s a hotly contested issue. I think most critics still work out of the Gabler Edition, which has the added benefit of aligning with the Gifford Annotations. I had two copies. The binder fell apart on one. I did like the page size and quality for writing notes.


      3. The Gabler/Gifford combo sounds like a plan…if they are still available, or readily available. I’ll have a hunt. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Found them second hand, and really cheap. After they arrive, I may be gone some time…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. mcfeats says:

    I’ve worked through Ulysses enough that it’s become a friend. It’s that musicality that got me through each of his books the first time. If FW were not musical, I never would have read it.

    Liked by 1 person

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