Nothing is more tedious at the 11th hour than force-fitting ill-begotten quotes, pertaining to the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, into this scholarly text. I would much rather stare at images of historic shipwrecks.
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering 5 Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade, And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten, 10 And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch. And when we were children, staying at the archduke's, My cousin's, he took me out on a sled, And I was frightened. He said, Marie, 15 Marie, hold on tight. And down we went. In the mountains, there you feel free. I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 20 You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water. Only There is shadow under this red rock, 25 (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust. 30 Frisch weht der Wind Der Heimat zu. Mein Irisch Kind, Wo weilest du? 'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago; 35 'They called me the hyacinth girl.' —Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden, Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, 40 Looking into the heart of light, the silence. Od' und leer das Meer.
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante, Had a bad cold, nevertheless Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe, 45 With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she, Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor, (Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!) Here is Belladonna, the Lady of the Rocks, The lady of situations. 50 Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel, And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card, Which is blank, is something he carries on his back, Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find The Hanged Man. Fear death by water. 55 I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring. Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone, Tell her I bring the horoscope myself: One must be so careful these days.
Unreal City, 60 Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. 65 Flowed up the hill and down King William Street, To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine. There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying 'Stetson! 'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae! 70 'That corpse you planted last year in your garden, 'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? 'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? 'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men, 'Or with his nails he'll dig it up again! 75 'You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!'
II. A GAME OF CHESS
THE Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, Glowed on the marble, where the glass Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines From which a golden Cupidon peeped out 80 (Another hid his eyes behind his wing) Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra Reflecting light upon the table as The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it, From satin cases poured in rich profusion; 85 In vials of ivory and coloured glass Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes, Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused And drowned the sense in odours; stirred by the air That freshened from the window, these ascended 90 In fattening the prolonged candle-flames, Flung their smoke into the laquearia, Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling. Huge sea-wood fed with copper Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone, 95 In which sad light a carvèd dolphin swam. Above the antique mantel was displayed As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 100 Filled all the desert with inviolable voice And still she cried, and still the world pursues, 'Jug Jug' to dirty ears. And other withered stumps of time Were told upon the walls; staring forms 105 Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed. Footsteps shuffled on the stair. Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair Spread out in fiery points Glowed into words, then would be savagely still. 110
'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me. 'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak. 'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? 'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
I think we are in rats' alley 115 Where the dead men lost their bones.
'What is that noise?' The wind under the door. 'What is that noise now? What is the wind doing?' Nothing again nothing. 120 'Do 'You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember 'Nothing?' I remember Those are pearls that were his eyes. 125 'Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?' But O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag— It's so elegant So intelligent 130 'What shall I do now? What shall I do?' 'I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street 'With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow? 'What shall we ever do?' The hot water at ten. 135 And if it rains, a closed car at four. And we shall play a game of chess, Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
When Lil's husband got demobbed, I said— I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself, 140 HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart. He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there. You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set, 145 He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you. And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert, He's been in the army four years, he wants a good time, And if you don't give it him, there's others will, I said. Oh is there, she said. Something o' that, I said. 150 Then I'll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look. HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME If you don't like it you can get on with it, I said. Others can pick and choose if you can't. But if Albert makes off, it won't be for lack of telling. 155 You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique. (And her only thirty-one.) I can't help it, she said, pulling a long face, It's them pills I took, to bring it off, she said. (She's had five already, and nearly died of young George.) 160 The chemist said it would be alright, but I've never been the same. You are a proper fool, I said. Well, if Albert won't leave you alone, there it is, I said, What you get married for if you don't want children? HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME 165 Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon, And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot— HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight. 170 Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight. Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.
III. THE FIRE SERMON
THE river's tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. 175 Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; 180 Departed, have left no addresses. By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept... Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song, Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long. But at my back in a cold blast I hear 185 The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.
A rat crept softly through the vegetation Dragging its slimy belly on the bank While I was fishing in the dull canal On a winter evening round behind the gashouse 190 Musing upon the king my brother's wreck And on the king my father's death before him. White bodies naked on the low damp ground And bones cast in a little low dry garret, Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year. 195 But at my back from time to time I hear The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring. O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter And on her daughter 200 They wash their feet in soda water Et, O ces voix d'enfants, chantant dans la coupole!
Twit twit twit Jug jug jug jug jug jug So rudely forc'd. 205 Tereu
Unreal City Under the brown fog of a winter noon Mr. Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant Unshaven, with a pocket full of currants 210 C.i.f. London: documents at sight, Asked me in demotic French To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel Followed by a weekend at the Metropole.
At the violet hour, when the eyes and back 215 Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits Like a taxi throbbing waiting, I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives, Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives 220 Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea, The typist home at teatime, clears her breakfast, lights Her stove, and lays out food in tins. Out of the window perilously spread Her drying combinations touched by the sun's last rays, 225 On the divan are piled (at night her bed) Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays. I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest— I too awaited the expected guest. 230 He, the young man carbuncular, arrives, A small house agent's clerk, with one bold stare, One of the low on whom assurance sits As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire. The time is now propitious, as he guesses, 235 The meal is ended, she is bored and tired, Endeavours to engage her in caresses Which still are unreproved, if undesired. Flushed and decided, he assaults at once; Exploring hands encounter no defence; 240 His vanity requires no response, And makes a welcome of indifference. (And I Tiresias have foresuffered all Enacted on this same divan or bed; I who have sat by Thebes below the wall 245 And walked among the lowest of the dead.) Bestows on final patronising kiss, And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit...
She turns and looks a moment in the glass, Hardly aware of her departed lover; 250 Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass: 'Well now that's done: and I'm glad it's over.' When lovely woman stoops to folly and Paces about her room again, alone, She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, 255 And puts a record on the gramophone.
'This music crept by me upon the waters' And along the Strand, up Queen Victoria Street. O City city, I can sometimes hear Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, 260 The pleasant whining of a mandoline And a clatter and a chatter from within Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold. 265
The river sweats Oil and tar The barges drift With the turning tide Red sails 270 Wide To leeward, swing on the heavy spar. The barges wash Drifting logs Down Greenwich reach 275 Past the Isle of Dogs. Weialala leia Wallala leialala
Elizabeth and Leicester Beating oars 280 The stern was formed A gilded shell Red and gold The brisk swell Rippled both shores 285 Southwest wind Carried down stream The peal of bells White towers Weialala leia 290 Wallala leialala
'Trams and dusty trees. Highbury bore me. Richmond and Kew Undid me. By Richmond I raised my knees Supine on the floor of a narrow canoe.' 295 'My feet are at Moorgate, and my heart Under my feet. After the event He wept. He promised "a new start". I made no comment. What should I resent?' 'On Margate Sands. 300 I can connect Nothing with nothing. The broken fingernails of dirty hands. My people humble people who expect Nothing.' 305 la la
To Carthage then I came
Burning burning burning burning O Lord Thou pluckest me out O Lord Thou pluckest 310
IV. DEATH BY WATER
PHLEBAS the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell And the profit and loss. A current under sea 315 Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passed the stages of his age and youth Entering the whirlpool. Gentile or Jew O you who turn the wheel and look to windward, 320 Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
V. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID
AFTER the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying 325 Prison and place and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience 330
Here is no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water If there were water we should stop and drink 335 Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand If there were only water amongst the rock Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit 340 There is not even silence in the mountains But dry sterile thunder without rain There is not even solitude in the mountains But red sullen faces sneer and snarl From doors of mudcracked houses If there were water 345 And no rock If there were rock And also water And water A spring 350 A pool among the rock If there were the sound of water only Not the cicada And dry grass singing But sound of water over a rock 355 Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop But there is no water
Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together 360 But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman —But who is that on the other side of you? 365
What is that sound high in the air Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only 370 What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London 375 Unreal
A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their wings 380 And crawled head downward down a blackened wall And upside down in air were towers Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.
In this decayed hole among the mountains 385 In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel There is the empty chapel, only the wind's home. It has no windows, and the door swings, Dry bones can harm no one. 390 Only a cock stood on the rooftree Co co rico co co rico In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves 395 Waited for rain, while the black clouds Gathered far distant, over Himavant. The jungle crouched, humped in silence. Then spoke the thunder D A 400 Datta: what have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed 405 Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms D A 410 Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours 415 Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus D A Damyata: The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded 420 Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands
I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? 425
London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down
Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina Quando fiam ceu chelidon—O swallow swallow Le Prince d'Aquitaine à la tour abolie These fragments I have shored against my ruins 430 Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe. Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Promise to not get all anthropomorphic/Brave Little Toaster and tell me how I gave you THE worst hibernation experience of your life. I know the folks out in Dearborn, Michigan treated you better than this...but, please find it in your big, Sierra Brown, Collegiate heart to forgive me? I know you miss Peter, dreadfully, but I promise to tuck love notes in your spokes when the first blooms start peeking through the thaw.