Thursday Inspiration

by Esther Emery

No shortage of inspiration here. 

T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land has inspired Madeleine L’Engle, Richard Greenberg, and Steven King, to name only a few. Here’s a bit of the first section, “The Burial of the Dead.”  The full poem is here.


What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
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,

(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.

     Frisch weht der Wind

     Der Heimat zu

     Mein Irisch Kind,

     Wo weilest du?

“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;

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,

Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

Od’ und leer das Meer.


The image above is by C. R. W. Nevinson, who was mentioned in an early draft of the poem.