I read T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets in college and try to read again at least once a year. The language is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever read, and I find myself saying passages to myself in my head at the oddest moments (especially, for some reason, “Garlic and sapphires in the mud / Clot the bedded axle-tree. / The trilling wire in the blood / Sings below inveterate scars / Appeasing long forgotten wars”… I love the way it sounds!).
From #2 of the Four Quartets, “East Coker“:
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.