East Coker (poem) - Poem

Poem

East Coker is described as a poem of late summer, earth, and faith. As in the other poems of the Four Quartets, each of the five sections holds a theme that is common to each of the poems: time, experience, purgation, prayer, and wholeness. The time theme is stated in the first section as 'In my beginning is my end' which, given proper attention, might prove to lead into the eternal moment.

The second section discusses disorder within nature, which is opposite to the discussion of order within nature found in the second section of Burnt Norton. Also, rational knowledge itself is described as being inadequate for explaining reality. Those who pursue only reason and science are ignorant. Even our progress is not progress as we continue to repeat the same errors as the past.

The third section discusses the rulers of secular society and their flaws. The fourth, which is a formal section, deploys a series of Baroque paradoxes in the context of the Good Friday mass. This past manner is regarded ironically by the poet in the fifth section as he looks back on his period of experimentation in 'the years of l'entre deux guerres' as 'largely wasted'. He welcomes approaching old age as a new opportunity to find renewal, although it might only be a rediscovery of 'what has been lost and found and lost again'.

Despite the poem's doubt and darkness, a note of hope is struck by the first line of the fifth section, 'So here I am in the middle way'. This refers to the first line of Dante's Inferno, 'Midway in our life's journey, I went astray'. Although the descent is predicated on going astray, so also is persevering beyond it into the light.

Read more about this topic:  East Coker (poem)

Other articles related to "poems, poem":

The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock - Use of Allusion
... Like many of Eliot's poems, "The Love Song of J ... Perrine identifies the following allusions in the poem In "Time for all the works and days of hands" (29) the phrase 'works and days' is the title of a long poem - a description ... will be time" and "there is time" are reminiscent of the opening line of that poem "Had we but world enough and time" ...
The Unknown Citizen
... "The Unknown Citizen" is a poem by W ... The poem was first published in 1939 in The New Yorker, and first appeared in book form in Auden's collection Another Time (Random House, 1940) ... The poem is the epitaph of a man, identified only by a combination of letters and numbers somewhat like an American Social Security number ("JS/07/M/378"), who is described entirely in ...
The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock - Title
... In the drafts, the poem had the subtitle "Prufrock among the Women." Eliot said "The Love Song of" portion of the title came from "The Love Song of Har Dyal," a poem by Rudyard Kipling, published ... In a 1950 letter, Eliot said, "I did not have, at the time of writing the poem, and have not yet recovered, any recollection of having acquired this name in any way, but I think that it must be ...
Mikhail Lermontov - Works
... His earliest unpublished poems that he circulated in manuscript through his friends in the military were pornographic in the extreme, with elements of sadism ... These poems were published only once, in 1936, as part of a scholarly edition of Lermontov's complete works (edited by Irakly Andronikov) ... his lifetime, Lermontov published only one slender collection of poems (1840) ...
The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock - Composition and Publication
... between February 1910 and July or August 1911, the poem was first published in Chicago in the June 1915 issue of Poetry A Magazine of Verse, after Ezra Pound, the magazine's foreign editor ... both." This was Eliot's first publication of a poem outside school or university ... In November 1915 (see 1915 in poetry), the poem—along with Eliot's "Portrait of a Lady," "The Boston Evening Transcript," "Hysteria," and "Miss Helen Slingsby"—was ...

Famous quotes containing the word poem:

    To declaim freedom verses seems like a poem within a poem; freedom requires guns, it requires arms, but no feet.
    Franz Grillparzer (1791–1872)

    It is what man does not know of God
    Composes the visible poem of the world.
    Richard Eberhart (b. 1904)

    There were ghosts that returned to earth to hear his phrases,
    As he sat there reading, aloud, the great blue tabulae.
    They were those from the wilderness of stars that had expected more.
    There were those that returned to hear him read from the poem of life,
    Of the pans above the stove, the pots on the table, the tulips among them.
    They were those that would have wept to step barefoot into reality....
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)