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Time and timelessness in The Prelude of William Wordsworth and Four Quartets of T. S. Eliot Elsted, Janet Elizabeth 1975

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TIME AND TIMELESSNESS IN THE PRELUDE OF WILLIAM WORDSWORTH AND FOUR QUARTETS OF T.S. ELIOT by JANET ELIZABETH ELSTED B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of English We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1975 In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thes is for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is fo r f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. Department of English  The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1WS Date June 25, 1975 i i ABSTRACT St r u c t u r a l l y , The Prelude and Four Quartets seem to have very l i t t l e i n common. The former i s an autobiographical poem i n a narrative mode; the l a t t e r , a metaphysical poem i n a meditative mode. Yet, each has as i t s focus the representation of timeless experience. Wordsworth's "spots of time" are the expressions of such experience i n The Prelude. E l i o t ' s "rose-garden" i s the most f u l l y developed timeless moment i n Four Quartets, but the poem as a whole deals with various q u a l i t i e s of timelessness and time. Timelessness i s a state of being i n which time and space are transcended imaginatively. The Imagination acts upon the external world, integrating a series of perceptions into a single, transcendent v i s i o n beyond time and space. This integrating a c t i v i t y of the Imagination i s a central topic i n The Prelude. Wordsworth i s as interested i n the imaginative process toward transcendence as i n the state of timelessness i t s e l f . E l i o t , on the other hand, passes over the process and concentrates on the nature of the timeless state. He interprets t h i s state i n terms of Chris t i a n b e l i e f s , and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r e l a t i o n to the "Incarnation" as the "impossible union" of time and timelessness, f l e s h and s p i r i t . Four Quartets i s a Chris t i a n poem; The Prelude fundamentally secular. The difference i n perspective between Wordsworth's emphasis upon process and E l i o t ' s upon a state of being may be seen i n the form of the timeless experience i n the two poems. Wordsworth moves through the "language of the sense" through concrete and sensual imagery — to an abstract language, i n order to convey a transformation of f e e l i n g i n the experience; E l i o t uses abstraction blended with l y r i c a l imagery to recreate the s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t y of the experience. Wordsworth represents the sensual and trans-cendent i n sequence, while E l i o t attempts to convey them simultaneously. This thesis i s concerned with analyzing prosody and o v e r a l l structure i n the two poems, especially as i t relates to the presentation of the timeless or transcendent moment. The Prelude gives a l i n e a r structure to experience: time progresses i n a narrative sequence interrupted momentarily by the "spots of time." Four Quartets i s based e s s e n t i a l l y on a pattern of r e i t e r a t i o n s i n which time i s c i r c u l a r movement rather than progression: the end and the beginning are one; the "way up" and the "way down" are the same. Timelessness i s not the suspension of time as i n The Prelude, but the "co-existence" with time, "the s t i l l point of the turning world." i v TABLE OF CONTENTS PART I: The Vision of the Timeless Experience i n The Prelude and Four Quartets 1 PART I I : The Structure of Time and Timelessness i n The Prelude ( i ) The Framework of Time 23 ( i i ) The "Spots of Time" 41 PART I I I : The Structure of Theme and Variations i n Four Quartets ( i ) "Burnt Norton" 72 ( i i ) "East Coker" 93 ( i i i ) "Dry Salvages" 108 (iv) " L i t t l e Gidding" 122 PART IV: Conclusion 136 Footnotes 147 Bibliography 150 1 PART I THE VISION OF THE TIMELESS EXPERIENCE IN THE PRELUDE AND FOUR QUARTETS William Wordsworth and T.S. E l i o t are not of a single l i t e r a r y age, nor of s i m i l a r aesthetic b e l i e f s and practices. The former tends toward the personal and emotional i n h i s poetry; the l a t t e r , toward the impersonal and i n t e l l e c t u a l . Yet, t h e i r crowning achievements, The Prelude and Four  Quartets, are comparable i n terms of both v i s i o n and form. The Prelude i s an extremely long narrative poem that i s ordered according to a chronological sequence of events i n the l i f e of the poet; Four Quartets i s a set of meditations upon a given experience and i s organized according to the psychological connections between each meditation. This statement expresses at i t s extreme the obvious d i s t i n c t i o n between the two poems. I t i s equally true to say that both poems give form to a fundamental psychological process, that each i s the form of that process. The Prelude i s an attempt to trace the "growth of a poet's mind"; Four Quartets records the progress of a growing s p i r i t u a l awareness within the c o l l e c t i v e personae of the poem. While the one i s expressly concerned with "mind," and the other apparently with s p i r i t , both poems treat the same subject. The central experience of timelessness i s the same. Moreover, t h i s experience includes not merely an act of mind or s p i r i t , but of the entire being — i n t e l l e c t u a l , s p i r i t u a l , emotional, 2 . and sensational — of the individual. The Prelude and Four Quartets are founded on the same premise: that "there are in our existence spots of time"** in which a world of spiritual harmony and ecstasy is revealed to the imagination. These timeless moments involve the recog-nition of a divine force that moves through a l l things, making the universe an integrated whole. They are timeless in the sense that time ceases to exist in the perception of the whole. Time fragments perception; i t organizes experience sequentially. In order for sequential perception to be replaced by simultaneous perception of the parts as a whole, the ordinary bounds of time and space must be transcended. It i s probable that time has no reality outside human imagination. The transformation of time into timeless-ness occurs because the imagination has extended i t s normal powers of perception to their ultimate capacity. Man experiences the divine force of integration through his imagination. Imagination responds to the phenomenal world by perceiving relationships between the objects of that world. Through i t s impulse to perceive relationships, the imagination integrates; i t creates on a human scale the unity manifested in universal dimensions. While the imag-ination i s continually seeing relationships, i t rarely succeeds in making of a series of perceptions one harmonious vision. Such visions are not only rare, they are so transitory 3. as to be merely momentary. Yet, they are of such power the feeling of ecstasy i s so acute — that they inspire in Wordsworth and E l i o t an exalted poetry. The Prelude and Four Quartets are centrally the expressions of personal experience with a living spiritual force. Each poet, in his unique way, attempts to recreate the timeless moment and to define the meaning of such experience. The poems are visionary, revealing to the reader a world beyond the ordinary, beyond time. The perception of a universal harmony is represented by Wordsworth in relation to the imaginative process such perception embodies; i t i s represented by Eli o t i n relation to this imaginative process and also to the Christian symbol for integration, the "Incarnation." The concept of unity, of the fusion of opposing forces, is expressed by one poet as a mental process, by the other, chiefly as the realization of the "Incarnation": Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light — Were a l l like workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree; Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Eternity, Of f i r s t , and last, and midst, and without end. (The_ Prelude.-VI.635-40)2 4 The hint half guessed, the g i f t half understood, i s Incarnation. Here the impossible union Of spheres of existence is actual, Here the past and future Are conquered, and reconciled, (Four Quartets."Dry Salvages."215-19) The "Incarnation" i s the 'perfected symbol* of the process of integration in Four Quartets; i t is complemented by other, non-Christian imagery. The abstract form of "co-exist-ence" i s another of the means by which Eliot defines the timeless experience of integrated perception: Not the stillness of the v i o l i n , while the note lasts, Not that only, but the co-existence, Or say that the end precedes the beginning, And the end and the beginning were always there Before the beginning and after the end. And a l l i s always now. . I i. ("Burnt Norton."144-49) This synthesis of "beginning" arid "end" in an eternal "now" seems to be the same essential conception of timelessness as Wordsworth's " f i r s t , and last, and midst, and without end." Wordsworth's "Imagination" in The Prelude operates upon the world around i t , at times 'half perceiving and half creating' a harmonious vision of that world. While the Imagination i s constantly shaping perception, i t i s most finely attuned in contact with Nature. Nature provides the inspiration for the perception of harmony. Nature and 5. man, the thing perceived and the perceiver, are fused into a single being during such visionary experiences. In an act of "self-forgetfulnessWordsworth, the perceiver, becomes a part of the world around him. The line between subject and object disappears: That through the growing faculties of sense Doth like an agent of the one great Mind Create, creator and receiver both, Working but in alliance with the works Which i t beholds. I • • (11 . 2 5 6-60) This identification of inner world with external world can occur only when the Imagination functions as a whole, unifying body, heart, mind, and s p i r i t in the moment of perception. The harmony of inner being and outer world mirror one another, and f i n a l l y the two,worlds merge in the Imagination of the perceiver. The mysterious capacity of the Imagination to establish relationships and reconcile opposing images and ideas cannot ultimately be defined by Wordsworth. His concept of the transcendent powers of the Imagination requires the same quality of faith as does Eliot's acceptance of the fact of Incarnation. Metaphor and symbol are the only means which can transmute such mysterious powers into wordsl And even this language i s a vehicle which Eliot periodically finds 6 inadequate, "a r a i d on the i n a r t i c u l a t e / With shabby-equipment always d e t e r i o r a t i n g . " 0 Wordsworth l i k e n s the growth of the s p i r i t through the operation of the Imagination to harmony i n music, a correspondence between sound and l i s t e n e r that i s i t s e l f v i r t u a l l y i n explicable: Dust as we are, the immortal s p i r i t grows Like harmony i n music; there i s a dark Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles Discordant elements, makes them c l i n g together In one society. . . . ( 1 . 3 4 0 - 4 4 ) He can do no more than at t r i b u t e the experience of synthesis to a f a c u l t y he c a l l s the Imagination. The Imagination embodies both the p r i n c i p l e and act of harmony. I t acts i n accordance with " s p i r i t u a l Love,"? which i s i t s impetus and a manifestation of i t s operation. The transformation of fear and pain into an 'all-pervading love* i s a product of the power of the Imagination to perceive and create harmony. The f i n a l and most s i g n i f i c a n t stage i n Wordsworth's interpretation of t h i s v i s i o n i s the correlation he establishes between the human power of u n i f i c a t i o n and a divine harmony. The perception of a t o t a l i t y i n which the subjective and objective worlds are fused leads Wordsworth to the b e l i e f i n a greater "Power," of which the Imagination i s but an i m i t a t i o n . This "Power" i s the divine s p i r i t which enables the Imagination to conceive of harmony; the Imagination 7. i s t h i s s p i r i t i n human form, "the human form d i v i n e . " 0 Wordsworth describes the capacity of certain highly sensitive men to aspire to knowledge of the divine i n a s p i r i t of "communion" with the natural world: Such minds are t r u l y from the Deity, For they are Powers; and hence the highest b l i s s That f l e s h can know i s t h e i r s — the consciousness Of whom they are, habitually infused Through every image and through every thought, And a l l affections by communion raised From earth to heaven, from human to divine, (XIV.112-18) The imaginative process which leads up to the perception of s p i r i t u a l harmony i s not analyzed by E l i o t . Four Quartets contains none of the explanatory passages that are so frequent i n The Prelude. I t i s not E l i o t ' s aim to explain the process as he recreates i t , but rather to communicate the essence of the s p i r i t u a l state of being achieved both i n the timeless moment and i n time. When he does philosophize, he does so i n a cryptic and oblique way. The meaning of the opening l i n e s i n "Burnt Norton," f o r example, evolves gradually from the imagistic and abstract patterns which develop i n the poem; the l i n e s are i n themselves rather obscure: Time present and time past Are both perhaps present i n time future, And time future contained i n time past. 8 In Eliot's poem, the f i n a l significance :of the timeless experience i s rendered in Christian terms of union with God. The integrated perception of the timeless moment is but a glimpse into a more lasting "reality"9 of spiritual awareness. The process enacted in the poem is that of transforming a transitory state of being into a permanent one. The presence of God in Four Quartets is f e l t as the third partner of Christ and the Holy Ghost, both of whom play an active, symbolic part in the poem. God i s a "darkness,"10 the unnamed source of the energy which propels the "dance," and "the s t i l l point" to which the dance i s joined. E l i o t refers to "God" only sparingly, as i f even the naming of God is too intimate a gesture to make in a poem which dramatizes the fulfilment of an integration of being and awareness of the divine essence. Although not expressly Christian, Wordsworth's conception of human experience of divine presence is based on the principles of reintegration — the attainment of an inner harmony which according to Christian myth was lost in the f a l l from Grace in Eden — and of the submission of the self in humility to an external force, both of which are fundamental to Christianity. However, one cannot help feeling that with respect to the second principle Wordsworth lacks the necessary self-effacement. He seems too attracted to the fascinating power of his own imagination. He never 9 reaches in The Prelude the point of undesiring, of the "dessication" described by E l i o t , which leads to the upward fli g h t of the s p i r i t . While he certainly achieves great elevation of s p i r i t , he does not seem to arrive at the point of "dessication" in his downward sp i r i t u a l journey. Furthermore, his divinity i s rather too humble to resemble truly the Christian God. Wordsworth's God is essentially the realization of the best in the human s p i r i t . The "indwelling" nature of the divinity he worships is antithetical to the mystical separateness of the Christian God i n Four Quartets. Wordsworth's path toward the new state of spiritual being i s not the "way"1'1- of darkness, but the "way" of light and i t s triumph over despair. Darkness i s to be transcended, not cultivated as i t i s in Four Quartets. The Christian way, and one of the ways i n Four Quartets, is through suffering, in which darkness and light 'co-exist.' Wordsworth's i s the triumph of l i f e over death; E l i o t ' s , rebirth through death both spiritual and actual. The ultimate darkness in Four Quartets. "the dark night of the soul," i s the nadir from which spiritual enlightenment may come. Out of the ashes of the purging f i r e come new l i f e and harmony: "And the f i r e and the rose are one." The act of submission to the darkness — "I said 10. to my soul, be s t i l l , and wait without hope"^ — frees the s p i r i t to continue i t s journey on the "ten stairs"13 toward perfection of the soul in harmony with God. This process of spiritual journey i s not seen in terms of the imagination; i t is revealed in i t s various stages of being and "unbeing."^ The progression from object perceived, to object assimilated, to oBject transcended i n a moment of imaginative perception i s taken for granted by El i o t in Four Quartets. Rather than imaginative process, he focuses on the nature of the psychological states — 'attachment, detachment, and indifference* — in spi r i t u a l progress and the feelings associated with these states. It i s not his purpose to recreate the moment in the "rose-garden" objectively, but psychologically. Thus he constructs a set of symbols which w i l l convey the mental, emotional, and spiritual nature of the experience and which w i l l later be integrated with the Christian symbols of the poem. E l i o t need not examine the transcendent experience to determine it s causes; he has a symbology'and a creed which give meaning to the experience. Unlike Wordsworth, he is not creating a personalized religion, but i s acting out the spiritual growth of man within the context of a traditional one. The symbol which forms the centre of Eliot's vision i s that which gave rise to Christianity: the Incarnation of Christ, s p i r i t made flesh. "The s t i l l point of the turning world," the unification of the rose and the yew, and a l l the 11 other incidences of "co-existence" evolve from this archetypal transformation of s p i r i t into flesh and the intersection of time and timelessness i t represents. The "shaft of sunlight," the "winter lightning," the "waterfall," "the wild thyme," the "music," are a l l incarnations in Four Quartets. As Elizabeth Drew says, "they are a l l an invisible energy manifesting i t s e l f in the phenomena of sense."15 The reconciliation of l i f e and death and the possibility of rebirth in spiritual form depend upon the acceptance of the Incarnation as a symbolic, i f not actual, fact. One can recognize in The Prelude a kind of incarnation, a divine s p i r i t within the Imagination of man, but i t is not the Incarnation. While The Prelude is visionary, Four Quartets i s mystical and r i t u a l i s t i c . It i s perhaps the mysticism of Four Quartets which distinguishes i t most profoundly from The Prelude. At Eliot's " s t i l l point of the turning world," where opposites are compatible, "The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree / Are of equal duration."-^ Life and death, the beginning and the end, the way of light and the way of darkness, merge into an integrated vision of t o t a l i t y . "Vacancy" has the same value as does "plenitude." In Four Quartets, "co-existence," the balance of extremes, is used as a governing process leading toward fusion in the image of the f i r e and the rose. In The Prelude, incidences of fusion appear throughout, a n t i c i p a t i n g the climactic fusion of the Mount Snowdon episode. The point of fusion does not come i n E l i o t ' s poem u n t i l the f i r e and the rose become one, u n t i l the f i n a l purging of the soul. This fusion i s permanent and absolute, and i t cannot be achieved i n the "unattended moment" of revelation represented by the rose-garden. I t i s won " i n a l i f e t i m e ' s death i n love" through "prayer, observance, d i s c i p l i n e , thought and action. Earthly love and common desires are transcended by divine love. Wordsworth does not leave the fusion of opposites to some f i n a l moment; he v i s u a l i z e s each "unattended moment," each 'spot of time,' i n terms of the fusion of extremes. He makes no d i s t i n c t i o n between the fusion of images achieved i n the tr a n s i t o r y perception of t o t a l i t y and the fusion completed i n a permanent state of integrated being. In Four Quartets. permanent.fusion i s r e a l i z e d through death; the process of s p i r i t becoming f l e s h i s complemented by f l e s h made s p i r i t . This i s not to say that there are only t r a n s i t o r y moments of awareness i n The Prelude. The growth of the poet's mind i s toward a new 'mode of Being,* a continuing consciousness that harmony does e x i s t between the physical and s p i r i t u a l worlds. This development of consciousness i s very nearly E l i o t ' s "occupation f o r the saint";1^ i t i s a l i f e t i m e process of transforming the unconscious and f l e e t i n g per-ception of t o t a l i t y into a constant and more conscious way 13. of seeing the world. The l i g h t and the dark are not just brought to a point of balance i n such experiences; the l i g h t subsumes the darkness i n i t s own radiance. For Wordsworth, physical death i s not a stage i n the progress toward integration; f o r E l i o t , i t plays a v i t a l part i n such progress. Death i s an overpowering force i n Four Quartets ("And the time of death i s every moment").19 Fear and pain are as near as Wordsworth comes to the darkness of death. They are necessary agencies of growth i n l i f e , but they are transcended by the more powerful Love. •To fear and love, To love as prime and chief, f o r there fear ends, Be t h i s ascribed; to early intercourse, In presence of sublime or be a u t i f u l forms, With the adverse p r i n c i p l e s of pain and,joy — E v i l as one i s rashly named by men Who know not what they speak. By love subsists A l l l a s t i n g grandeur, by pervading love: (XIV. 162-69) The young Wordsworth grew up "fostered a l i k e by beauty and by fear."20 The "spots of time" which so profoundly affected his conception of himself i n r e l a t i o n to the world e l i c i t e d feelings of both joy and t e r r o r . His disturbing perception of the black c r a g 2 ! looming over the moonlit lake and the sense of "huge and mighty forms"(398) i t conveys are as s i g n i f i c a n t as any of his joyous v i s i o n s . A l l feelings — g u i l t , t e r r o r , joy — merge into the f e e l i n g of love which springs from a recognition of harmony between a l l l i v i n g things. Love i s the product and the source of imaginative energy. Love as the product and the source appears in Four Quartets as well: Love i s i t s e l f unmoving, Only the cause and end of movement, Timeless, and undesiring Except in the aspect of time Caught in the form of limitation Between un-being and being. ("Burnt Norton." 163-68) Spiritual love is not a desire; i t does not progress in time. It i s the end of desiring, and thus i s timeless. Earthly love i s "caught in a form of limitation" that prevents i t from transcending time and reaching the stillness of spiritual love. This limited form of love exists i n the transitional state between conception and fulfilment of the desire, "between un-being and being." The absence of desire and "abstention from movement"22 constitute the condition of "internal darkness,"23 the negative "way" toward the st i l l n e s s , the harmony. Wordsworth's concept of a radiant "spiritual Love" i s far more attractive and accessible to most than Eliot's "emotionless" Love. Wordsworth's Love retains i t s emotional character; Eliot's i s more nearly spiritual essence. In the midst of the glory of the Romantic vision, one may miss the element of suffering which Wordsworth's "growth" 15. exacts. Even the misery of the French Revolution i s much diluted in his narrative treatment. His energies seem not to be f u l l y engaged unless he i s dealing with those timeless moments which shape the Imagination. L i f e , not death, i s the medium through which spiritual awareness must be attained. Wordsworth does not deliberately ignore the presence of suffering and mortality; he simply i s possessed of an optimism concerning human powers that enables him to transcend their presence imaginatively. The way of darkness does not exist in The Prelude with the intensity that i t does in Four Quartets. The entry into "internal darkness" is one way in Four Quartets; the other i s by way of the "rose-garden," the sudden illumination of the timeless world. The tot a l i t y of experience is revealed and confirmed in one glimpse. This revelation of the whole i s not perceived in progressive stages of time, but at once in the moment of perception. Rather than following the normal process of seeing the parts individually and successively, one assimilates the whole perception instantaneously. Such assimilation can occur only i f time has been suspended, or i f " A l l i s always now." Wordsworth refers to his "rose-garden" experiences as "spots of time," a metaphor which indicates the suspension of time. Time does not move in a linear fashion in such moments, but is gathered into a moment of stasis. The timeless moments i n both poems are not sufficient i n 16 themselves to sustain the desired harmony of being; they illuminate the way, but they cannot be grasped and held, or even sought. The "spots of time" i n v a r i a b l y occur to the unsuspecting Wordsworth, l u l l e d into p a s s i v i t y by the calm of h is surroundings. S i m i l a r l y , the "rose-garden" catches the persona of Four Quartets "unawares": 2^ the b i r d c a l l s , the shaft of sunlight f i l l s the pool, and the moment i s gone. Such experiences are but "hints and guesses" of the nature of the permanent timeless state. In Four Quartets. the growth of being, of s p i r i t u a l consciousness, occurs within the cycle of time measured by the seasons and the aging process. In The Prelude. the passage of time i s conveyed d i r e c t l y i n the movement from childhood to manhood, and i n d i r e c t l y by reference to seasonal time. The aging of the boy marks the physical growth which accompanies h i s mental one. Time does not a f f l i c t any i n d i v i d u a l as such i n Four Quartets, but a number of i n d i v i d u a l s : i t s effects are f e l t by anonymous s a i l o r s and old men and by the persona of the poem. Their journey through time represents a universal movement. These representative figures are caught i n the continuous f l u x between time and timelessness; they are struggling to reach "the s t i l l point of the turning world" through time. The "now" may only be recognized i n r e l a t i o n to "time past and time future." The necessity of time i s i n e v i t a b l e : 17 But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden, The moment in the arbour where the rain beat, The moment in the draughty church at smokefall Be remembered; involved with past and future. Only through time time i s conquered. ("Burnt Norton." 6*6-89) Time i s not treated as a subject in The Prelude as i t is in Four Quartets. It is the context in which the growth of the individual occurs. Wordsworth is concerned with timelessness in human experience as i t reflects "Eternity." However, he does not conceive of the "spots of time" as points of intersection with time as does E l i o t , but rather as moments of suspension in the midst of passing time. Nonetheless, one may detect a similarity between Eliot's "present moment of the past" and Wordsworth's conception of the history of the individual: . . . Not the intense moment Isolated, with no before and after, But a lifetime burning in every moment And not the lifetime of one man only But of old stones that cannot be deciphered. ("East Coker." 192-96) . . history i s a pattern of timeless moments • ("Little Gidding." 234-35) 13. • . . .So feeling comes in aid Of feeling, and diversity of strength Attends us, i f but once we have been strong. (The Prelude. XII. 269-71) But by their [.higher mindsj quickening impulse made more prompt To hold f i t converse with the spiritual world, And with the generations of mankind Spread over time, past, present, and to come, Age after age, t i l l Time shall be no more. (The Prelude. XIV. 107-11). These sections from The Prelude i l l u s t r a t e the inter-relationship of "the spots of time." "Feeling comes in aid of feeling." The experiences of the past are connected to the experiences of the present by feeling; they are joined with the present as moments of intense awareness which are the foundation stones of "Being." A l l these moments together form the history of one's being, and, ultimately, of a l l beings. "Converse with the spiritual world" i s not limited to any one individual or any one place in time; i t transcends both space and time. The usual concept of history as a sequence of events i s replaced by that of a li v i n g history "burning in every moment." Like "the spots of time," Eliot's "intense moment" does not remain an "isolated" incident, but continues to be f e l t and gives meaning to a l l that precedes and follows i t . A passage from "Tradition and the Individual Talent" further c l a r i f i e s 19. this sense of the living past: • . . the poet i s not l i k e l y to know what is to be done unless he lives in what is not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he is conscious, not of what ^ i s dead, but of what is already l i v i n g . ^ As the past is reflected in the present, "the intense moment," by i t s very intensity, revives in the present consciousness of the individual. The effect, then, is to create a history of past, present, and future in the indiv-idual. Wordsworth's faith that "Time shall be no more" suggests that he, too, foresees a permanent state composed of the "spots of time." As stated earlier, death i s not the medium through which such permanence i s thought to be achieved in The Prelude. The medium is l i f e conducted on a very ra r i f i e d plane of spiritual "communion" with the world. One i s given a sense of the flesh made s p i r i t i n some distant sphere of existence when men li v e as spi r i t u a l beings. Wordsworth seems to be implying immortality for mortal man. However, i t is more l i k e l y that he does not conceive of the ideal of immortality as an actuality, but as an emblem of a form of consciousness to which men may aspire. It i s clear that his "higher minds" have acquired a status that enables them to function as integrated beings in time as well as in the timeless moments: 20., They from t h e i r native selves can send abroad Kindred mutations; f o r themselves create A l i k e existence; and, whene'er i t dawns Created f o r them, catch i t , or are caught By i t s inevitable mastery, Like angels stopped upon the wing by sound Of harmony from Heaven's remotest spheres. Them the enduring and the transient both Serve to exalt; they b u i l d up greatest things From le a s t suggestions; ever on the watch, W i l l i n g to work and to be wrought upon, They need not extraordinary c a l l s To rouse them; i n a world of l i f e they l i v e , By sensible impressions not enthralled, But by t h e i r quickening impulse made more prompt To hold f i t converse with the s p i r i t u a l world, And with the generations of mankind Spread over time, past, present, and to come, Age after age, t i l l Time s h a l l be no more. Such minds are t r u l y from the Deity, For they are Powers; and hence the highest b l i s s That f l e s h can know i s t h e i r s — the consciousness Of Whom they are, hab i t u a l l y infused Through every image and through every thought, And a l l affections by communion raised From earth to heaven, from human to divine; Hence endless occupation f o r the Soul, Whether discursive or i n t u i t i v e ; Hence cheerfulness f o r acts of d a i l y l i f e , Emotions which best foresight need not fear, Most worthy then of t r u s t when most intense. Hence, amid i l l s that vex and wrongs that crush Our hearts — i f here the words of Holy Writ May with f i t reverence be applied — that peace Which passeth understanding, that repose In moral judgments which from t h i s pure source Must come, or w i l l by man be sought i n vain. (XIV. 93-129) The "endless occupation of the Soul" bears a marked resemblance to E l i o t ' s "occupation f o r the s a i n t , " the l i f e of "prayer, observance, d i s c i p l i n e , thought and action": 21 • • • • But to apprehend The point of intersection of the timeless With time, i s an occupation f o r the saint — No occupation e i t h e r , but something given And taken, i n a l i f e t i m e 1 s death i n love, Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender. ("Dry Salvages," 200-05) The fact that Wordsworth resorts to B i b l i c a l references, to the language of r e l i g i o n — "angels," "harmony from Heaven," "communion," "divine," "Soul," "peace that passeth understanding" — draws hi s conception of "higher minds" very close to that of a saint. Such "minds" seem to be not j u s t good men, but beings who extend the normal human capacities to the point of partaking i n 'divine power.' However, they do not have capacities beyond those attainable by any deeply s e n s i t i v e , visionary human being. According to Chr i s t i a n myth, the saint i s not merely attuned to the s p i r i t u a l world, he i s somehow blessed with divine essence. His powers are superhuman, whereas those of "higher minds" are but human, i f extraordinary. The aura of mysticism surrounding the saint i s i m p l i c i t i n E l i o t ' s very use of the word. I t i s characterized i n a subtle way i n the nature of the saint's occupation: the l i f e of negation of s e l f and continual s a c r i f i c e . Although there i s an element of selflessness i n Wordsworth's description, there i s not the utt e r negation required of the saint. His "minds" are 'conscious' "Of Whom they are"; they are "infused" with a sense of the earthly and n o n - s p i r i t u a l . Moreover, t h e i r 22 •'cheerfulness" i s not in keeping with the exalted nature of the saint. This comparison is not intended to reduce Wordsworth's concept in relation to the Christian doctrine of sainthood. Rather, i t demonstrates the very real correspondence between the ideas of the two poems, while pointing out the fundamental distinction between the two: Four Quartets is a Christian poem; The Prelude is not. Four Quartets represents a human struggle which functions within a Christian context; The Prelude traces the growth of a man ordering the world largely in his own terms. Although Wordsworth is versed in the Christian tradition and converts his pantheism to Christianity over the years, he i s by no means ever the orthodox Christian that El i o t i s . One may carry the analogy between Wordsworth and Eli o t on an ideological level up to a point just short of faith in the Incarnation and the other mysteries of Christianity. The mystery of Incarnation cannot be solved by personal experience; i t must be accepted as a fact of Eliot's poem. The concept becomes acceptable for the non-believer only i f he can conceive of the existence of such mysteries in the human psyche, or in the Imagination as Wordsworth describes i t . 23. PART II THE STRUCTURE OF TIME AND TIMELESSNESS IN THE PRELUDE ( i ) The Framework of Time The Prelude i s organized as a narrative. Events in the poem follow a chronological sequence in the l i f e of the maturing Wordsworth. Measured time provides the framework of and natural continuity for the poem. Four Quartets. on the other hand, does not f a l l into a pattern of incidents arranged in time. The moment in the "rose-garden" is not fixed to some point in the lifetime of an individual; i t may occur as a revelation to the child or the mature man. The experiences and reflections of the poem revolve around the centre point of the intersection of time and timelessness, "fcfaei s t i l l point of the turning world." In The Prelude, because the organization is chronological, the structure is essentially linear, rather than circular as i s that of Four Quartets. The difference in overall structure of the two . poems i s determined, in large part, by the immense length of The Prelude. Wordsworth had to settle upon some means of arranging the sheer amount of material he wished to include. The f i r s t , and most obvious, fact of the organization i s that the poem is autobiographical, and as such i s dominated and unified by the force of a single personality. Secondly, the events of Wordsworth's l i f e are presented in a sequential narrative. The narrative — the t e l l i n g of a story — moves in time and provides the sense of continuity which carries the growth metaphor fundamental to the poem. As Wordsworth's growth in The Prelude is not merely physical, but mental, the poet creates a metaphor which conveys the inner movement of being as the narrative does the outer movement of events. This metaphor i s the river; i t s complement i s the sea, whose movement corresponds to. the movement of the "Powers" of the poem: the Imagination when i t integrates "discordant elements"; Nature; the "divine" presence. The river's progress corresponds to the pro-gression of time; the sea's movement seems almost to be timeless. The growth of the poet's mind is measured by the movement of the streams and rivers in the poem. However, within the gradual progress of mental growth, there are moments of revelation; there are "spots of time" in which time is suspended. In these moments, the mind no longer follows the gradual progression suggested by the stream metaphor; i t acquires the power more truly represented by the 'working of the sea.' 2 0 And the mind works like the sea — that i s , i t manifests i t s capacity for an integration of perception that i s timeless -- in these "spots of time." The sea as a metaphor i s much less c l e a r l y defined than the r i v e r ; i t i s a necessary counterpart to the movement of growth conveyed by the r i v e r f o r i t encompasses a power beyond that of the r i v e r . The r i v e r as a metaphorical structure does not suggest the element of regression i n human development nor the sudden surge of revelation. The r i v e r represents the l i f e t i m e ' s struggle i n time; the sea, the element of the eternal within that l i f e t i m e . The autobiographical, confessional poem can be an intimate, sometimes agonizing experience for the reader. He may f e e l unable to extricate himself from the person-a l i t y and experiences of the poet. An uncomfortable intimacy i s demanded by such tormented in d i v i d u a l s as Syl v i a P l a t h or John Berryraan. Wordsworth i s not tormented, of course, but he does recognize the necessity of aesthetic distancing i n his use of the "Friend." His long, personal poem would be unbearable without the sense that he i s t a l k i n g to a s p e c i f i c person, someone with whom he may share h i s experiences. The reader can i d e n t i f y with another i n d i v i d u a l i n the poem besides Wordsworth. In addition, the apostrophes to the Friend provide points of entry to and departure from sequences i n the narrative and o f f e r r e l i e f from the chronicling of events and the expression of fee l i n g s . The Prelude begins with a rhapsodic hymn to Nature containing a number of the dominant Nature images of the poem: "green f i e l d s , " "azure sky," "soft breeze," "grove," "stream." Wordsworth then describes a "breeze" within him which 'corresponds 1 to the "soft breeze" of Nature. The s t i r r i n g within him of poetic i n s p i r a t i o n r e c a l l s the "Muse" of c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e and i n i t i a t e s a central theme of the poem: the "correspondence" between Nature and the Imagination. At t h i s point, the "Friend" i s introduced and the narrative start s with the re c o l l e c t i o n of a pa r t i c u l a r experience. The mood i s tra n q u i l and the scene pastoral, a combination which recurs throughout the poem. The narrative s t y l e of t h i s section ( 6 2 - 7 0 , 7 5 - 3 7 ) i s of a d i s t i n c t order which reappears l a t e r ; i t i s not the mode of expression used to t e l l the story of Wordsworth's experience with the French Revolution*in Books IX-XI. I t does not describe an event so much as i t conveys a state of being. I s h a l l characterize i t as the meditative mode. The d i s t i n c t i o n between the meditative mode and the s t r i c t l y narrative one of the l a t e r books i s quite clear. However, the difference between the l i n e s c i t e d and those surrounding them i s very s l i g h t . In f a c t , some of the enclosing l i n e s mediate between the two modes. The d i s t i n c t i o n i s that 27. the purely meditative l i n e s contain no action, other than the mental one of contemplation. Wordsworth comes into the "green and shady place," s i t s down and muses, goes on to another grove of trees, muses, and then sets out once more at sunset. The contemplative moments are characterized by imagistic l i n e s i n which silence and s t i l l n e s s p r e v a i l : ' Twas autumn, and a clear and p l a c i d day, With warmth, as much as needed, from a sun Two hours declined towards the west; a day With s i l v e r clouds, and sunshine on the grass, And i n the sheltered and sheltering grove A perfect s t i l l n e s s . . ( 6 5 - 7 0 ) • • . . Thus long I mused, Nor e'er l o s t sight of what I mused upon, Save when, amid the s t a t e l y grove of oaks, Now here, now there, an acorn, from i t s cup Dislodged, through sere leaves rustled, or at once To the bare earth dropped with a s t a r t l i n g sound. (30-35) The f i r s t passage describes a series of sense impressions: the warmth of the day, the declining sun, " s i l v e r clouds," "sunshine on the grass." One i s not made to see the d e t a i l s of a scene, but to f e e l the character of the sense impressions the place provides. A l l merge into "a perfect s t i l l n e s s , " the s t i l l n e s s of the contemplative mind. The occurrence of the word shelter on either side of "and" imitates the effect of balance and harmony in the moment. Time ceases to exist. The second passage captures the stillness by comparing i t to the "startling" effect of a f a l l i n g acorn. Such an incident is "startling" only in a state of meditative concentration. The impressionistic and representative nature of the description in such moments of meditation in The Prelude may be distinguished from the detailed descriptions of incidents in a more narrative style: . . . I t was an act of stealth And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice Of mountain echoes did my boat move on; Leaving behind her s t i l l , on either side, Small circles g l i t t e r i n g idly in the moon, Until they melted a l l into one track Of sparkling light. But now, like one who rows, Proud of his s k i l l , to reach a chosen point With an unswerving li n e , I fixed my view Upon the summit of a craggy ridge, The horizon's utmost boundary, for above Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky. She was an e l f i n pinnace; l u s t i l y I dipped my oars into the silent lake, And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat Went heaving through the water like a swan; When, from behind that craggy steep t i l l then The horizon's bound, a huge peak, black and huge, As i f with voluntary power instinct Upreared i t s head. I struck and struck again, And growing s t i l l i n stature the grim shape Towered up between me and the stars, and s t i l l , For so i t seemed, with purpose of i t s own And measured motion like a living thing, Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned, And through the silent water stole my way Back to Ithe covert of the willow tree; (I. 361-87) 2 9 . Here, Wordsworth i s describing a transformation, not a moment of "perfect s t i l l n e s s . " The impact of the description i s created by the vividness of the imagery as i n the meditative section. This time, the imagery i s portioned out over a whole scene; the l i m i t s of the per-ception are defined i n terms of v e r t i c a l and horizontal proportions: the sky, the horizon, and the lake are l a i d out as i f on a canvas. The rel a t i o n s h i p of the stars and the moon i n the sky and the boat on the lake i s systematically developed into a complete v i s u a l pattern. The imagery unfolds i n the narrative progression u n t i l the scene i s accurately and completely described. Wordsworth's purpose i s not merely to describe a v i s u a l p icture, but to recreate an experience. The images of the g l i t t e r i n g lake and the black crag are associated with feelings as are those of the "sunshine on the grass" and the "grove." However, i n the meditative section, the imagery corresponds with a single emotion or state of being. There i s a uniformity of imagery and emotion. In the contrast between the l i g h t on the lake and the darkness of the peak, c o n f l i c t i n g emotions are brought together; a state of serenity i s transformed into fear. The sense of s t i l l n e s s established i n the l i g h t imagery i s replaced by urgent action. The element of contrast i n i t i a t e s the momentum that compels Wordsworth to become conscious of a rela t i o n s h i p between opposites. By recreating the scene so exactly, the 30. poet enables the reader to comprehend the experience and i t s e f f e c t . He wants not to describe a contemplative state characterized by s t i l l n e s s , but to recreate an experience i n which movement takes place i n the physical and psychological worlds. Book I as a whole i s highly imagistic and emotional. Much of the book i s concerned with conveying the boy's imaginative response to the sensual world. This response i s on an emotional l e v e l . Although there are moments of philosophizing, these are generally the re s u l t of a p a r t i c u l a r sensual experience. The senses stimulate the Imagination, which i n turn generates the mental and s p i r i t u a l capacities. This process i s rendered through the appropriate form of sensual imagery. Book I I continues i n t h i s s t y l e for i t , too, i s dealing with the childhood i n t e r a c t i o n with the world. The metaphor of the r i v e r as the progress of the mind i s not made e x p l i c i t u n t i l the second book, where Wordsworth refers to "the. r i v e r of my mind" (209). In Book I , the r i v e r i s personified: 31. Was i t f o r t h i s That one, the f a i r e s t of a l l r i v e r s , loved To blend his murmurs with my nurse's song, And, from his alder shades and rocky f a l l s , And from his fords and shallows, sent a voice That flowed along my dreams? • . . (269-74) The association of the r i v e r with the mental processes i s begun: the "voice" of the r i v e r 'flowed along his dreams.1 This gentle voice of the r i v e r l a t e r becomes a "roar of waters, torrents, streams / Innumerable, roaring with one voice" 2? i n the moment of transcendent perception on Mount Snowdon. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the r i v e r with the imaginative process i s reaffirmed and refined i n another section from Book XIV, one which r e c a l l s the "murmurs" and the image of the nurse: This f a c u l t y hath been the feeding source Of our long labour; we have traced the stream From the b l i n d cavern whence i s f a i n t l y heard I t s natal murmur; followed i t to l i g h t And open day; accompanied i t s course Among the ways of Nature, (193-98) As the poem progresses, the r i v e r moves farther from i t s actual character i n Nature; by Book XIV, i t has become the abstract idea f o r which i t stands. The Prelude modulates' from the s p e c i f i c and the concrete to the general and the abstract u n t i l Wordsworth i s able to discuss abstractions such as " s p i r i t u a l Love," "Imagination," 32. and "Reason" with a precision made possible by the e a r l i e r exactness of concrete imagery. The t r a n s i t i o n from assoc-i a t i n g "sunshine on the grass" with a meditative mood to fusing the metaphor of the r i v e r with the growth of the Imagination i s achieved by a careful evolution of the imagery and ideas throughout the poem. Images which at f i r s t convey a f e e l i n g or a state of mind f i n a l l y become 'emblems' of that f e e l i n g or state just as the 'workings' of Nature became "the emblem of a mind / That feeds upon i n f i n i t y . " 2 8 Wordsworth i s c a r e f u l l y attentive to passing time i n his narration of events. He can only recreate the suspension of time i n the "spots" i f he has f i r s t estab-l i s h e d the presence of time. The r i v e r suggests a movement of time, a movement which corresponds to the actual growing up of the boy. Yet, the r i v e r changes so l i t t l e and moves so r e l e n t l e s s l y that i t seems unaffected by time, and thus nearly timeless i n i t s e l f . This timeless aspect of the r i v e r implies a s i m i l a r dimension i n the process of mental growth: the mind grows unceasingly i n the l i f e t i m e of an i n d i v i d u a l . Furthermore, maturation i n one i n d i v i d u a l i s not the process of a single l i f e t i m e , but of "generations of mankind / Spread over time." The r i v e r , then, i s not s u f f i c i e n t to measure time i n the poem. Specific references to the seasons, to the time of day, to points i n h i s t o r y , 33 and to the age of the boy provide the temporal framework of the narrative. Book I, governed by a pervasive feeling of the timeless world of imaginative experience, is f i l l e d with explicit references to time and place. The internal l i f e of Wordsworth seems to be connected with the rhythms of the seasons and of diurnal motion. The contemplative moment in the grove takes place in autumn near sunset; i t s conclusion i s marked by the sinking of the sun into the horizon. The poet turns homeward "beneath the mellowing sun"(102) on a journey that lasts "three days"(106). Wordsworth later describes youthful adventures of "bathing of a summer's day" (290) and wandering "among the mountain slopes'* where frost had "snapped / The last autumnal crocus"(308-09)• His encounter on the lake with the black crag occurs "one summer evening"(357) beneath the stars and moon. The "dawn" of his "childhood"(406) i s associated with "November days"(416), with "both day and night, / And by the waters, a l l the summer long"(423-24), with the "frosty season, when the sun / Was set"(425-26). His childhood pleasures are inevitably linked to the seasonal and celestial cycles: "the year / Did summon us in his delightful round"(477-78); "the changeful earth . . . on my mind had stamped / The faces of the moving year"(559-61). These cycles are perhaps more prominent i n Book I than in any section of The Prelude, but they do appear with regularity elsewhere, especially in the childhood remembrances of the poem. Time is measured in the same terms in Book II: "From week to week, from month to month, we lived / A round of tumult"(8 - 9 ). Many of the books open with some allusion to time. Book III begins: "It was a dreary morning"; Book IV, "Bright was the summer's noon"; VI, "The leaves were fading"; VII, "Six changeful years have vanished"; X, "It was a beautiful and silent day"; and so on. Books IX through XI are particularly associated'with histor i c a l time; they are books which deal with the actions of men set in a specific time and place. Seasonal and celestial time are l i t t l e considered during the course of such actions. The temporal setting, whether i t is seasonal, historical, or chronological, is the foundation for the timeless moments of the poem. The timeless is not comprehensible except in relation to time: "Only through time time is conquered." While the general mode of The Prelude is narrative, there i s considerable variety of expression within that mode. In addition to the meditative and descriptive passages already discussed, the poem contains two kinds of narrative style: one which recounts external events and one which describes the course of a mental or emotional process: In France, the men, who, for t h e i r desperate ends, Had plucked up mercy by the roots, were glad Of t h i s new enemy. Tyrants, strong before In wicked pleas, were strong as demons now; And thus, on every side beset with foes, The goaded land waxed mad; the crimes of few Spread into madness of the many; blasts From h e l l came s a n c t i f i e d l i k e a i r s from heaven. (X. 331-33) In t h i s mixed sort The months passed on, remissly, not given up To w i l f u l alienation from the r i g h t , Or walks of open scandal, but i n vague And loose indifference, easy l i k i n g s , aims Of a low pitch — duty and zeal dismissed, Yet Nature, or a happy course of things Not doing i n t h e i r stead the needful work. The memory languidly revolved, the heart Reposed i n noontide r e s t , the inner pulse Of contemplation almost f a i l e d to beat. ( I I I . 324-34) Both passages are prosaic and r e l a t i v e l y free of sensual imagery. The imagery and metaphor which do ex i s t appeal larg e l y to the i n t e l l e c t rather than to the emotions. Figures of speech such as "the men, who, . . . had plucked up mercy by the roots," "Tyrants," "strong as demons," and "blasts / From h e l l came s a n c t i f i e d l i k e a i r s from heaven" deal with abstractions rather than with concrete objects. One has to have a concept of "mercy," of "demons," of " h e l l " and "heaven" to complete the simile or metaphor, rather than using the metaphor to i l l u s t r a t e the concept. Compare t h i s with the purely sensual "Small c i r c l e s g l i t t e r i n g i d l y i n the moon, / U n t i l they melted a l l into one track / Of sparkling l i g h t . " The fusion of the many into the one — the central process of the poem — i s given form i n the sensual world. In the second passage, which describes Wordsworth's personal h i s t o r y , the tone i s more informal and the s t y l e simpler. Emotions are named — "indifference," " z e a l " — rather than conveyed through abstract figures of speech. Heart and mind are joined i n the metaphor which compares "the inner pulse / Of contemplation" to the heartbeat. However, such a metaphor functions l a r g e l y on an i n t e l l e c -t u a l l e v e l , not on an emotional, sensual one. There i s one f i n a l mode of expression i n The Prelude which i s not s t r i c t l y narrative nor descriptive nor meditative. I t i s a philosophical s t y l e , i n which the poet r e f l e c t s upon universal themes, not p a r t i c u l a r experiences or fee l i n g s . P a r t i c u l a r experiences, such as the "spots of time," lead Wordsworth to formulate a philosophy of general truths, " t r u t h , not i n d i v i d u a l and l o c a l , but general and o p e r a t i v e . T h e f i r s t section i n the following exemplifies Wordsworth at his most philosophical; the second, the way i n which he blends the p a r t i c u l a r and the concrete with the general and the abstract: • . . . Visionary power Attends the motions of the viewless winds, Embodied i n the mystery of words: There, darkness makes abode, and a l l the host Of shadowy things work endless changes there, As i n a mansion l i k e t h e i r proper home. Even forms and substances are circumfused By that transparent v e i l with l i g h t d i v i n e , And, through the turnings i n t r i c a t e of verse, Present themselves as objects recognized, In flashes, and with glory not t h e i r own. (V. 595-605) . . . • The immeasurable height Of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The stationary blasts of w a t e r f a l l s , And i n the narrow rent at every turn Winds thwarting winds, bewildered and f o r l o r n , The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, The rocks that muttered close upon our ears, Black d r i z z l i n g crags that spake by the wayside As i f a voice were i n them, the sick sight And giddy prospect of the raving stream, The unfettered clouds and region of the Heavens, Tumult and peace, the darkness and the l i g h t — Were a l l l i k e workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree; Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Et e r n i t y , Of f i r s t , and l a s t , and midst, and without end. (VI. 624-40) The d i c t i o n of the former i s remarkable f o r i t s abstractness: words such as "visionary," "mystery," "forms and substances," "divine," and "glory" appear i n rapid succession. Coupled with the vagueness of the imagery, t h i s abstract vocabulary creates an effect of i n t a n g i b i l i t y . Wordsworth seems to be grasping for a concept which i s jus t out of reach. The very mystery of an unseen power i s the quality which he has attempted to capture i n poetic form. One need only examine the images to establish that the r e l a t i v e opaqueness of the passage i s intended. "Visionary power" i s associated with "viewless winds," "shadowy things," and "darkness." The power r e s i s t s d e f i n i t i o n , and thus i t exists i n darkness or shadow; i t i s l a t e r characterized as a "transparent v e i l , " substance without substance, or 'form' without 'substance* perhaps. The image of the "transparent v e i l " marks a t r a n s i t i o n from darkness to the experience of the " l i g h t divine," when the "forms and substances" are no longer i n shadow, but become "objects recognized." Without defining the power, the forms and substances, or the objects which they become, Wordsworth has reproduced the transformation of poetic v i s i o n from darkness to l i g h t , from mystery to recognition. "Visionary power" i s s t i l l an abstract concept here; and i t i s t h i s abstractness which i s the subject of these l i n e s . But abstraction i s a part of the imaginative process, a point E l i o t makes i n discussing the abstract word: I t may have (the word " a c t i v i t y , " f o r example) a meaning which cannot be grasped by appeal to any of the senses; i t s apprehension may require a deliberate suppression of analogies of v i s u a l or muscular experience, which i s none the les s an e f f o r t of imagination.' 0 39. The second passage becomes increasingly abstract and philosophical, beginning with a description of a specific incident and ending with a symbolic interpretation of that incident. The nature of the imagery in the description is significant in relation to this development. The perception i s a rather bizarre one; i t i s not a carefully ordered and panoramic view of the lake and the black crag. Wordsworth carries his reader from woods to waterfalls to torrents to rocks to "drizzling crags" to a stream and f i n a l l y to "the Heavens." It is a dizzying journey from one violent image to another. Nature seems to be possessed of some madness: the waterfalls are "stationary," winds are "thwarting winds," "torrents" are 'shooting from the sky,' the rocks speak, the stream i s "raving." However, one can also detect a note of contrast to a l l this frenzy. The woods are decaying without decaying, the waterfall seems to be motionless, the winds create a stasis by opposing one another. Such language suggests that there is stillness in the midst of motion, "peace" in the midst of "tumult." The metaphors embody the synthesis of the i n t a n g i b l e — "immeasurable height," "stationary blasts" — with the tangible — woods, waterfalls. The description of this scene is obviously impression-i s t i c , a reflection of the poet's state of mind. His own bewilderment i s transferred to the winds and torrents and crags. The landscape i s not so much an actual one as a mental one. In such descriptions, Wordsworth approaches E l i o t ' s symbolic representation of natural objects i n Four Quartets. The d i s t i n c t i o n i s that Wordsworth i s s t i l l fundamentally concerned with the effe c t of Nature upon the Imagination. A p a r t i c u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p which he perceived i n Nature — the tension of opposites — came to symbolize his concept of universal harmony. The purely philosophical statement of the l a s t s i x l i n e s evolves from the sensational experience of the preceding ones. Although the f i r s t philosophical passage i s not derived from an experience, i t , too, i s rendered i n terms of the intangible fused with the tangible. Such a blend i s the only poetic means possible f o r a r t i c u l a t i n g abstractions. Neither Wordsworth nor E l i o t i s interested i n philosophical argument per se; they are concerned with creating a poetic form which w i l l convey t h e i r perception of the "co-existence" of two "spheres of existence." Such an abstract v i s i o n i s re a l i z e d by a poetry of counterbalance or synthesis of opposites. In Wordsworth's case, the fusion of images i s the usual means of r e c o n c i l i n g opposites: Love assimilates fear; l i g h t absorbs the darkness. For E l i o t , a balance of oppositions i s achieved i n the imagery — 'the rose and the yew are of equal duration 1 — more commonly than fusion — "the f i r e and the rose are one." ( i i ) The "Spots of Time" The narrative framework of The Prelude establishes a temporal context in which the timeless may be set. The timeless moment may be approximated to during the passivity of meditation, but only f u l l y realized in the "spots of time." Wordsworth's identification of these "spots" conveys their effects, but not their character: There are i n our existence spots of time, That with distinct pre-eminence retain A renovating virtue, whence, depressed By false opinion and contentious thought, Or aught of heavier or more deadly weight, In t r i v i a l occupations, and the round Of ordinary intercourse,, our minds Are nourished and invisibly repaired; A virtue, by which pleasure i s enhanced, That penetrates, enables us to mount, When high, more high, and l i f t s us up when fallen. This efficacious s p i r i t chiefly lurks Among those passages of l i f e that give Profoundest knowledge to what point, and how, The mind is lord and master — outward sense The obedient servant of her w i l l . Such moments Are scattered everywhere, taking their date From our f i r s t childhood. • . • (XII. 208-25) One would be mistaken to think that these lines provide a complete description of the experience labelled "spots of time." They are chiefly concerned with two things: the "renovating virtue" of such experience and the supremacy of the mind over the senses. Neither of these aspects of the "spots of time" i s d i r e c t l y related to the nature of the experience i t s e l f , or to i t s timeless qual i t y . The r e a l i z a t i o n that the mind i s supreme i s a si g n i f i c a n t i n s i g h t , but one that succeeds at some distance the perception which inspired i t . The character of the "spots of time" can be determined only by studying certain passages i n The Prelude which seem to describe s i m i l a r experiences, such as the "gibbet" and "Christmas-time" incidents, both of which are i d e n t i f i e d as "spots of time." There are seven incidents which would seem to have some claim to be "spots of time," moments of some v i v i d perception and in s i g h t : the "summer evening" on the la k e ( I . 3 5 7 - 4 0 0 ) ; the encounter with the s o l d i e r (IV. 3 7 9 - 4 6 9 ) ; the description of the "Boy" mimicking the owls(V. 3 6 4 - $ $ ) ; the journey through the "narrow chasm"(VI. 6 1 7 - 4 0 ) ; the "gibbet" scene(XII. 2 2 5 - 8 6 ) ; the "Christmas-time" ascent of the "crag"(XII. 2 8 7 - 3 3 5 ) ; the climb on "Mount Snowdon"(XIV. 1 1 - 8 6 ) . There are other b r i e f sections i n the poem which allude to or describe i n some shorthand form the experience of timeless ness, of harmony of perception. However, they need to be referred to these f u l l y developed descriptions of the whole experience — of both the experience and the 4 3 meaning — in order to be completed. One such section occurs at the end of Book X: Thus interruped by uneasy bursts Of exultation, I pursued my way Along that very shore which I had skimmed In former days, when — spurring from the Vale Of Nightshade, and St. Mary's mouldering fane, And the stone abbot, after c i r c u i t made In wantonness of heart, a joyous band Of schoolboys hastening to their distant home Along the margin of the moonlight sea — We beat with thundering hoofs the level sand. ( 5 9 4 - 6 0 3 ) This childhood remembrance comes after a detailed chronicle of the bloody events of the French Revolution; i t i s followed by a resumption of this chronicle. Surrounded by the actions of history, this moonlight adventure seems to be suspended in time. The childhood ghosts have a dreamlike, timeless quality that contrasts b r i l l i a n t l y with the narrative action of the Revolution. They seem to rec a l l a spiri t of innocence and youthful sensitivity in the midst of the disillusioning experience of history. This recollection i s given further poignancy by i t s association with the memories of actual timeless moments. Of the seven experiences cited, the meeting with the soldier should probably not be described as a 'spot of time' in that i t does not involve the reshaping of the sensual world by the Imagination as do the others. Yet, the stoicism of the soldier represents to Wordsworth the mastery of mind over body and a triumph over suffering. Moreover, the incident shares in common with the others several characteristics. F i r s t , i t i s an experience, as distinct from a meditation or a series of narrative events or a passage of philosophy; i t is something which happened once which had a definite beginning and ending. The experience is of sufficient duration and intensity to jus t i f y the exalted interpretations which are placed upon the "spots of time." Perhaps the most significant aspect of this incident in relation to the "spots" i s i t s beginning: My homeward course led up a long ascent, Where the road's watery surface, to the top Of that sharp rising, glittered to the moon And bore the semblance of another stream Stealing with silent lapse to join the brook That murmured in the vale. A l l else was s t i l l ; No l i v i n g thing appeared in earth or a i r , And, save the flowing water's peaceful voice, Sound there was none — but, l o l an uncouth shape, Shown by a sudden turning of the road, So near that, slipping back into the shade Of a thick hawthorn, I could mark him well, Myself unseen. . . (379-91) The traveller is concentrating on his journey, l u l l e d into passivity by the peacefulness of his surroundings; Wordsworth translates this mood into a series of sense impressions, centreing upon water imagery., The only sound i s that of "the flowing water's peaceful voice"; the only light provided by the 1 glittering moon.' The tranquillity is completed by the virtual absence of motion: " A l l else was s t i l l . " The similarity of mood and scene to the incident on the lake i s quite striking: the "moon" is "glittering" on the lake; the only sound is the lapping of the water against the oars; the only moving thing, the boat and the oars; the appearance of the black crag i s as startling and unexpected as that of \ the "uncouth shape." A section from the Mount Snowdon 'spot of time 1 may also be significantly compared to the above passage: . . . . With forehead bent Earthward, as i f in opposition set Against an enemy, I panted up With eager pace, and no less eager thoughts. Thus might we wear a midnight hour away, Ascending at loose distance each from each, And I, as chanced, the foremost of the band; When at my feet the ground appeared to brighten, And with a step or two seemed brighter s t i l l ; Nor was time given to ask or learn the cause, For instantly a light upon the turf F e l l like a flash, and l o l as I looked up, The Moon hung naked in a firmament Of azure without cloud, and at my feet Rested a silent sea of hoary mist. (XIV. 2 3 - 4 2 ) 46 The emphasis here is upon the physical activities of the climber prior to his perception in the moonlight. Nonetheless, the moon and the stil l n e s s are there; and the predominant mood i s one of passivity. The world illuminated by moonlight strikes the climber with the same suddenness as the black crag and the "uncouth shape" struck him in the earlier experiences. One wonders why moonlight would seem to be an integral part of such perceptions. Perhaps i t i s darkness thrown in r e l i e f by light that produces the catalyst for a new and startling perception of the world. F u l l sunlight is somehow too brazen most of the time, although some of the "spots" do indeed occur in daylight. The sunlight in such experiences does not seem to play a significant role in the perception, however. The common denominator in the three incidents examined and in a l l the timeless moments i s the suddenness of the revelation to the perceiver. Time cannot be suspended through a deliberate exercise of the w i l l ; comprehensive vision, " t o t a l i t y , " cannot be experienced through a deliberate act. The sudden illumination and the intense feeling which accompanies i t come upon the conscious mind of the perceiver "unawares": 47, Then sometimes, in that silence while he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene Would enter unawares into his mind, With a l l i t s solemn imagery, i t s rocks, Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received Into the bosom of the steady lake. (V. 331-83) This passage i s taken from one of the short "spots of time" which describes the sensitivity of the "Boy" reacting to Nature. It describes the state of being prior to revelation. The state of preparation involves primarily an attitude of relaxation in which one is entirely open to suggestion. Wordsworth further characterizes this condition in a discussion with Thomas De Quincey: I have remarked, from my earliest days, that, i f under any circumstance, the attention i s energetically braced up to an act of steady observation, or of steady expectation, then, i f this intense condition of vigilance should suddenly relax, at that moment any beautiful, any impressive visual object, or collection of objects, f a l l i n g upon the eye, is carried to the heart with a power not known under any other circumstances. Just now, my ear was placed upon the stretch, in order to catch any sound of wheels that might come down upon the lake of Wythburn from the Keswick road; at the very instant when I raised my head from the ground, i n f i n a l abandonment of hope for this night, at the very instant when the organs of attention were a l l at once relaxing from their tension, the bright star hanging in the air above those outlines of massy blackness f e l l suddenly upon my eye, and penetrated my capacity of apprehension with a pathos and a sense of the i n f i n i t e , that would not have arrested me under other circumstances.31 The unique quality about the meeting with the s o l d i e r i s that i t s significance i s l a r g e l y l e f t unstated. The incident closes with "Back I cast a look, / And lingered near the door a l i t t l e space, / Then sought with quiet heart my distant h o m e " ( 4 6 7 - 6 9 ) . Wordsworth describes i n considerable d e t a i l the appearance of the s o l d i e r , t h e i r surroundings, and t h e i r b r i e f journey together. The mode i s narrative and descriptive i n a manner common to the "spots of time." However, the description i s neither as impressionistic nor as sensual as the other "spots." Nor does the section modulate into the philosophical mode i n order to analyze the meaning of the experience with the s o l d i e r . I f any such discussion of the encounter does occur, i t comes i n Wordsworth's r e f l e c t i o n i n the following book upon "Man, / Earth's paramount Creature! (V. 4 - 5 ) . The incident of the "Boy" and the owls i s the br i e f e s t of the "spots," a compressed version of the timele experience. I t represents a glimpse into the transcendent world which i s f u l l y developed and analyzed i n the Mount Snowdon incident. A l l the necessary ingredients f o r a 'spot of time' are present: 49. There was a Boy: ye knew him w e l l , ye c l i f f s And islands of Winander! — many a time At evening, when the e a r l i e s t stars began To move along the edges of the h i l l s , Rising or s e t t i n g , would he stand alone Beneath the trees or by the glimmering lake, And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands Pressed cl o s e l y palm to palm, and to his mouth U p l i f t e d , he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the s i l e n t owls, That they might answer him; and they would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again, Responsive t o i h i s c a l l , with quivering peals, And long halloos and screams, and echoes loud, Redoubled and redoubled, concourse wild Of jocund din; and, when a lengthened pause Of silence came and baffled his best s k i l l , Then sometimes, i n that silence while he hung Listen i n g , a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried f a r into his heart the voice Of mountain torrents; or the v i s i b l e scene Would enter unawares into his mind, With a l l i t s solemn imagery, i t s rocks, It s woods, and that uncertain heaven, received Into the bosom of the steady lake. (V. 364-38) The beginning of the experience i s si g n a l l e d by Wordsworth's concentration upon the natural setting. He draws the reader into the scene by describing the gradual appearance of the stars at evening. The statement "the e a r l i e s t stars began / To move along the edges of the h i l l s " achieves an acuteness of focus that a mere a l l u s i o n to the existence of s t a r l i g h t could not. The effect may be compared to that of a camera suddenly focusing upon an object which previously has been blurred and i n d i s t i n c t . This concentration upon p a r t i c u l a r and v i v i d images sets o f f the "spots of time" from the 50. narrative progression of events or of the presentation of ideas. The narration of events creates a momentum of i t s e l f which Wordsworth must de l i b e r a t e l y interrupt i n order to d i s t i n g u i s h the 'spot of time' from ordinary experience. I am speaking here of the narrative as the larger structure of The Prelude. The incident of the "Boy" i s written i n the narrative mode, but i t s t i l l represents a break i n the o v e r a l l narrative. The "spots of time" are distinguished from the rest of the poem not i n mode of expression, but i n the i n t e n s i t y of language, imagery, and emotion. Just as E l i o t concentrates his poetic techniques to grasp the i n t e n s i t y of the "intense moment," so Wordsworth directs his energies toward recreating the experience of the "spots of time." I f one compares the opening l i n e s of t h i s 'spot' with the section preceding them, the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of the language i n such incidents becomes apparent. The s i x l i n e s preceding the incident are as follows: . . when w i l l t h e i r presumption learn, That i n the unreasoning progress of the world A wiser s p i r i t i s at work for us, A better eye than t h e i r s , most prodigal Of blessings, and most studious of our good, Even i n what seem our most u n f r u i t f u l hours? ( 3 5 3 - 6 3 ) 51 The content i s of a philosophical nature; the d i c t i o n consists e n t i r e l y of abstractions. The only noun which comes close to conveying a concrete image i s "eye." The adjectives — "unreasoning," "wiser," "better," "prodigal," "studious," and " u n f r u i t f u l " -- describe a mental and moral condition. After t h i s somewhat ponderous expression of a philosophical question comes the simple and d i r e c t statement "There was a Boy." The "Boy" i s a concrete noun; he i s a s p e c i f i c boy i n a s p e c i f i c place and time. The s h i f t to the concrete noun and to the past tense i n the opening statement serves to i s o l a t e and h i g h l i g h t t h i s section. And i n the passage, Wordsworth continues to use concrete nouns — " c l i f f s , " " islands," " s t a r s " — and verbs which denote s p e c i f i c actions, p a r t i c u l a r l y movement — "move," " r i s i n g or s e t t i n g , " "stand." Wordsworth's method of concentration i n conveying the "spots of time" i s to describe a natural scene i n concrete and sensual language. The concreteness of the imagery achieves exactness; i t s sensuality produces the associative feelings which give the experience i t s heightened e f f e c t . The 'sublimity' of the experience i s conveyed through the intense emotional content of the description. A quickening of excitement accompanies the "jocund din" of 'shouts,' "halloos and screams," "quivering peals," and "echoes loud"; the excitement then subsides into a refined and elevated mood produced by the sudden " s i l e n c e . " One can detect the emotional transformation of the Boy i n the t r a n s i t i o n from the tumbling phrases which describe the "din" to the l e i s u r e l y l i n e s which r e f l e c t the silence: ". . . and, when a lengthened pause / Of silence came and baffled his best s k i l l , / Then sometimes, i n that silence while he hung / Listening, . . ." With t h i s refinement i n f e e l i n g , the d i c t i o n becomes s l i g h t l y more abstract, i n d i c a t i v e of the imposition of i n t e l l e c t upon the sense impressions of the experience. Wordsworth i s now concerned with the e f f e c t of the natural scene upon the mind and "heart": "the voice of mountain torrents" i s carried into his "heart"; "the v i s i b l e scene" enters "unawares into his mind." The Nature imagery i s no longer s p e c i f i c and purely sensual; i t i s generalized and representative. "The v i s i b l e scene" i s possessed of "solemn imagery," of "rocks," "woods," "heaven," and "lake." Where at f i r s t t h i s scene was perceived, i t has now been assimilated by the Imagination. This process of sensual stimulation, elevation of f e e l i n g , and integrated consciousness i s repeated i n a l l the "spots of time," with the possible exception of the encounter with the s o l d i e r ; s i m i l a r l y , t h i s process i s given expression as the development of a language of the sublime which combines concrete imagery and abstract idea. The description of the scene gives way to the presentation of the response of the perceiver to that scene. That response i s i n t e l l e c t u a l and s p i r i t u a l as well as emotional i t necessitates a certain abstractness of d i c t i o n . The "Christmas-time" 'spot of time' concentrates more on the "renovating v i r t u e " of the experience on the "crag" than on the experience i t s e l f . I t i s a unique 'spot' i n that i t i s composed of three parts: the perception from the crag, the death of Wordsworth's father, and the lesson learned from the combination of the two. The t h i r d part i s the core of the incident: Yet i n the deepest passion, I bowed low To God, Who thus corrected my desires; And, afterwards, the wind and sleety r a i n , And a l l the business of the elements, The single sheep, and the one blasted tree, And the bleak music of that old stone w a l l , The noise of wood and water, and the mist That on the l i n e of each of those two roads Advanced i n such indisputable shapes; A l l these were kindred spectacles and sounds To which I o f t repaired, and thence would drink, As at a fountain; . . . (XII. 315-26) The imagery here i s reminiscent of the "solemn imagery" of the previous incident discussed. I t consists of the parts of the perception from the crag. These parts — "the single sheep," the "wind," "the one blasted tree," etc. — 54. are no longer joined i n the description of a natural scene; they are emblems of Wordsworth's perception of the relationship e x i s t i n g among natural objects. Like the "woods," "rocks," and "steady lake," these images have been assimilated and reshaped by the Imagination. In Wordsworth's rendering of the "spots of time," a philosophical r e f l e c t i o n upon the meaning of a 'spot* frequently succeeds the description of the experience i t s e l f . Here, the r e f l e c t i o n i s rather more f u l l y developed than the description of the experience, which i s sketchy and a l i t t l e obscure i n comparison to the lake or Mount Snowdon incidents. This *spot of time' i s s i m i l a r i n character to the others: an experience i s described i n concrete and detailed terms; a change i n f e e l i n g occurs, although here i t i s after-the-fact; an awareness of the whole of human existence r e s u l t s from the experience. However, i t f a l l s short of recreating the experience and the sense of timelessness involved. The suspension of time i s c l e a r l y intimated only i n the form of the longer "spots of time"; i t i s suggested i n a l l the "spots" by the fusion of images i n an integrated perception. The three extensive descriptions of the timeless experience are the incidents of the lake and the crag, of the "gibbet-mast," and of Mount Snowdon. The f i r s t has figured quite prominently i n e a r l i e r discussions. Therefore, I s h a l l analyze the character and structure of the l a s t two. The following quotation describes the central encounter with the "gibbet-mast" and "the murderer' name": I led my horse, and, stumbling on, at length Came to a bottom, where i n former times A murderer had been hung i n iron chains. The gibbet-mast had mouldered down, the bones And iron case were gone; but on the t u r f , Hard by, soon aft e r that f e l l deed was wrought, Some unknown hand had carved the murderer's name. The monumental l e t t e r s were inscribed In times long past; but s t i l l , from year to year, By su p e r s t i t i o n of the neighbourhood, The grass i s cleared away, and to t h i s hour The characters are fresh and v i s i b l e : A casual glance had shown them, and I f l e d , F a l t e r i n g and f a i n t , and ignorant of the road: Then, reascending the bare common, saw A naked pool that lay beneath the h i l l s , The beacon on the summit, and, more near, A g i r l , who bore a pitcher on her head, And seemed with d i f f i c u l t steps to force her way Against the blowing wind. . . . 3 2 (XII. 2 3 4 - 5 3 ) The sight of the name carved i n the ground produces the same effect i n Wordsworth as does the black crag i n the experience on the lake: fear and f l i g h t . At the point his emotions are aroused, the natural scene takes on the character of those emotions. The description leading up to his perception of "the murderer's name" creates a s p a t i a l arrangement of perceptions i n sequence: 5 6 . the poet's eye moves from the "gibbet-mast" "mouldered down," to the " t u r f , " to the name carved i n the " t u r f . " There i s then a b r i e f digression i n which the history of the "characters" i s outlined. This digression intervenes between the perception and the emotion i t evokes, providing time f o r the perception to be absorbed and interpreted by the Imagination. By delaying the emotional response, Wordsworth makes that response more e f f e c t i v e and s t a r t l i n g . His disturbed state of being i s suggested by the chaotic nature of his perceptions: his eye f l i e s from the "naked pool" "beneath the h i l l s " to "the beacon on the summit," to the nearby " g i r l . " Whereas the "gibbet-mast" and "murderer's name" are related to one another s p a t i a l l y and connotatively, these l a t e r images create no apparent r e l a t i o n s h i p . These separate images r e c a l l the emblematic nature of "the si n g l e sheep and the one blasted tree" previously discussed. With the release of emotion, Wordsworth's perceptions lose a l l pretense of o b j e c t i v i t y and become r e f l e c t i o n s of his subjective state. Yet, with a l l t h e i r apparent separateness, the objects he perceives are parts of a single experience, and f i n a l l y , a single perception. The sights which confronted the boy are etched upon the mind of the man: the "gibbet-mast" and "the murderer's name" carved i n "monumental l e t t e r s , " the "naked pool," "the beacon on the summit," and the " g i r l , " "her garments vexed and tossed / By the strong wind." A l l of these, with the exception of the g i r l , are s t a t i c and inanimate, as f i x e d as anything could be. They seem to have no connection to one another, nor do they seem to contain the p o s s i b i l i t y of harmony among them. The g i r l i s both human and mobile. Yet her movement i s very near to s t i l l n e s s as she s t r i v e s to move forward against the wind. The wind which opposes her i s , of course, i n v i s i b l e . The e f f e c t , then, i s that the g i r l i s suspended i n time; she embodies the f i x i t y of timelessness and the movement of time. This intimation of the timeless i s i n d i c a t i v e of an a l t e r a t i o n i n the emotional state of the perceiver. The fear which has been the catalyst f o r his imaginative capacities of perception i s replaced by a kind of joy. An experience of fear and "melancholy" becomes one of "pleasure," because the Imagination has fused discordant images i n a world of boundless space and time. The images of "the murderer's name" and of the " g i r l " are brought together by the Imagination and joined i n a u n i f i e d experience. Like the moonlight on the lake and the black crag, they represent a d u a l i t y of human existence perceived simultaneously. Within the 'spot of time,' they are of "equal duration." Such simultaneous perception of objects or concepts can occur only when the l i m i t s of time and space cease to e x i s t . The timeless q u a l i t y 58. i s suggested by the s t a t i c and d i s t i n c t imagery and espec i a l l y by the image of arrested movement represented by the g i r l ; i n f i n i t y of space i s emphasized by the very separateness of the images, by t h e i r lack of inherent r e l a t i o n s h i p . The power of the Imagination which synthesizes such fragmented images as the "gibbet-mast" and the "beacon" and the " g i r l " remains a mystery. Wordsworth gives evidence of i t s existence and creates metaphors which imitate i t s operation; but he cannot define exactly how i t works. Unlike E l i o t , he does not consistently translate t h i s imaginative process into balanced images of "co-existence." Fusion i s the essence of the process; i t may involve not only the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of opposites, but of t o t a l l y unrelated objects as w e l l . In the experience with the "gibbet-mast," harmony of being does not originate within the perceiver as a r e s u l t of some innate unity among the objects perceived. But the natural objects c e r t a i n l y act upon the Imagination i n a v i t a l way: the image of the g i r l i s related by contrast to that of the "monumental l e t t e r s . " The Imagination makes of that contrast a p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e , and the o r i g i n a l emotion of fear i s transcended by a pleasurable f e e l i n g . The r e a l harmony of the experience i s achieved on an emotional l e v e l . This elevation of f e e l i n g has already been established 5 9 . as a fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the "spots of time." Here, i t plays an even more important rol e as the unifying element of the experience. In the Mount Snowdon 'spot,' the re l a t i o n s h i p between external and i n t e r n a l unity i s absolute. The metaphorical structure of the description develops an exact relationship between the unity of Nature and of the process of Imagination which perceives the natural world. This structure enables the reader to i d e n t i f y more read i l y the nature of the synthesis i n the experience. Wordsworth c l e a r l y states that Nature i s possessed of a unity apart from the mind of man, although a relationship does e x i s t between the two: One function, above a l l , of such a mind Had Nature shadowed there, by putting f o r t h , 'Mid circumstances awful and sublime, That mutual domination which she loves To exert upon the face of outward things, So moulded, joined, abstracted, so endowed With interchangeable supremacy, That men, least s e n s i t i v e , see, hear, perceive, And cannot choose but f e e l . The power, which a l l Acknowledge when thus moved, which Nature thus To bodily sense e x h i b i t s , i s the express Resemblance of that glorious f a c u l t y That higher minds bear with them as t h e i r own. (XIV. 7 S - 9 0 ) 60. The p r i n c i p l e s of "mutual domination" and " i n t e r -changeable supremacy" operate on three l e v e l s : within the imagistic structure of the description; within the natural scene i t s e l f ; and within the mind of the man perceiving the scene. The existence of t h i s t h i r d l e v e l i s assumed by Wordsworth on the basis of the pattern suggested by the f i r s t two. P o e t i c a l l y , he can recreate the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of objects i n Nature through h i s imagery, but he must r e l y on the language of abstraction to discuss the unity of the mind. The f i r s t two l e v e l s are metaphorical; the t h i r d , symbolic. A metaphor provides the t r a n s i t i o n between the natural scene and the operation of the mind: "There I beheld the emblem of a mind . . . I t s voices issuing forth to s i l e n t l i g h t / In one continuous stream"(70,73-4)• This metaphor of harmony echoes an e a r l i e r metaphor which describes harmony i n Nature: ". • . the roar of waters, torrents, streams / Innumerable, roaring with one voice"(59-6°). The concepts of the stream and the voice connect the two metaphors, and thus the processes of Nature and Imagination. However, whereas the f i r s t metaphor corresponds to a tangible event, the second does not. The second stream i s not an actual stream; the "voices" are transformed into " s i l e n t l i g h t . " The image of " s i l e n t l i g h t " i s not unique to Wordsworth; i t has commonly represented some s p i r i t u a l essence. One may refer to Henry Vaughan to f i n d a poetic precedent: "I saw 6 1 . . eternity the other night / Like a great r i n g of pure and endless light."33 E l i o t ' s use of the image i n Four Quartets has already been noted. The second metaphor i s decidedly more abstract than the f i r s t and contains a symbolic image of et e r n i t y . I t i s an "emblem" i t s e l f of a mind which perceives " i n f i n i t y " and eter n i t y . By i t s connection with the more concrete metaphor of unity, i t establishes a re l a t i o n s h i p between the concrete imagery of the passage and the l a t e r philosophical and abstract discussions. The reader i s prepared by an imagistic structure that provides form f o r those abstractions. The concept of "interchangeable supremacy" has manifested i t s e l f i n the imagistic passage which describes the experience of the 'spot of time': The Moon hung naked i n a firmament Of azure without cloud, and at my feet Rested a s i l e n t sea of hoary mist. A hundred h i l l s t h e i r dusky backs upheaved A l l over t h i s s t i l l ocean; and beyond, Far, f a r beyond, the s o l i d vapours stretched, In headlands, tongues, and promontory shapes, Into the main A t l a n t i c , that appeared To dwindle, and give up his majesty, Usurped upon f a r as the sight could reach. Not so the ethereal vault; encroachment none Was there, nor l o s s ; only the i n f e r i o r stars Had disappeared, or shed a f a i n t e r l i g h t In the clear presence of the full-drbed Moon, Who, from her sovereign elevation, gazed Upon the billowy ocean, as i t lay A l l meek and s i l e n t , save that through a r i f t -Not distant from the shore whereon we stood, A f i x e d , abysmal, gloomy, breathing-place — Mounted the roar of waters, torrents, streams Innumerable, roaring with one voicel Heard over earth and sea, and, i n that hour, For so i t seemed, f e l t by the starry heavens. ( 4 0 - 6 2 ) 62. The scene i s presented i n panoramic form; the whole sweep of the landscape unfolds i n systematic order. The f i r s t point of focus i s the "moon" and the "firmament." The "Moon" i s a unifying element i n the passage and the source of i l l u m i n a t i o n i n the scene; i t i s a point of focus within the actual experience and within the description of that experience. From the "firmament," Wordsworth turns his attention to the view 'at his feet' and the " s i l e n t sea of hoary mist." The silence of the scene i s emphasized i n a l a t e r reference to the "billowy ocean" as "meek and s i l e n t . " Just as the "Moon" and l i g h t i s associated with the sky, so the "mist" i s an i n t e g r a l part of earth and sea. The "mist," i n f a c t , makes of the whole scene at his feet a "billowy ocean"; i t connects "headlands," "tongues," and "promontory shapes" with one another and with "the main A t l a n t i c . " The "mist" dominates and harmonizes the images of the earth and sea; the "Moon" floods the sky with i t s l i g h t and consumes the " f a i n t e r l i g h t " of " i n f e r i o r stars." The passage alternates between descriptions of sky and earth, creating two d i s t i n c t l e v e l s i n the v i s u a l f i e l d . While the " A t l a n t i c " •gives up i t s majesty' to the "mist," "the ethereal vault" i s not affected by i t : "encroachment none / Was there, nor l o s s . " The separateness of the clear sky and the shrouded earth f u l f i l s the pr i n c i p l e s of "mutual domination" and "interchangeable supremacy." The separate scenes achieve 63. a balance with one another, a tension of opposites that sustains the "domination" and "supremacy" of each. Within each scene, the images function;,as equal parts within the whole. Although the "Moon" and the "mist" appear to dominate, they merely draw together the elements of each scene; they provide the essential centre of the imagistic pattern and give shape to the rest of the imagery. While maintaining t h e i r separate i d e n t i t y and t h e i r equality, the two halves of the perception intersect along a common l i n e , the l i n e between earth and sky. Wordsworth i s not E l i o t ; he does not express the perception of t o t a l i t y i n terms of images of "co-existence" alone, but resolves the tension of opposites with an image of fusion: the roaring of the waters with one voice. He introduces the image of the waters as the f i n a l integrating force. The silence of the seas i s replaced by the voice of harmony. He concludes with a statement that establishes the unity between earth, sea, and sky as they a l l hear the same voice: "Heard over earth and sea, and, i n that hour, / For so i t seemed, f e l t by the starry heavens." This perception of harmony i n Nature leads Wordsworth to conceive of a s i m i l a r pattern of harmony within the imaginative process: the two patterns mirror one another. These patterns e x i s t without respect to time or space. To use E l i o t ' s terminology, " a l l i s always now" when one perceives the pattern of t o t a l i t y . The timelessness of 6 4 . the Snowdon experience i s i m p l i c i t i n the imagistic structure of "co-existence" and i n the fusion of the many into the one, of the roaring of the waters into a single voice. The Snowdon 'spot of time' sums up and redefines a l l the previous "spots." I t i s the comprehensive expression of both the "experience" and the "meaning"34 of timelessness, of integrated perception. The "experience" i s rendered i n detailed and concrete terms which establ i s h a foundation f o r the interpretation of that experience. The "meaning" develops as the language becomes more abstract. Once the "experience" of Snowdon i s over, the poem becomes a philosophical meditation. Wordsworth devotes much of Book XIV to further defining the imaginative process involved i n the "spots of time." He moves from a represent-ation of the p a r t i c u l a r experience of Snowdon to a discursive rendering of the abstract concepts of Love, Imagination, and Reason. I s h a l l conclude t h i s study of The Prelude with an analysis of how concrete and abstract language function together i n a s i g n i f i c a n t passage from the l a s t book(188 - 2 0 9). I have broken the passage into three parts, larg e l y on the basis of evident d i v i s i o n s i n the form. Each segment ends with a period and i s complete i n i t s e l f . These sections are as follows: 65. This s p i r i t u a l Love acts not nor can exi s t Without Imagination, which, i n t r u t h , Is but another name f o r absolute power And clearest i n s i g h t , amplitude of mind, And Reason i n her most exalted mood. This f a c u l t y hath been the feeding source Of our long labour: we have traced the stream From the bl i n d cavern whence i s f a i n t l y heard I t s n a t al murmur; followed i t to l i g h t And open day; accompanied i t s course Among the ways of Nature, f o r a time Lost sight of i t bewildered and engulphed: Then given i t greeting as i t rose once more In strength, r e f l e c t i n g from i t s placid breast The works of man and face of human l i f e ; And l a s t l y , from i t s progress have we drawn Fait h i n l i f e endless, the sustaining thought Of human Being, Eternity, and God. Imagination having been our theme, So also hath that i n t e l l e c t u a l Love, For they are each i n each, and cannot stand Div i d u a l l y . — . The f i r s t section consists wholly of abstractions, dealing with the component parts of Imagination conceptually, rather than i m a g i s t i c a l l y . The second section i s an extended metaphor of the imaginative process as a stream. In r e l a t i o n to the f i r s t section, i t i s rather more concrete, but i t i s abstract as well as iraagistic. I t ends with a generalized conceptual statement: "from i t s progress have we drawn / Fait h i n l i f e endless, the sustaining thought of human Being, E t e r n i t y , and God." This statement, i n turn, leads to the abstract mode of the t h i r d section, a counterpart i n concept and expression of the opening section. Wordsworth's use of metaphor here to represent abstract ideas i s quite d i f f e r e n t from the technique applied i n the descriptions of 66 the "spots of time." The imagery of the stream creates a symbolic structure of rel a t i o n s h i p s , not a v i s u a l arrangement of objects that imitates the relationships of Nature. The imagery i s b a s i c a l l y not sensual; i t does not evoke from the reader an emotional response to the l i t e r a l . The metaphor of the stream has developed to the point i n the poem that i t i s now synonymous with a mental process. The added metaphorical character of b i r t h and maturation inherent i n such images as "the b l i n d cavern" and the "natal murmur" serves to further i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e the stream metaphor u n t i l i t represents the idea of growth. This i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of image with idea i s an extension of Wordsworth's method of using a natural scene as the "emblem" of an imaginative process. The description of the Mount Snowdon experience established a metaphorical correspondence between the unity of Nature and the unity of Imagination. This correspondence was conveyed through the relationship between a concrete, sensual metaphor — the roaring of the waters with one voice — and an abstract one — the "voices issuing f o r t h to s i l e n t l i g h t / In one continuous stream." In t h i s l a t e r passage, the stream image i s e s s e n t i a l l y stripped of i t s sensual character. In e f f e c t , the d i s t i n c t i o n between concrete and abstract language i s removed: image and idea function simultaneously without the intermediary of sensual stimulation. 67 The concept of " s p i r i t u a l Love" presented i n the f i r s t section i s a continuation of a theme developed i n the preceding passage i n which Wordsworth describes a love beyond earthly love which connects man with God. In the continuation of the theme, he s h i f t s his focus from the "Love" i t s e l f to that which gives i t expression, "Imagination." He defines an interdependent r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the statement "This s p i r i t u a l Love acts not nor can e x i s t / Without Imagination." Having declared t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p , Wordsworth moves on to analyze the character of Imagination i n terms that are s t i l l abstract, but p a r t i c u l a r and descriptive. "Absolute power," "clearest i n s i g h t , " and "amplitude of mind" suggest a process of Imagination that begins with an i n i t i a l energy, a power of momentum, focuses upon a point of perception, and expands beyond that perception to an amplified understanding. The functioning of Imagination i n t h i s way i s the operation of "Reason i n her most exalted mood," the " r i g h t Reason" that t r a d i t i o n a l l y i s a s p i r i t u a l force. This f i r s t section i s concerned with the generalized abstractions, Love, Imagination, and Reason; the tense of i t s verbs i s accordingly the universal present. With the t r a n s i t i o n from the general abstractions of the opening f i v e l i n e s to the s p e c i f i c experience of the second section, the verb changes to the past tense. Wordsworth i s now 63. describing Imagination i n r e l a t i o n to h i s own mental and s p i r i t u a l growth. The movement of the stream represents t h i s growth. The "source" of the stream i s the Imagination; the "progress" of the stream i s the development of his imaginative powers from b i r t h to maturity. The "long labour" i s both the struggle to a r t i c u l a t e the Imagination i n his own l i f e t i m e and i n the poem. He has "traced" the stream of imaginative growth through The Prelude from the active and productive childhood period to i t s 'impairment' i n his Cambridge and French Revolution years to i t s 'restoration' i n such experiences as Mount Snowdon. The process of imagin-ative growth and fulf i l m e n t begins i n "the blind cavern," i n an unconscious state, and i s eventually brought "to l i g h t and open day," to consciousness. The stream's progress demonstrates that, although the Imagination i s always present, i t can become " l o s t " ; i t can f a i l to function at the l e v e l of Reason, as an expression of s p i r i t u a l Love. Imagination f u l f i l s i t s potential when i t integrates perception and illuminates the pattern of divine harmony i n human l i f e . The restoration of " t h i s f a c u l t y " of Imagination i s indicated i n the statement that the stream 'rises once more i n strength' to r e f l e c t "the works of man and the face of human l i f e . " Wordsworth makes use of the capacity of a stream to r e f l e c t images to convey an aspect of the Imagination. Imagination as i t functions within the in d i v i d u a l creates a unity that ' r e f l e c t s ' the harmonious relationship between "human Being, Ete r n i t y , and God." 69. The r e f l e c t i o n of the Imagination i n a more concrete sense i s man's creations, his "works"; s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t i s the "face of human l i f e " i n Wordsworth's poetry. The stream image i n these l i n e s i n consistent with the e a r l i e r personification of the stream as a c h i l d . Here i t has a "placid breast," an image which suggests that the "bewildered" c h i l d has attained a measure of maturity. The imagery of the passage creates an impression of human form: "the feeding source" and "long labour" are maternal images; the "natal murmur" and the "bewildered" state suggest the c h i l d ; the "breast" and "face" are e x p l i c i t images of such form. The stream as a metaphor f o r a human process i s thus reinforced. The mother and c h i l d r e l ationship i s that between the "source" and the stream, between the Imagination as a source of energy and the application of that energy, i t s progress through a l i f e t i m e . The growth of the Imagination culminates i n s p i r i t u a l wholeness. The s t r i v i n g f o r f u l f i l m e n t i n the turning world i s reconciled with the s t i l l n e s s of "Etern i t y . " This r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s manifested i n the closing phrase: Man, Etern i t y , and God unite i n a single transcendent thought. This statement of a universal relationship brings the passage back to the l e v e l of abstraction of the f i r s t section and anticipates the abstractness of the t h i r d . In the t h i r d section, Wordsworth returns to his concept of the rela t i o n s h i p between Imagination and Love, although " s p i r i t u a l Love" has become " i n t e l l e c t u a l Love," i n d i c a t i n g that " t h i s " Love embodies both s p i r i t and i n t e l l e c t . He brings together emotion, s p i r i t , and i n t e l l e c t . The three are fused i n the expression of the Imagination. Reason, or i n t e l l e c t , i s the imaginative process through which " i n s i g h t " i s achieved and Love manifested. Insight into the nature of man's d i v i n i t y i s the s p i r i t u a l product of the process, while Love i s the emotional product. The f i n a l l i n e of the t h i r d part r e i t e r a t e s the "theme" of the interdependent relationship between Love and Imagination introduced i n the f i r s t section: Imagination and Love are contained "each i n each, and cannot stand / D i v i d u a l l y . " The passage culminates i n the single word Di v i d u a l l y . The word D i v i d u a l l y , i s o l a t e d from the previous l i n e and the following sentence, creates a rather s t a r t l i n g e f f e c t . I t brings the formal and i d e o l o g i c a l momentum of the passage to an abrupt end. I r o n i c a l l y , i t seems to emphasize i n i t s singleness the concept of unity presented i n the phrase "each i n each," although the meaning of "D i v i d u a l l y " i s the opposite of integration. With the double punctuation of a period and a dash aft e r " D i v i d u a l l y , " the poet moves on to a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t subject and a new perspective. My decision to end the analysis of t h i s portion of The Prelude here stems from a conviction that the t h i r d section complements the f i r s t and elaborates upon the rel a t i o n s h i p between Love and Imagination. The f i r s t section states that there i s an inseparable connection between Love and Imagination; the second traces the progress of Imagination and the t h i r d reaffirms and refines the nature of the connection between t h i s imaginative process and Love. PART I I I THE STRUCTURE OF THEME AND VARIATIONS IN FOUR QUARTETS ( i ) "Burnt Norton" The structure of Four Quartets does not conform to any f a m i l i a r patterns of order; i t i s derived from the unique relationship of i t s parts. The Prelude, of course, creates an order of i t s parts, but unlike E l i o t ' s poem, i t does not depend e n t i r e l y upon a recurring system of images and ideas f or i t s continuity and coherence. I t s reliance upon narrative progression, upon a consistent poetic personality, and upon de t a i l e d , concrete description has already been discussed. Four Quartets i s organized according to psychological time; events and ideas and feelings appear as they occur to the imagination of the personality or personalities of the poem, not as they may have occurred i n chronological time. The " r e a l i t y " of the poem i s e n t i r e l y a r e f l e c t i o n of a psychological development of being. The r e a l i t y of The Prelude i s both psychological and phenomenal. Wordsworth creates a convincing p o r t r a i t of the world of crags and cataracts and groves i n order that the reader may see Nature i n i t s own right and as an 'emblem' of a psychological state. On the other hand, E l i o t makes no attempt to persuade the reader that the landscape of Four Quartets i s a f a i t h f u l 7 3 representation of the physical world. Physical r e a l i t y i s transformed completely into a psychological one. This transformation produces i n Four Quartets. and i n much other modern poetry, an effect of disco n t i n u i t y , of an apparent lack of ordered progression. The basis of the order i n Four Quartets i s the continuity of ideas and abstract images, rather than the continuity produced l a r g e l y by narrative sequence i n The Prelude. The id e o l o g i c a l development of Four Quartets i s coherent i n that a l l the ideas and images of the poem are related to a central experience of timelessness. The central image of the poem i s "the s t i l l point of the turning world"; the central concept i s the Incarnation. The image i s the representation of the concept; the image and concept together represent the concentration upon a single f o c a l experience. In Four Quartets, E l i o t creates a poetic structure that conveys the process of concentration upon idea and experience. This structure i s the expression of the imaginative reshaping of the world as a psychological state of being. A musical metaphor of theme and var i a t i o n s i s perhaps the best means of defining the structure of Four Quartets. The musical structure of Four Quartets i s a subject already treated by Helen Gardner. She states that "each poem i s s t r u c t u r a l l y the equivalent of the c l a s s i c a l symphony, or quartet, or sonata. " 3 5 However, most of her discussion i n 74. "The Music of Four Quartets" i s concerned with the pattern of themes i n the poem. A poetic theme i s not quite the same thing as a musical theme; i t i s an idea. A musical theme i s an idea transformed into a progression of notes that creates a p a r t i c u l a r structure of sound; i t i s those notes. I t i s the form of the sound as w e l l as the idea or f e e l i n g i t transmits. An idea i n a poem may be separated at least p a r t i a l l y from i t s "notes" — i t s words — and from the sound those notes make. An analysis of a musical theme consists not of the ideas of a piece, but of the relationship between the notes. As the words of a poem have 'meaning1 i n a way i n which musical notes do not, the analysis of a poem must deal with the form of the poem — the progression of notes — i n r e l a t i o n to the meaning of the separate words. Such an analysis must also consider the sounds and rhythms of the poem within the context of the whole "musical" structure. Gardner's analysis of the poetic themes discovers a pattern of r e p e t i t i o n s i m i l a r to the r e p e t i t i o n and va r i a t i o n of musical themes. But she does not analyze the simultaneous r e i t e r a t i o n of images, rhythms, tense forms, or sounds except i n a b r i e f section on the development of such images as the "shaft of sunlight," the "yew-tree," and the "end" and the "beginning. " 3 6 My purpose i s not to c r i t i c i z e Gardner, but to point out that I s h a l l examine 75 somewhat distinct organizational principles in Four Quartets, while agreeing that the application of a musical metaphor of theme and variation provides entry to a long poem which does not adhere to a chronological time sequence. The structure of theme and variations i n Four Quartets means simply that the f i r s t quartet, "Burnt Norton," presents certain themes which are continued in modified form in the succeeding quartets. These themes are not simply a matter of ideas, but involve as well images, rhythms, and other s t y l i s t i c aspects. The echoing effect of recurrent themes draws together the individual quartets into a cohesive poem. This sense of cohesion is produced most strongly by the cyc l i c a l pattern of the musical form, of what Gardner identifies as "sonata" form. Each quartet begins and ends with the same thematic material: the f i f t h movement is the "recapitulation" of the f i r s t . Similarly, " L i t t l e Gidding" i s the recapitulation of "Burnt Norton"; i t returns to the vision of the integrated, timeless experience f i r s t presented in "Burnt Norton." While none of the quartets i s ever far from this central experience, the middle two quartets are more directly concerned with time and death. As in musical form, recapitulation in Four Quartets i s not simply duplication of previous themes, but strong echoes of those themes and their mode of presentation. The last movement of each 76. quartet is a summing up of a l l that has gone before; " L i t t l e Gidding" i s the summation and the climax of the whole poem. Each of the five sections of "Burnt Norton" deals with time and timelessness. The quartet opens with a philosophical speculation about time past, present, and future and modulates toward the imagistic and l y r i c a l recreation of the timeless moment in the "rose-garden." It returns to the garden in the last movement with a repetition of imagery — the "shaft of sunlight," "the dust," the "hidden laughter / Of children" ~ and of the words of the bird, "Quick now, here, now, always." But, as previously stated, the last section i s not merely a repetition of the f i r s t . The f i r s t moment in the "rose-garden" represents an instant of innocence, of unconscious recognition; i t s "echo" at the close of the quartet follows a series of meditations upon the timeless moment and i t s relation to time. Although time does not pass in a narrative sense, a psychological progression has taken place within the mind of the unidentified persona. The experience of the rose-garden no longer appears to him, or to the reader, as an 'isolated moment,' but in relation to the experiences and ideas presented in sections II-V. This process of bringing the unconscious into consciousness, of the timeless into time, of innocence 77. into experience continues through a l l the quartets. Section I presents the theme of the "rose-garden"; section V i s the theme's recapitulation with a slight difference. The timeless moment i n the rose-garden and the journey in time are the two main themes which provide the ideological continuity of Four Quartets. They are counterpointed themes, balanced opposites which develop in separate cycles which "intersect" intermittently throughout the poem. This balance of opposites i s represented structurally by images of "co-existence" and by appropriately balanced rhythms and syntax. The intersection of time and timeless-ness — "the s t i l l point of the turning world", the Incarnation — provides the resolution of the quartets individually and together. The elements of structure which I am going to trace through Burnt Morton are rhythm and tense and the imagery of light, sound, and movement. A l l of these are linked, but I shall talk about them separately for purposes of analysis. The light imagery i s one means by which the beginning and the end of the quartet are joined. The poem moves from the sunlight of the rose-garden to the stars and "white l i g h t " ( 7 3 ) of the second movement, to the "dim l i g h t " ( 9 2 ) and darkness of the third movement, to the "white light" of the fourth movement, and returns f i n a l l y to the "shaft of sunlight." Apart from the cyclical path of l i g h t , an i n t e r e s t i n g and revealing symmetry appears. Section I I I i s the middle of the poem; i t i s also the only s e t t i n g of complete darkness. I t i s bracketed on either side by white l i g h t , and beyond that, by sunlight. The sunlight — e s p e c i a l l y the "shaft of sunlight" — illuminates the p a r t i c u l a r experience of timelessness, the moment of in s i g h t . The white l i g h t i s the radiance of absorption i n that state when one has transcended the "time" of the p a r t i c u l a r . "Darkness" i s a mode of "the one way"(122); i n i t s timelessness i t i s the "same" as the state represented by the white l i g h t . I t i s as pure i n a negative sense as the "white l i g h t " i s i n a p o s i t i v e . One descends through the "Internal darkness" to escape the " t w i t t e r i n g world" of sense and desire, the world of time. The metaphor of "the s t i l l point of the turning world" i s suggested by the opposition of s t i l l n e s s and motion i n the l a s t l i n e s of Section I I I : But abstention from movement; while the world moves In appetency, on i t s metalled ways Of time past and time future. (124-26) The "abstention from movement" here further distinguishes the middle section from the other movements. The only d e f i n i t e movement i n the section i s the wh i r l i n g wind and the turning world, both of which move around the darkness, not i n i t . There i s considerably more movement i n the adjacent scenes: the pursuit of the "boarhound," the movement along "the moving tree," and the "dance" of section I I ; and the "black cloud," the turning of "the sunflower," and the cu r l i n g "Fingers of yew" of section IV. These images of motion are quite concrete; the movements i n the f i r s t and l a s t sections are of a more abstract kind, of "sunlight" and "dust" and "words." This abstracted kind of movement i n sections I and V represents the "formal pattern"(31) of movement and s t i l l n e s s i n a timeless experience. The enclosed sections transform t h i s abstract concept of pattern into images of movement set against images of s t i l l n e s s . The middle portion (III) as a whole represents r e l a t i v e s t i l l n e s s and i s balanced by the motion of sections I I and IV. In r e l a t i o n to each other, section I I I i s the s t i l l point and the other two the world that turns around i t . There i s one f i n a l observation to be made about movement. The cloud appears as a passing darkness twice i n the quartet: i t blocks' out the sun i n the rose-garden scene of section I and i t 'carries the sun away* i n section IV. In the f i r s t instance, the cloud's passing over marks the end of the illuminated moment; the il l u m i n a t i o n of the world of " r e a l i t y " fades. I think the 80. second cloud's intervention can be seen as a comment upon the experience of descent into darkness of the t h i r d movement. That experience, too, i s followed by the passing of a cloud, as i f to suggest that i t i s "the one way" and the same as the sunlight experience. The pattern of sound imagery bears considerable resemblance to the movements described above. Sound i s most s t r i k i n g i n the f i r s t and f i f t h sections, with a counterpoise of sound and near silence. One hears the echo of f o o t f a l l s , a b i r d c a l l , "unheard music"(27)> and laughter i n section I. The music, the b i r d and the laughter are 'echoed' i n the closing section, and "shrieking voices"(153) and a "loud lament" are added to the medley of sounds. The addi t i o n a l sounds i n section V give a sense of the clamorous world outside the rose-garden, the world of time. The motionlessness and quiet of the timeless moment are set against the perception of everyday existence as a "shrieking" world. E l i o t makes the point i n the f i r s t section that " r e a l i t y , " as d i s t i n c t from what might be ca l l e d a c t u a l i t y , exists i n the timeless state, not i n the turning world: Go, go, go, said the b i r d : human kind Cannot bear very much r e a l i t y . (42-43) The only reference to sound i n section I I I i s i n " t h i s t w i t t e r i n g world." There i s the sound of the turning world i n the noise "upon the sodden f l o o r " of "the boarhound and the boar" and i n the singing of the blood i n section I I , while there i s e s s e n t i a l l y silence i n the s t i l l l i g h t of IV. One i s carried from sound to r e l a t i v e absence of sound to silence. Perhaps I am making too f i n e a d i s t i n c t i o n , but I think there i s a difference between the absence of sound i n darkness and the silence of the white l i g h t . One has a negative quality to i t , the other a p o s i t i v e . The way down may reach the same point as the way up, but i t i s a more d i f f i c u l t journey f o r i t involves a conscious process of s e l f - d e n i a l and "dessication." The state of "dessication" involved i n the descent into darkness implies a kind of s p i r i t u a l death, a purging of "sense," "fancy," and an operative " s p i r i t . " This implication of death i n the world of absolute darkness anticipates the concentration upon death i n the section that follows. The sole image of sound i n section IV i s the b e l l , the herald of death; the succeeding images continue to evoke the presence of death: " C h i l l / Fingers of yew c u r l / Down"; 'the kingfisher's wing answers l i g h t to l i g h t and i s s i l e n t . ' Once the b e l l has sounded, there i s only silence. Unlike the absence of sound i n the descent into darkness, the silence here i s made e x p l i c i t i n an image which associates silence with l i g h t . This association r e c a l l s 82. the "white l i g h t " of section I I and the way of l i g h t which i s the "same" as the way of darkness. Section IV, then, brings together i m a g i s t i c a l l y the way of the l i g h t and of the dark, j o i n i n g the s p i r i t u a l death of darkness to the s p i r i t u a l elevation of the l i g h t . While the s p e c i f i c images of death introduce the p o s s i b i l i t y of actual death as wel l as the s p i r i t u a l death of section I I I , the image of the ' s i l e n t l i g h t * suggests the equal p o s s i b i l i t y of s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h , of the r e a l i z a t i o n through death of "the s t i l l point of the turning world." This theme of death and r e b i r t h i s picked up i n succeeding quartets and resolved i n the dazzling redemption offered by "the dove descending" i n " L i t t l e Gidding": "To be released from f i r e by f i r e " ( 2 0 6 ) . Just as "the kingfisher's wing / Has answered l i g h t to l i g h t , " so the s p i r i t i s "redeemed from f i r e by f i r e , " "consumed by either f i r e or f i r e , " i n section IV of the l a s t quartet. The image of the "kingfisher's wing" i s echoed even more closely i n the t h i r d movement of "East Coker": The l i g h t s are extinguished, f o r the scene to be changed With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness, (114-15) 33. The theme of t h i s section of the l a t e r quartet i s again death — "the s i l e n t funeral" — but i t i s a f a l s e death, a death i n l i f e suffered by a l l "the captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters"(103) and other "vacant" men. The r e a l darkness and the r e a l death — "the darkness of God"(113) — i s captured i n the metaphor of the wings answering "darkness" to "darkness" i n a "movement" which i s the same as that of the kingfisher and the dove. This development of the kingfisher image i s what Gardner would c a l l the •musical treatment of an image,' and that which gives a sense of continuity and of amplification to the imagery of Four Quartets. The rhythms of Four Quartets are as removed from t h e i r iambic antecedents as early twentieth century music from Romantic music. One might as e a s i l y scan Four Quartets f o r a regular metrical pattern as search f o r the harmonies of the diatonic scale i n Schoenberg. E l i o t ' s rhythms are not haphazard; they simply do not conform to an established metrical system. As i s the modern tendency, rhythm i s determined l a r g e l y by content. When he does use iambic pentametre or some other t r a d i t i o n a l metre such use creates a s p e c i f i c effect related to the content of the l i n e . I t i s the cadence of the l i n e s which I s h a l l refer to as rhythm, not, with certain exceptions, s t r i c t metrical patterns. #4 I have distinguished three styles of rhythm i n "Burnt Norton" as manifesting three kinds of content i n the poem: discursive rhythm, which presents the philosophical material; counterbalanced rhythms, which r e f l e c t paradoxical passages; and l y r i c a l rhythm which conveys the imagistic sections. The opening i s an example of the cadence of the purely philosophical l i n e s : Time present and time past Are both perhaps present i n time future And time future contained i n time past. The tone of these l i n e s i s cerebral and r e l a t i v e l y emotionless. The poet i s t a l k i n g about abstract ideas i n almost exclusively r a t i o n a l terms. The cadence has a s y l l o g i s t i c repetitiveness and balance. E l i o t returns to t h i s discursive s t y l e and abstractions at the end of sections I and I I . The same deliberative presentation appears i n the l a s t f i f t e e n l i n e s of the quartet, but there, much of the i d e o l o g i c a l content i s transformed into s p e c i f i c images: "the dust," the "children," the "shaft of sunlight." Like The Prelude, Four Quartets i s at various times d i s t i n c t l y concrete or abstract, or a blend of the two through metaphor or symbol. Paradox i s at the heart of the structure of Four Quartets. The central metaphor of "the s t i l l point of the turning world" 35 and the central concept of "Incarnation" are paradoxes; they embody two apparently incompatible q u a l i t i e s : s t i l l n e s s and motion, divine s p i r i t and human f l e s h . The "co-existence" of opposites, of i n t a n g i b i l i t y and t a n g i b i l i t y , i s sustained throughout the imagery of "Burnt Norton," r e s u l t i n g i n such images as a "pool," "dry" but " f i l l e d with water out of sunlight"; a Chinese j a r that i s " s t i l l " yet "perpetually" moving; "unheard music"; " i n v i s i b l e " "guests." This same paradoxical relationship i s conveyed i n more abstract terms: "This i s the one way, and the other / Is the same"; "To be conscious i s not to be i n time / But only i n time can the moment i n the rose-garden, / • . . B e remembered." E l i o t supports the paradoxical nature of certain l i n e s with a rhythm that captures the effe c t of a point of balance between two extremes. The f e e l i n g of counterbalance i s clear i n these l i n e s : At the s t i l l point of the turning world. Neither f l e s h nor f l e s h l e s s ; Neither from nor towards; at the s t i l l point, there the dance i s , But neither arrest nor movement. And do not c a l l i t f i x i t y , Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except f o r the point, the s t i l l point, There would be no dance, and there i s only the dance. ( 6 2 - 6 7 ) 36 . The momentum of the f i r s t half of the paradox r i s e s , turns at the p i v o t a l point, and f a l l s to the end of the phrase. The l i n e s are wonderfully balanced and they flow i n a way i n which the l i n e s previously quoted do not. As one reads aloud, one's voice r i s e s on "from" and descends on "towards," r i s e s on "ascent" and descends on "decline" i n an even cadence. The flow i s interrupted at the re p e t i t i o n of "point" ( 66 ) and then spreads out into the next seven l i n e s , culminating i n the expanding l i n e , "By a grace of sense, a white l i g h t s t i l l and moving." The series of monosyllables i n t h i s l i n e sets up a restrained momentum that i s f i n a l l y released i n the two-syllable word moving. The long vowel i n the word and the resonant 'ing* sound f a c i l i t a t e the expanding movement of the l i n e . The predominance of monosyllables and long vowel sounds distinguishes t h i s l i n e from the surrounding ones and creates an appropriate moment of s t a s i s i n the rhythm of the passage. Another interruption i n the counterbalanced rhythm occurs i n the near iambic l i n e , "And do not c a l l i t f i x i t y " ( 6 4 ) . This l i n e serves as a f o c a l point on which the rhythm of paradox turns. I t furthers the same sense of balance i n the section as a whole that the p i v o t a l words do i n each paradoxical l i n e . After the moment of s t a s i s of the l i n e "By a grace of sense . . .," the rhythm changes and becomes compressed: Erhebung without motion, concentration Without elimination, both a new world And the old made e x p l i c i t , understood In the completion of i t s p a r t i a l ecstasy, The resolution of i t s p a r t i a l horror. (74-78) The compression of the l i n e s i s created l a r g e l y by the re p e t i t i o n of the 'tio n ' sound and by the structure of phrases i n apposition to one another. The only verb i s a past p a r t i c i p l e ; the only adjectives, "new," "ol d , " " e x p l i c i t , " and " p a r t i a l . " I t seems almost as i f E l i o t has written a series of variations upon the sound of certain abstract nouns. The rhythm i s so balanced, and the sounds so well proportioned, that the emotions one would associate with the words ecstasy and horror are considerably subdued. The philosophical content of the l i n e s cannot be a r t i c u l a t e d as a concept or concepts, but rather as a process imitated i n the construction of the l i n e s : concentration. The concentration i s such that opposites — the new world and the o l d , ecstasy and horror -co-exist i n a series of appositive statements of the same theme, not i n counterpointed phrases such as "Neither f l e s h nor f l e s h l e s s ; / Neither from nor towards." The essence of the two rhythms i s balance, but the f i r s t l i n e s contain a strong f o c a l point which the compressed l i n e s do not. I f there i s a f o c a l point i n the l a t t e r , i t i s the phrase "both a new world / And the old made e x p l i c i t . " The most obvious example of the l y r i c a l element i n the quartet i s to be found i n section IV: Time and the b e l l have buried the day, The black cloud ca r r i e s the sun away. W i l l the sunflower turn to us, w i l l the clematis Stray down, bend to us; t e n d r i l and spray Clutch and cling? (127-31) The rhythm of t h i s passage i s markedly d i f f e r e n t from the other styles. I t i s highly musical, almost sing-song. Some of t h i s effect i s achieved by the rhyme on "day," "away," and "spray"; some by the alternating iambic and anapestic rhythm of the l i n e s . The r e s u l t of t h i s l y r i c i s m i s to set o f f t h i s section from i t s neighbours, i s o l a t i n g i t as a kind of r e f r a i n , an imagistic and musical interlude. This section, the f i r s t f i f t e e n l i n e s of section I I , and the scene i n the rose-garden are centres of sensual r e a l i t y i n the midst of the abstractions and paradoxes of the quartet. One can attach f e e l i n g to these passages much more e a s i l y than to the n o n - l y r i c a l majority. The purity of abstraction i n the rest of the poem allows f o r l i t t l e emotion, although there i s i n the i n t e n s i t y of the ideas presented — i n the juxtaposition and balance of opposing ideas — an emotional tenor. The mental process of concentration i s carried to the point of f e e l i n g to produce a sense, not so much of a conscious application 39 of mind as of an i n s t i n c t i v e state of being. E l i o t , as c r i t i c , touches on t h i s point as follows:. For i t i s neither emotion, nor r e c o l l e c t i o n , nor, without d i s t o r t i o n of meaning, t r a n q u i l l i t y . I t i s a concentration, and a new thing r e s u l t i n g from the concentration, of a very great number of experiences which to the p r a c t i c a l and active person would not seem to be experiences at a l l ; i t i s a concentration which does not happen consciously or of deliberation.37 The f i n a l pattern of variations i n "Burnt Norton" to be discussed i s that of tense changes. Tense and the concept of time have an obvious connection. E l i o t uses a l l three tenses, but he makes spe c i a l use of the universal present to give a sense that " a l l i s always now"(149). The philosophical discussions of time are always expressed i n t h i s tense, for they present "truths" that are true f o r a l l time. Section V i s dominated by the universal present; i t c a r r i e s the reader completely into the world of the eternal "now," where "the end precedes the beginning, / And the end and the beginning were always there / Before the beginning and after the end"(146-43). However, the universal present i s not appropriate f o r describing p a r t i c u l a r experience. When E l i o t r e c a l l s an experience of timelessness he turns to the past tense. The moment i n the rose-garden i s a remembered experience which moves i n and out of time: • Into our f i r s t world. There they were, d i g n i f i e d , i n v i s i b l e , Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves, In the autumn heat, through the vibrant a i r , And the b i r d c a l l e d , i n response to The unheard music hidden i n the shrubbery, And the unseen eyebeam crossed, f o r the roses Had the look of flowers that are looked at. (22-29) The past tense continues down to the end of l i n e forty-one, to the words of the b i r d . The s p e l l i s broken on the word " r e a l i t y , " and the poem returns to the universal present of the philosophical l i n e s : Time past and time future What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which i s always present. (44-46) There i s a subtlety of tense i n these l a t t e r l i n e s that i s s i g n i f i c a n t : "time future" i s seen as i f i t i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of "what might have been." One would expect "what w i l l be." Past and future, then, are both treated i n the past tense, and thus do seem to point to the same end. The interchangeable qu a l i t y of the past and the future i s reinforced by the inversion i n the second l i n e of the sequence of the f i r s t l i n e . Section I I I i s d i s t i n c t i v e i n tense structure as well 91. as i n imagery. I t begins with the present "Here i s a place of d i s a f f e c t i o n " — that i s s p e c i f i c rather than general. "Here" places the scene i n the time and space of a p a r t i c u l a r moment. The verbs that follow are a series of present p a r t i c i p l e s — "investing," "turning," "cleansing" — and past p a r t i c i p l e s — "distracted," " f i l l e d , " driven." The effect created i s an impressionistic stream of images that portrays the " t w i t t e r i n g world" of men. The mood of the verb changes at l i n e 114, becoming imperative rather than i n d i c a t i v e . As the verbal construction which implies compulsion, the imperative provides the necessary impetus for the descent into darkness. The state of "Internal darkness" i s given expression i n a series of terse,* emphatic noun phrases that contrast to the almost l y r i c a l p a r t i c i p i a l phrasing i n the " t w i t t e r i n g world" passage. The section ends with the universal present; the p a r t i c u l a r "Here i s " has become the generalized "This is the one way, and the other / Is. the same"(122-3). The future tense appears sporadically as an element of doubt i n the quartet. The poet asks, " S h a l l we follow?"(18) and " w i l l the clematis / Stray down, bend to us; t e n d r i l and spray / Clutch and cling?"(129-31). In the l a s t movement, the appearance of the auxilary w i l l does not s i g n a l future tense as i n the previous movements: "Words . . . w i l l not stay i n place, / W i l l not stay still"(149-53). Here, 92. the verb implies the universal present; that i s , the past, present, and continuing mutability of words. Through the quartet, the verb form modulates from the future to the present. Such a modulation reinforces the concept of the eternal "now" which i s presented i n section V. In f a c t , the tense of the whole l a s t movement i s the universal present. The p a r t i c u l a r experience of the "rose-garden" i n the past becomes associated with the philosophical generalizations of the quartet u n t i l , i n the l a s t movement, i t represents an eternal state of being. In accord with t h i s progression, the past tense of the opening movement becomes the universal present of the l a s t : Sudden i n a shaft of sunlight Even while the dust moves There r i s e s the hidden laughter Of children i n the f o l i a g e Quick now, here, now, always — (169-73) ( i i ) "East Coker" In the preceding chapter, formal elements of "Burnt Norton" have been i s o l a t e d f o r purposes of analysis. I s h a l l attempt to deal with various s t r u c t u r a l aspects of the other quartets simultaneously and i n closer r e l a t i o n to the ideas they present. Reference to my discussion of the rhythms and imagery of "Burnt Norton" w i l l be both e x p l i c i t and i m p l i c i t i n t h i s analysis of the l a t e r quartet "East Coker" and "Dry Salvages" are rather d i f f e r e n t i n structure from the f i r s t quartet. They represent variations upon themes introduced i n "Burnt Norton," but neither i s as symmetrical or as " f i n i s h e d " as "Burnt Norton or as the poem's reca p i t u l a t i o n i n " L i t t l e Gidding." I t i s not the timeless moment, but the process i n time which i s the central preoccupation of the inner poems. Thus one does not fi n d the image of the "white l i g h t " or the kingfisher 'answering l i g h t to l i g h t ' or the s t i l l n e s s at the " s t i l l point." The timeless moment i s r e c a l l e d i n the l a s t movement of both poems, but i t i s not recreated. Death and r e b i r t h are the themes which dominate. "East Coker" i s concerned with the c y c l i c a l pattern of l i f e and death and the regeneration of a dead form into a d i f f e r e n t , l i v i n g one; i n section IV, i t touches upon the death of Christ and the p o s s i b i l i t y of resurrection. 9 4 "Dry Salvages" continues the c y c l i c a l pattern i n terms of the movement of the sea, and counterpoints the "calamitous annunciation" — the death k n e l l of men — with the "one Annunciation," the "Incarnation" of Christ. These poems become increasingly dependent upon Ch r i s t i a n symbols f o r meaning and pattern. Where "Burnt Norton" describes and presents a s p i r i t u a l revelation i n i m a g i s t i c , philosophical, and aesthetic terms, the other quartets gradually transform t h i s revelation into r i t u a l i s t i c and symbolic forms of the Christian r e l i g i o n , u n t i l , i n the l a s t quartet, the human s p i r i t becomes the Holy S p i r i t descending upon earth. The metaphor of "the s t i l l point of the turning world" becomes the symbol of the Incarnation; the "white l i g h t , " the B i b l i c a l f i r e s of destruction and redemption. The C h r i s t i a n symbol or r i t u a l i s t i c act i s joined with the corresponding process on a psychological l e v e l . The d i s t i n c t i o n between E l i o t ' s use of C h r i s t i a n symbols and Wordsworth's "emblems" i s that Wordsworth i d e n t i f i e s an external event with an i n t e r n a l process, but the event does not become the process. The "Incarnation" i n E l i o t ' s poem i s not only a symbol f o r the fusion of the s p i r i t and the f l e s h , i t i s that process. The concept of r e b i r t h i n "East Coker" i s introduced i n the f i r s t phrase, "In my beginning i s ray end," and completed i n the phrases inversion, "In my end i s my beginning," at the close. The process of regeneration i s imitated in the press of images and repetition of words in the f i r s t eight lines: . . . . I n succession Houses rise and f a l l , crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place Is an open f i e l d , or a factory, or a by-pass. Old stone to new building, old timber to new f i r e s , Old fi r e s to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which i s already flesh, fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf. The process is repetitive, a transformation of matter from "old" to "new," "new" to "old." The rhythm is similar to the compressed metre used for philosophical subjects in "Burnt Norton," but the 'philosophy' i s conveyed by concrete images rather than by abstractions. The image of the f i r e s anticipates the destructive and purging f i r e s of " L i t t l e Gidding." Fire i s vi r t u a l l y the only specific image of light in the middle two quartets. An exception to this i s the reference i n the second passage of section I to the f a l l i n g light. But that image is not so much one of light as the absence of light, "dark in the afternoon." The f a l l i n g of the light marks the beginning of one of the few pict o r i a l descriptions in Four Quartets. Although this scene shares with the "rose-garden" experience a certain dreaminess and passivity, i t is more specific and more easily visualized. One can see the relationship 9 6 between the f i e l d , the lane, and the passing van. The only strangeness comes i n the l i n e "Wait f o r the early owl." The apparent imperative mood of the verb i s incongruous and without d i r e c t i o n . I t seems l i k e l y that the verb i s an in d i c a t i v e one without a subject. The subject could be the "dahlias," the observer, or a l l of the objects described. The prevalent mood i s passive expectancy. The mood i s broken with the s h i f t i n view to the open f i e l d and the somewhat f r a n t i c warning, " I f you do not come too close, i f you do not come too c l o s e " ( 2 4 ) , a counterpart to the voice i n "Burnt Norton" which asks, "Shall we follow?"(18). The "East Coker" l i n e signals an entry into another "world." However, i t i s not the world of the timeless moment, but of the past. The pagan dance i s a r i t u a l enacted over centuries, a human rhythm i n step with the rhythms of "the seasons and the constellations." To emphasize the pastness of the dance, E l i o t adopts archaic d i c t i o n and s p e l l i n g to describe the r i t u a l . One detects i n t h i s mannerism a tone of mockery. The dancers are somehow reduced by the self-consciously formal language of "Holding each other by the hand or the arm / Which betokeneth concorde." The significance of the celebration i s reduced to i t s most basic l e v e l with the words, "Dung and d e a t h " ( 4 6 ) , an echo of " f l e s h , f u r and f a e c e s " ( 7 ) . The mocking or self-conscious tone i s not apparent i n "Burnt Norton," but i t does figure quite prominently i n 97. the inner poems. One becomes aware of a personality-intruding between the words on the page and the actions they describe. Perhaps E l i o t f e l t that he could not sustain the elevated tone of "Burnt Norton" without becoming pompous or even "romantic." Instead, he develops a curious dialogue with the reader: "That was a way of putting i t — not very satisfactory"(68); "You say I am repeating / Something I have said before"(133-4). He seems, i n part, to be conveying some sense of the struggle f o r a r t i c u l a t i o n to which he alludes throughout the quartets. He abandons such exaggerated self-consciousness i n " L i t t l e Gidding," returning p a r t i a l l y to the unattached, omniscient persona. Although he retains and extends the use of the f i r s t person i n section I I of the l a s t quartet, t h i s f i r s t person does not provide sardonic commentary i n the manner of the two middle quartets. Section I closes with four l y r i c a l , imagistic l i n e s that repeat the "heat and s i l e n c e " of the second passage i n the movement. The coming of the dawn i s linked to the notion of "beginning" i n the l a s t l i n e of the section, "In my beginning"; the "sea and the "wind" are picked up again as "the wave cry" and "the wind cry" of section V. The images of sea and wind here contrast sharply with the "Dung and death." The rhythm which they measure i s of a d i f f e r e n t order from that of the dancers "Keeping time"; i t i s beyond the measurement of human systems of time. I t suggests 'beginnings 1: " i t [the seaj tosses / I t s hints of e a r l i e r and other creation"("Dry Salvages." 17-13). The gentle lyracism which concludes the f i r s t movement i s transformed into the bizarre l y r i c i s m of the f i r s t seventeen l i n e s of the second movement. The l i n e s become short and the rhythm dominantly iambic: / / / And creatures of the summer heat, / / / / And snowdrops writhing under feet / / 7 / And hollyhocks that aim too high / / / / Red into grey and tumble down Late roses f i l l e d with early snow? ( 5 3 - 5 7 ) I r o n i c a l l y , this return to metred verse does not s i g n i f y order, but disorder. The natural rhythms of the seasons and the constellations, so predominant i n the previous movement, are disrupted: "Late roses" are " f i l l e d with snow"; "Scorpion f i g h t s against the Sun." This disruption i s caught i n such images of c o n f l i c t and i n the spasmodic rhyme. The c o n f l i c t i n g images are not ones of "co-existence, such as "the s t i l l point of the turning world," but of destructive opposition. The couplets which i n i t i a t e the passage soon disintegrate into random correspondences; 99 the rhyme of " s t a r s , " "cars," and "wars" creates i n the middle of the passage a f o c a l point which perhaps simulates the "vortex" of destruction. The words snow and f i r e have no rhyming partner, i n d i c a t i v e of the discord present i n the rhyme and i n the scene described. The opposition of snow and f i r e , of "destructive f i r e " and "ice-cap," develops into a thematic l i n e which reappears i n section IV as " f r i g i d purgatorial f i r e s " ( 1 6 5 ) and i n " L i t t l e Gidding" as " f r o s t and f i r e " ( 4 ) and as "The b r i e f sun flames the i c e " ( 5 ) . After t h i s i r o n i c a l l y measured introduction, section I I s h i f t s d i r e c t i o n abruptly, abandoning the l y r i c a l mode f o r the philosophical. The speaker steps out of the poem to discuss once again the "wrestle / With words and meanings" before beginning the kind of abstract word game played i n . "Burnt Norton": . . . . Had they deceived us Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders, Bequeathing us merely a receipt f o r deceit? ( 7 5 - 7 7 ) The e f f e c t of "a receipt f o r deceit" i s sardonic. E l i o t i s mocking the "wisdom" of the "elders" i n the r e p e t i t i v e word play. This exaggerated tone of mockery i s quickly counterpointed by the straight-faced and serious mood of 100. succeeding l i n e s : • • • • There i s , i t seems to us, At best, only a l i m i t e d value In the knowledge derived from experience. The knowledge imposes a pattern, and f a l s i f i e s , For the pattern i s a new and shocking Valuation of a l l we have been. . . . (82-87) The seriousness of tone i s accomplished l a r g e l y by words such as "value," "knowledge," "experience," "pattern," and "valuation," a l l of which have a qua l i t y of s i g n i f i c a n t solidness. They are the words which recur i n E l i o t ' s struggle f o r a r t i c u l a t i o n through abstractions i n Four  Quartets. The r e p e t i t i o n of these words i n the l i n e s emphasizes t h e i r importance and t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a "formal pattern" of sound and meaning. The difference i n tone between the above two quotations i l l u s t r a t e s E l i o t ' s varying use of word play, of a pattern of words created through r e p e t i t i o n . While the f i r s t implies mockery through the r e p e t i t i o n of rhyming sounds, the second word game conveys the importance of "pattern." A passage from section V of the quartet echoes the tone, idea, vocabulary, and tautness of the serious l i n e s : 101. The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated Of dead and l i v i n g . Not the intense moment Isolated, with no before and a f t e r , But a l i f e t i m e burning i n every moment And not the l i f e t i m e of one man only But of old stones that cannot be deciphered. (191-96) Section I I I r e c a l l s the t h i r d movement of "Burnt Norton" i n that i t i s dominated by darkness and depicts the "t w i t t e r i n g world" of men i n a steady stream of images. The f i r s t part of t h i s section revolves around a repeated injunction or declaration: I said to my soul, be s t i l l , and l e t the dark come upon you Which s h a l l be the darkness of God. (112-13) I said to my soul, be s t i l l , and wait without hope (123) So the darkness s h a l l be the l i g h t , and the s t i l l n e s s the dancing. (128) These l i n e s give shape to the whole; they are s t r i k i n g enough i n content and expression to create moments of s t a s i s . The phrase "be s t i l l " i s es p e c i a l l y effective i n bringing about the appropriate pause i n the flow of the l i n e s . The phrasing has a B i b l i c a l r i n g to i t , an effe c t achieved l a r g e l y i n the verbal constructions: " l e t . . . come" and 102. " s h a l l be." This kind of construction i s used even more deliberately i n " L i t t l e Gidding": " A l l s h a l l be w e l l , and / A l l manner of thing s h a l l be well"(167-8). In the l a s t l i n e , there i s the "co-existence" of dark and l i g h t , motion and s t i l l n e s s , f o r the f i r s t time i n "East Coker." And the concept of "co-existence" begins i n t h i s section to modulate toward a Ch r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The descent into darkness i s no longer a purely psychological process of "dessication"; i t i s a movement toward u n i f i c a t i o n with "God." E l i o t returns to the language of "Burnt Norton" with the images of the "winter l i g h t n i n g , " "the w i l d thyme unseen" and "the laughter i n the garden" so that secular and Christian symbols begin to complement one another. He moves, too, into another of the modes of "Burnt Norton" i n the second passage of section I I I , the paradoxical form of "Neither f l e s h nor f l e s h l e s s " i n the e a r l i e r quartet: In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which i s the way of ignorance. In order to possess what you do not possess You must go by the way of dispossession. In order to arrive at what you are not You must go through the way i n which you are not. . (133-43) As i n the other fourth movements, section IV of "East Coker" presents an oblique perception of the basic thematic material of the quartets. "The wounded surgeon," "the dying nurse," and "the ruined m i l l i o n a i r e " seem to appear from 103 nowhere; they bear no resemblance to the imagery that has gone before i n the quartet. Such disc o n t i n u i t y of imagery would be unthinkable to Wordsworth, but i t i s very much a part of E l i o t ' s aesthetic practice. The rhyme and metre of the section further set i t apart, providing a r i g i d , almost r i t u a l i s t i c , format for the development of the images. There are a number of connections with the rest of the quartets, however. One comes to r e a l i z e that the death of Christ i n "East Coker" i s but the f i r s t stage i n an increasingly C h r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of s p i r i t u a l experience i n the l a t e r quartets. The notion of the death of Christ i s a v a r i a t i o n upon the theme of death and r e b i r t h with which "East Coker" opens. The death of Christ i s counterpointed i n "Dry Salvages" by the "Annunciation" of his b i r t h . The promise of human resurrection i n his r e b i r t h i s the f i n a l r e l i e f after the "agony / Of death and birth"(132-33)• The appropriateness of the image of "the wounded surgeon" with "the bleeding hands" i s affirmed when one recognizes him as Christ. The psychological malaise of the people of the " t w i t t e r i n g world" i s seen for the f i r s t time as a "sickness" brought on by "Adam's curse," but intimations of the source of the malaise have been present heretofore i n the f i r s t two quartets. Certain images and words i n t h i s section further e s t a b l i s h i t s rel a t i o n s h i p with the rest of the quartets: " c h i l l " echoes the " C h i l l / Fingers of yew"; " f r i g i d purgatorial f i r e s " 104 has already been mentioned as a repeated motif; "the flame i s roses, and the smoke i s b r i a r s " anticipates "the f i r e and the rose are one" of " L i t t l e Gidding." Despite these connections, E l i o t has been de l i b e r a t e l y obscure i n th i s section. Obscurity, of course, i s a charge one could l e v e l at Four Quartets as a whole, especially i n comparison to The Prelude. The test of E l i o t ' s accomplishment i s whether i n his complexity he has grasped a dimension that Wordsworth with his r e l a t i v e s i m p l i c i t y could not. Simple and d i r e c t as he may seem to be, Wordsworth has rendered a seemingly ineffable experience i n clear and precise terms without s a c r i f i c i n g the essential mystery of that experience. Why, then, did E l i o t choose the oblique rather than the direct? The aesthetic p r i n c i p l e s of one age are never e n t i r e l y suitable to the character of another, especially f o r innovative writers searching f o r new and more ef f e c t i v e modes of expression. E l i o t ' s w riting r e l e c t s a more sophisticated approach to psychological processes than the Romantics possessed. This sophi s t i c a t i o n does not necessarily mean that the moderns have a more pro-found insight into human nature than did Shakespeare or Wordsworth; i t simply means thay have developed a new and perhaps more ef f e c t i v e system f o r analyzing human nature. One suspects that E l i o t ' s recreation of psychological time and continuity i n Four Quartets i s nearer to the way 105 i n which the mind moves than i s Wordsworth's "growth of a poet's mind," but Four Quartets i s no more a e s t h e t i c a l l y sound than The Prelude. When a poet r e l i e s upon psychological order, obscurity i s i n e v i t a b l e ; the meaning of a psycho-l o g i c a l process i s not always immediately apparent. In Four  Quartets, meaning i s conveyed larg e l y by symbolic structures, not by a l o g i c a l progression of thought or by coherent narrative. Added to the potential obscurity of the symbols i s the attempt to integrate the C h r i s t i a n symbols with the psychological ones. E l i o t ' s contribution, then, i s t h i s synthesis of fundamentally psychological experience with r e l i g i o u s , r i t u a l i s t i c experience. His perception approaches that of the r e l i g i o u s mystic, and thus i s less r e a d i l y accessible than that of Wordsworth's 'higher mind.' He st r i v e s to capture the mystery of the "Incarnation," not only the integration of body and s p i r i t i n human experience as does Wordsworth. The obscurity of Four Quartets can be explained as a function of the way i n which E l i o t perceives his subject. Nonetheless, one i s occasionally bothered by E l i o t ' s self-consciousness and seemingly i n t e n t i o n a l abstruseness. E l i o t seems to be mocking again i n section IV of "East Coker," as evidenced by the extravagant imagery — e.g., "the ruined m i l l i o n a i r e " — and the i r o n i c l a s t statement: "we c a l l t h i s Friday good." The regular stanzaic structure and rhyme contribute to the exaggerated mannerism and mocking 106 tone of the section; they compel the reader to view the human condition described with an i r o n i c detachment s i m i l a r to that of the speaker. One i s made to f e e l the d i s p a r i t y between the i d e a l of Christ and the a c t u a l i t y of "the ruined m i l l i o n a i r e . " From the symbolic and r i t u a l i s t i c language of section IV, E l i o t s h i f t s to the dir e c t statements of the opening of the f i f t h movement. Having contrived a form to a r t i c u l a t e the r i t u a l and significance of Christ's death i n the previous section, he now returns to the problem of a r t i c u l a t i o n i t s e l f : "each venture" with words i s a r a i d on the i n a r t i c u l a t e With shabby equipment always deteriorating In the general mess of imprecision of f e e l i n g , Undisciplined squads of emotion. (179-32) The case i s overstated rather d e l i b e r a t e l y , I think. The picture of E l i o t , the poet, seems too humble i n r e l a t i o n to his accomplishment i n the poem, but perhaps i s not i n r e l a t i o n to the immensity of h i s e f f o r t s to express the " i n a r t i c u l a t e . " After the rambling apologies i n the f i r s t part of section V, the verse becomes concentrated and intense to 107. the end of the quartet. I t moves away from the p a r t i c u l a r i d e n t i t y of the poet to describe universal themes. The language i s that of "Burnt Norton": Love i s most nearly i t s e l f When here and now cease to matter. Old men ought to be explorers Here and there does not matter We must be s t i l l and s t i l l moving Into another i n t e n s i t y For a further union, a deeper communion Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters Of the p e t r e l and the porpoise. In my end i s my beginning. (200-09) The word i n t e n s i t y i s the f o c a l point; i t i s positioned i n the shortest and central l i n e of the passage. "Intensity" i s suggested by the image of the "co-existence" of s t i l l n e s s and motion and by the r e p e t i t i o n of "union" i n "union" and "communion." The C h r i s t i a n overtones of the section are s l i g h t , e x i s t i n g f a i n t l y i n the word communion. E l i o t r e l i e s upon the echoes of d i c t i o n and imagery of "Burnt Norton" and of certain themes and images presented e a r l i e r i n t h i s quartet: the "old men," "the wave cry," "the wind cry," the fusion of "end" and "beginning." He achieves the same blend of the abstract and the concrete here as i n the l a s t movement of "Burnt Norton"; the ideas and images work simultaneously, not a l t e r n a t e l y , to convey meaning. 108 ( i i i ) "Dry Salvages" In phrasing, the beginning of "Dry Salvages" echoes that of "East Coker." The succession of words separated by commas and the balanced phrasing create a s i m i l a r rhythm, although the rhythm of "Dry Salvages" i s not as compressed as that of "East Coker." I t s movement i s more f l u i d i n such l i n e s as "Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges. / The problem once solved, the brown god i s almost forgotten." The subject of both opening movements i s rhythm: the f i r s t section of "East Coker" i s concerned with the rhythm of the seasons and the stars as a c y c l i c a l pattern of r e b i r t h ; that of "Dry Salvages" with the rhythm of the brown r i v e r god i n the l i v e s of men. The characterization of the r i v e r as a god i s counter-pointed by that of the r i v e r as "a conveyor of commerce," as a vehicle which serves man. The " s u l l e n , untamed and i n t r a c t a b l e " quality of the r i v e r i s "almost forgotten" by c i v i l i z e d men who worship the machine rather than the god. The r i v e r as a "forgotten" god i s reinforced by a t r a n s i t i o n from the present tense to the past i n the l i n e "His rhythm was present i n the nursery bedroom." The use of the past tense here implies that the presence of the r i v e r ' s rhythm i n the "nursery," i n the "ailanthus," i n 109 the "smell of grapes," and i n the "evening c i r c l e " i s a remembered one, as i f a l l these associations with the r i v e r are the memories of the c h i l d i n the "nursery" before he becomes "the builder of bridges." Yet, i n the next l i n e , E l i o t affirms that the rhythm of the r i v e r i s s t i l l present, i f forgotten: "The r i v e r i s within us, the sea i s a l l about us." Added to the rhythm of the r i v e r god i s the pervasive presence of the sea. The notion of the sea i s another dimension i n the rhythmical pattern of man; i t suggests a rhythm of recurrence, of a continuing process of r e b i r t h that i s v i r t u a l l y timeless. The sea tosses up both the "hints of e a r l i e r and other creation" and the remnants of human "losses." The rhythm of the sea i s further defined l a t e r i n the section as a "ground s w e l l " that "measures time not our time" and "that i s and was from the beginning." The sea does not quite represent timelessness, but a time beyond "the time of chronometers" and of men. The "ground swell" i s associated with "the t o l l i n g b e l l " and death; i t moves i n time, but i t carries the continuing, timeless process of death. The rel a t i o n s h i p between the r i v e r and the sea i s suggested by the d i s t i n c t i o n between "the r i v e r / Is a . . . god" and "the sea has . . . / Many gods." The r i v e r i s a god within man; i t flows from the sea and i s one of i t s gods. The sea, though linked to human processes, i s beyond man and time; i t i s the source of the human rhythm of l i f e and death. The r e l a t i o n -110. ship between r i v e r and sea i n Four Quartets i s e s s e n t i a l l y that of microcosm to macrocosm and — to extend the analogy to the ultimate - - o f the "human form d i v i n e " to God. A f o c a l point i n the f i r s t movement i s reached i n the l i n e s "The s a l t i s on the b r i a r rose, / The fog i s i n the f i r trees." These l i n e s stand out both i n terms of t h e i r position i n the section and i n terms of content. "The s a l t " and "the fog" are related to the previous imagery i n the section as aspects of the sea and the "rose" and "the f i r trees" as aspects of the land. Both the rose and the fog are recurring motifs i n the imagistic pattern of Four Quartets, but t h e i r s p e c i f i c significance here i s not clear. The images contained i n these l i n e s do support the connection between the sea and the land already established i n "The sea i s the land's edge al s o . " The images are suggestive rather than e x p l i c i t : they suggest the "co-existence" of vague opposites instead of d e f i n i t e opposites such as darkness and l i g h t or the end and the beginning. After t h i s rather obscure in t e r l u d e , E l i o t returns to his description of the sea. The different "voices" of the sea are i d e n t i f i e d as a "howl," a "yelp," a "whine," a "distant rote," and a "wailing." Set against t h i s mixture of sounds i s the " s i l e n t fog." The fog produces a dif f e r e n t 111. voice, "the t o l l i n g b e l l . " The sound of the b e l l i s distinguished from the other sounds by the silence which surrounds i t . The b e l l ' s distinctness i s emphasized by the brevity of the l i n e "The t o l l i n g b e l l " i n r e l a t i o n to the rest of the l i n e s i n the passage concerned with the sea voices. The sound of the b e l l i s imitated i n the l i n e s that follow by the r e p e t i t i o n of the word time: Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried Ground swell, a time Older than the time of chronometers, older Than time counted by anxious worried women (36-9) The cadence of the l i n e s changes after t h i s point to the compressed, choppy rhythm which expresses the anxiety of the women f r e t t i n g over "the past and the future." The li n e s then stretch out again to carry the "ground swell" of the sea before coming to rest on the resounding phrase "Clangs / The b e l l . " This rhythm of the "ground swell" and the t o l l i n g of the b e l l develop into s i g n i f i c a n t themes i n "Dry Salvages," carrying with them connotations of an ine v i t a b l e , timeless process and death. The chorus of voices i n the f i r s t movement i s replaced i n the second by "soundless w a i l i n g , " " s i l e n t withering," "the unprayable prayer," "the voiceless w a i l i n g . " The only sound which i s heard i s the "Clamour of the b e l l . " A l l the 112 sea sounds which signalled the operation of l i v i n g forces are transformed into the s i l e n t process of dying. Many of the images of the vibrant f i r s t section appear i n the altered context of the second: the "wreckage," "the bone on the beach," the "boat," the "fishermen," the "fog." The context i n which they are placed i s a decaying one, and one f i l l e d with negative constructions: We cannot think of a time that i s oceanless Or of an ocean not l i t t e r e d with wastage Or of a future that i s not l i a b l e Like the past, to have no destination. (69-72) Not as making a t r i p that w i l l be unpayable For a haul that w i l l not bear examination. (77-78) The mood of the vocabulary i s s i m i l a r l y negative — " f a i l i n g , " "leakage," "cowers," "wastage" — and one of the rhymes i s based upon negation — "motionless," "emotionless," "devotionless," "oceanless," "erosionless," and "motionless." Death i s represented as "the calamitous annunciation" and "the l a s t annunciation" marked by the "clamour of the b e l l " ; i t s overpowering presence i s f e l t u n t i l the l a s t and only pos i t i v e element i n the section, "the one Annunciation." The concept of Christ's b i r t h i s considerably burdened by the predominance of the other kind of annunciation i n the quartet. I t does not represent a note of triumph; i t i s "hardly, barely prayable." Yet the impact of t h i s "Annunciation" i s greater f o r the understated way i n which i t i s presented. After the excessiveness of the wreckage and the b a i l i n g and the clamour and the withering, i t i s a hopeful, i f tentative, gesture. The c a r e f u l l y contrived verse form i n which "annunciation" and "the one Annunciation" are dramatized creates a r i t u a l i s t i c setting f or the presentation of a r e l i g i o u s idea. This form i s s i m i l a r i n effec t to that which describes the death of Christ i n section IV of "East Coker"; i t also resembles the l y r i c a l form which depicts the descent of the Holy Ghost i n section IV of " L i t t l e Gidding." In a l l cases, l y r i c i s m i s used to set the overtly r e l i g i o u s ideas or events apart from the rest of the poem, as i f to imitate the kind of r i t u a l the church employs to celebrate such events. The death and b i r t h of Christ are not re a d i l y acceptable or accessible events; they require a poetic environment separate from that used f o r most of the poem. The Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ are mysteries of the Ch r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n which are apart from ordinary experience, and especially from the " t w i t t e r i n g world." The mystery of such events i s represented p o e t i c a l l y i n Four Quartets by the r i t u a l i s t i c structure of the passages which describe them. 114 The t r a n s i t i o n from the l y r i c a l , r i t u a l i s t i c f i r s t h alf of the section to the strongly contrasting nature of the second i s achieved suddenly. From the sombre and r e l i g i o u s , one i s plunged into the pr o f e s s o r i a l " I t seems, as one becomes older, . . . " The absurdity of "a very good dinner" i s even more pronounced i n contrast to the previous annunciation passage. The rhythm i s balanced and the d i c t i o n prosaic i n the manner of e a r l i e r philosophical passages. The centre of concentration i n the passage r e c a l l s the "intense moment" and the "knowledge derived from experience" of "East Coker": We had the experience but missed the meaning, And approach to the meaning restores the experience In a dif f e r e n t form, beyond any meaning We can assign to happiness. I have said before That the past experience revived i n the meaning Is not the experience of one l i f e only But of many generations . . . (93-9) As E l i o t concentrates upon "the sudden i l l u m i n a t i o n , " he writes variations on a theme of two words, "meaning" and "experience." "Meaning" and "experience" divide human existence i n t o two essential parts: that which happens and i s f e l t and the interpretation of that event and f e e l i n g . The moment i n the rose-garden i s the experience, but the meaning i s that which the rest of Four Quartets attempts to define. The experience i s not complete without the 1 1 5 meaning which gives i t "a d i f f e r e n t form." The same relationship between experience and meaning may be seen i n The Prelude. Wordsworth describes both the experience of seeing the "gibbet-mast" and the meaning i t came to have f o r him i n r e c o l l e c t i o n . In th i s passage from Four Quartets, E l i o t suggests the interdependency of experience and meaning by alternately repeating the words while saying the same thing i n various ways: "approach to the meaning restores the experience"; "experience revived i n the meaning." The section ends with nine l i n e s of obscure imagery: Time the destroyer i s time the preserver, Like the r i v e r with i t s cargo of dead negroes, cows and chicken coops, The b i t t e r apple and the bi t e i n the apple. And the ragged rock i n the r e s t l e s s waters, Waves wash over i t , fog conceals i t ; On a halcyon day i t i s merely a monument, In navigable weather i t i s always a seamark To lay a course by: but i n the sombre season Or the sudden fury, i s what i t always was. ( 1 1 5 - 2 3 ) The image of the "cargo of dead negroes, cows and chicken coops" i s a s t a r t l i n g and puzzling one. The rela t i o n s h i p between the three items of cargo i s subject to considerable conjecture. One can see i n the image of the "dead Negroes" an i l l u s t r a t i o n of "the torment of others," of the "agony," and of the human mortality suggested by the l a t e r a l l u s i o n to "the bite i n the apple." However, the connection of 116 the negro image to the other cargo images i s too ambiguous to warrant interpretation. The effect of the three images together may be described: the negroes are reduced to a subhuman l e v e l by association with the other cargo. This reduction i s immediately produced by the application of the word cargo to the human beings. The analogy established between the r i v e r ' s cargo and time i s not defined. The connection between "time the destroyer" and "time the preserver" and "the b i t t e r apple" i s rather more apparent, i f s t i l l i n d i r e c t . The "agony" brought on by the o r i g i n a l s i n "abides," preserved i n time. The vagueness of the simile i s due to the fact that there i s no concrete basis f o r comparison, no s o l i d sensual foundation. Time i s an abstract concept, the apple i s a mythological symbol, and the cargo imagery i s obscure. Although the images of the cargo are, s t r i c t l y speaking, sensual, they function e s s e n t i a l l y i n a symbolic, i n t e l l e c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , not i n a sensual one. The t h i r d analogy of "the ragged rock" combines more d i r e c t l y sensual images with symbolic ones. The perception of the rock i n the water washed by "waves" and concealed by the "fog" makes i t s function as a symbol clearer i f not t o t a l l y unambiguous. One can see the actual danger of a rock i n a "sudden fury of the sea," so that the danger or "agony" i t represents i s conveyed. The t h i r d movement i s a v a r i a t i o n upon the same theme 117 presented in the third section of the earlier quartets: the way of darkness and the way of light point to one end. In "Burnt Norton" there i s the phrase "This is the one way, and the other / Is the same"(122-23); in "Dry Salvages" the identical idea is presented as "And the way up is the way down, the way forward i s the way back." The related phrase in "East Coker" is "So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing." The essential structure of these movements is counterpoint, a point of balance between opposites. The following quotations i l l u s t r a t e the similarity in structure and concept of the sections: Into the world of perpetual solitude, World not world, but that which is not world, (B.N. 115-16) This is the one way, and the other Is the same, not in movement But abstention from movement . . . (B.N. 122 - 2 4 ) And what you do not know is the only thing you know And what you own is what you do not own And where you are is where you are not. (E.C. 144-46) Here between the hither and the farther shore While time i s withdrawn, consider the future And the past with an equal mind. At the moment which i s not of action or inaction You can receive this . . • (D.S. 152-56) 118. The point of balance between opposites receives i t s f u l l e s t treatment i n section I I of "Burnt Norton" i n the "Neither f l e s h nor f l e s h l e s s " passage, but i s the c r u c i a l metaphorical structure throughout the quartets. The world "between two waves of the s e a " ( " L i t t l e Gidding." 251) represents i n the poem the moment of stasis achieved at "the s t i l l point of the turning world"; i t i s the point of emotional, i n t e l l e c t u a l , and s p i r i t u a l equilibrium. In t h i s world between "the hither and farther shore" time i s arrested: the future and the past are equal. The metaphor of the stasis "between two waves" i s complemented by the continuing rhythm of the "ground swell," and "the sea b e l l ' s / Perpetual angelus"("Dry Salvages," 182-83). The point of s t a s i s i s a timeless moment; the "ground swel l " and the "angelus" measure a timeless process of death and r e b i r t h . The movement of the sea sets o f f the s t i l l n e s s of timelessness i n Four Quartets; the r i v e r serves a s i m i l a r function i n The Prelude. The sea journey i s placed i n a Chr i s t i a n context again i n the fourth section with an address to the "Queen of Heaven." The imperative mood of "fare forward" i n section I I I i s continued i n the words of "pray" and "Repeat a prayer." The tense of the other verbs i n the section modulates from the present of the l i v i n g s a i l o r s to the past of the dead ones. The three-stanza format, 119. though regular and r e p e t i t i v e , i s not the s t r i c t , l y r i c a l one of the fourth movement of "East Coker" or the second movement of "Dry Salvages." The section i s linked to the rest of the quartet by the references to the s a i l o r s , to the women waiting on land(section I ) , and to the sea b e l l . But by th i s time, the sea b e l l i s no longer the signal of "the calamitous annunciation"; i t i s the "perpetual angelus" which commemorates the "one Annunciation." The concept of the Christian r e b i r t h has been f i r m l y established within the rhythm of l i f e and death marked by the movement of the sea. The rhythm of section V returns to the compressed, clipped movement of l i n e s which describe the a c t i v i t i e s of men. The human attempts to understand the past and future are translated into a series of phrases separated by commas: "To communicate with Mars, converse with s p i r i t s , / To report the behaviour of the sea monster, / Describe the horoscope, haruspicate or scry." At the words "But to apprehend," the rhythm becomes more f l u i d and the phrasing balanced: ". • . i s an occupation for the saint — / No occupation either, but something given / And taken, i n a l i f e t i m e ' s death i n love"; "For most of us, there i s only the unattended / Moment, the moment i n and out of time." The tone changes from s a t i r i c to serious; the d i c t i o n becomes simpler and less varied than that of 1 2 0 the opening l i n e s , a s i m p l i c i t y that indicates the subject matter i s of much significance and complexity. To aid his e f f o r t s to define the now f a m i l i a r timeless "moment," E l i o t supplements his abstract statements with the images associated with the rose-garden experience throughout the quartets: the "shaft of sunlight," "the w i l d thyme unseen," "the winter l i g h t n i n g , " and the "music" of section V of "Burnt Norton." Then, with the revelation of the ultimate Christian "meaning" of the "experience" — "Incarnation" --the l i n e s become shorter and more intense. The concept of "Incarnation" i s given form as the "co-existence" of opposites: Here the impossible union Of spheres of existence i s actual, Here the past and future Are conquered, and reconciled, Where action were otherwise movement Of that which i s only moved And has i n i t no source of movement — ( 2 1 6 - 2 2 ) The intense focus of t h i s "impossible union" i s emphasized by the r e p e t i t i o n of the word "Here." The union i s a d i s t i n c t point, e n t i r e l y separate from the common order of experience. E l i o t balances t h i s perception of a divine experience with a description at the close of the quartet of the human e f f o r t s to achieve "union." He signals a t r a n s i t i o n from the world of the saint and of the "Incarnation" 121 to that of ordinary men by repeating the e a r l i e r phrase "For most of us": For most of us, t h i s i s the aim Never here to be re a l i s e d ; Who are only undefeated Because we have gone on t r y i n g ; We, content at the l a s t I f our temporal reversion nourish (Not too f a r from the yew-tree) The l i f e of s i g n i f i c a n t s o i l . "The l i f e of s i g n i f i c a n t s o i l " i n which men go on t r y i n g expresses the layman's struggle f o r integration i n s i m i l a r terms as that of the saint: the l i f e of "prayer, observance, d i s c i p l i n e , thought and action." In t h i s movement, E l i o t brings together the 'ways' of ordinary man, sai n t , and Christ. (iv) " L i t t l e Gidding" The opening of " L i t t l e Gidding" hearkens back to the f i r s t movement of "East Coker," where the emphasis i s upon a seasonal rhythm and earth images. However, "Midwinter spring" i s not a part of the progressive cycle of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, but a suspension of that cycle; i t i s "suspended i n time." The imagery, therefore, accomp-lis h e s a synthesis of opposites that suggests t h i s s t a s i s . "Pole and t r o p i c , " " f r o s t and f i r e " co-exist i n a state of balance. This "co-existence" of seasonal extremes i s not the chaotic c o n f l i c t of the seasons and constellations i n section I I of "East Coker." The c o n f l i c t i s resolved i n t h i s suspended state of time i n which f r o s t and f i r e can f i n d a balance. The "midwinter spring," "between melting and freezing," c l e a r l y represents a s p i r i t u a l state of being. As i n the f i r s t movement of "Burnt Norton," the images of the natural world create a pattern that i s symbolic of an i n t e r n a l process outside of "time's covenant." The blaze of the sun on ice manifests "pentecostal f i r e " that " s t i r s the dumb s p i r i t " ; "the soul's sap quivers" i n the state of st a s i s "between melting and freezing." The l i g h t imagery that has gone before i s gathered up into one glorious 1 2 3 "glare" or "glow" or "blaze" of f i r e that prepares the way for the 'incandescent flame' of destruction and purgation of the fourth movement. The blaze of "midwinter spring" i s hot a heat-producing force, f o r i t i s combined with the "windless cold." The essence of the "season" between seasons i s that i t i s neither one extreme nor the other, heat nor cold, but a combination of the two. From the distance of "midwinter spring," the heat of summer seems an "unimaginable" absolute: "Where i s the summer, the unimaginable / Zero summer?" The l i n e s of the passage focus upon t h i s two word l i n e , i mitating the "zero" q u a l i t y of the summer. The phrase "Zero summer" acts as a pi v o t a l point from which a new momentum i n the section begins. Repetitive phrasing establishes a regular rhythmic pattern and a formalized system of movement s i m i l a r to the formal effects of the "box c i r c l e " passage^ i n "Burnt Norton": I f you came t h i s way, Taking the route you would be l i k e l y to take From the place you would be l i k e l y to come from, I f you came t h i s way i n may time, you would f i n d the hedges . . . ( 2 0 - 2 3 ) I f you came at night l i k e a broken king, I f you came by day not knowing what you came f o r , " • • . And what you thought you came f o r . . . ( 2 6 - 2 7 , 3 0 ) 1 2 4 . From which the purpose breaks only when i t i s f u l f i l l e d I f at a l l . Either you had no purpose Or the purpose i s beyond the end you figured And i s altered i n f u l f i l m e n t . ( 3 2 - 3 5 ) The l a s t example contains another of the poem1s periodic word va r i a t i o n s , t h i s time centreing around "purpose" and to a lesse r degree around " f u l f i l l e d . " The "meaning" of the l i n e s seems to be partly a function of the rhythm and sound of the r e p e t i t i o n of these words. The i n t a n g i b i l i t y of "purpose" and i t s relationship to " f u l f i l m e n t " are suggested by the context i n which the words are placed. A l a t e r r e p e t i t i v e section which emphasizes variations of the word "prayer" i s not so much s t r a i n i n g f o r a r t i c u l a t i o n of an intangible as for creation of a formal pattern represented by "prayer." The recurring sound of the word imitates the "incantation" of "prayer" i t s e l f : . . . You are here to kneel Where prayer has been v a l i d . And prayer i s more Than an order of words, the conscious occupation Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying. ( 4 5 - 4 $ ) "Prayer" i s more than "an order of words" because i t i s a means of communicating with the dead, with the world beyond the l i v i n g and beyond time. "Prayer" at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r spot i n England, "where prayer has been v a l i d , " unites the 1 2 5 . p a r t i c u l a r with the universal, time with the timeless: "Here, the i n t e r s e c t i o n of the timeless moment / i s England and nowhere. Never and always." "Prayer" i s a formal ^ pattern i n i t s e l f capable of achieving the "form" " a f t e r speech," the "form" of "co-existence" of s t i l l n e s s and movement and of silence and sound. The l y r i c a l mode of the quartets returns i n f u l l force i n the second movement of " L i t t l e Gidding" with three stanzas of rhymed couplets describing the death of the four elements. The f i r e imagery i s transformed into an image of death, "ash on an old man's sleeve." Other e a r l i e r images are echoed: the "old man" i s reminiscent of the "old men" i n "East Coker"; the "burnt roses" and the "dust i n the a i r suspended" of the "dust" and the "roses" i n "Burnt Norton"; the "house," the " w a l l , the wainscot and the mouse" of the "houses," "wainscot," and " f i e l d -mouse" i n "East Coker"; the "water and dead sand" of the "sea" and "sand" i n "Dry Salvages"; and the "town" and "pasture" of the " v i l l a g e " and " f i e l d " i n "East Coker" again. This "death" of the elements i s the continuing process of death which pervades the inner quartets; i t succeeds the death of men and precedes the f i n a l death by f i r e which propels the r e b i r t h of the s p i r i t . Death i s presented i n the r i t u a l i s t i c context of a regular, r e p e t i t i v e verse form; the process of dying becomes a 126. kind of "formal pattern." The recurring phrase "This i s the death of . . . " develops into an "incantation" that measures the r i t u a l of death. The death of the elements i s followed by a passage which i s e s s e n t i a l l y narrative i n that i t describes i n sequence the strange events of a walk through a deserted, dead c i t y . The desolation of a world caught between a bombing attack and the resumption of normal a c t i v i t i e s i s the medium f o r a Dantesque encounter with the s p i r i t world of "some dead master." "The dark dove with the f l i c k e r i n g tongue," "the dead leaves," "the smoke," and the "dawn wind" a l l have meaning i n r e l a t i o n to the bombed c i t y ; they also function s i g n i f i c a n t l y within the imagistic structure of Four Quartets. The "dark dove," flame, and smoke anticipate the f i n a l conflagration of section IV. The "dead leaves" are associated with the rose-garden, while the "dawn wind" r e c a l l s the "dawn wind" and the phrase "In my beginning" of "East Coker." This meeting i n a world of s t a s i s — "at t h i s i n t e r s e c t i o n time / Of meeting nowhere, no before and a f t e r " — brings together beginning and end, time and timelessness. In th i s respect, i t i s very l i k e the " f i r s t world" of the rose-garden. Whereas the rose-garden was a place of renewed innocence and laughing children, the deserted c i t y reveals the wisdom of experience — "the g i f t s reserved 1 2 7 f o r age" — through the words of a dead man. The one i s a world of "sunlight"; the other of "waning dusk." Yet, they are perceptions of the same world, the darkness and the l i g h t . The ghostly appearance of the "dead master" with his "face s t i l l forming" resembles the " i n v i s i b l e " "guests" of "Burnt Norton"; the " I " has a s i m i l a r quality of i n t a n g i b i l i t y as the unidentified "we" of that quartet: So I assumed a double part, and cried And heard another's voice cry: 'What! are you here?* Although we were not. I was s t i l l the same, Knowing myself yet being someone other — ( 9 7 - 1 0 0 ) Both the rose-garden and the c i t y are dream-like visions of the " r e a l i t y " beyond time, but the f i r s t v i s i o n seems more mysterious and t a n t a l i z i n g . The "meaning" of the rose-garden "experience" i s not clear i n the f i r s t quartet, although the "experience" i t s e l f i s v i v i d . The incident i n the rose-garden represents the "experience" of the timeless moment; i t does not go f a r i n defining the "meaning" of such "experience." The participants i n the "experience" and the reader are l e f t with the admonition, "human kind cannot bear very much r e a l i t y . " One feels that "we had the experience but missed the meaning." The "meaning" of the "sudden i l l u m i n a t i o n " of timelessness i s 'approached* as the quartets progress u n t i l , i n " L i t t l e Gidding," "the past experience" of the rose-garden i s 1 2 8 "revived i n the meaning" of the "Incarnation" and resurrection. Through the quartets, E l i o t reveals that "human kind" can learn to bear the " r e a l i t y " of s p i r i t u a l l i f e through f a i t h i n r e b i r t h . In the l i g h t of the "meaning" of resurrection, the timeless moment i n the rose-garden i s not an " i s o l a t e d " incident, but an intimation of a universal and enduring state; i t becomes "the experience" "of many generations." In the description of the meeting i n the c i t y i n " L i t t l e Gidding," "meaning" and "experience" are much more closely joined than i n the presentation of the rose-garden incident; the "meaning" of s p i r i t u a l awareness and the detachment from s e l f i t involves have very nearly been re a l i z e d . "The communication / Of the dead"("Little Gidding." 5 0 - 5 1 ) comes not i n the "unattended moment" but through the l i f e of "prayer, observance, d i s c i p l i n e , thought and action." The man who walks through the c i t y i s much closer to the s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h through f i r e than the personae of the rose-garden experience. He experiences with a greater awareness what they experience i n innocence. The "blowing of the horn" signals the end of the experience as does the passing of the cloud i n the rose-garden, but without the warning of the b i r d . This man seems able to comprehend the burden of "too much r e a l i t y " and the "crown upon a l i f e t i m e ' s effort?' described by the "dead master." The theme of the rose-garden i s taken up i n " L i t t l e Gidding" and reshaped into one which i s resonant with a l l the variations upon that theme i n the intervening quartets. The timeless moment intersects with experience i n time. " L i t t l e Gidding" represents the resolution of the f l u x between the temporal and the timeless with a v i s i o n of the permanent state of "the s t i l l point of the turning world." The t h i r d movement launches into a sermon upon "attachment to s e l f , " "memory," "love of a country," and "h i s t o r y . " Like i t s predecessors, i t is- concerned with the world of men i n time; but unlike the other middle movements, i t does not describe the way of darkness. Time appears i n a new perspective; time as measured by history and memory intersects with the timeless. The h i s t o r i c a l figures and p o l i c i e s "are folded i n a single party"; they become "a symbol perfected i n death." As a symbol i s "perfected," i t achieves the completeness and the s t i l l n e s s of "a Chinese j a r " that "moves perpetually i n i t s s t i l l n e s s . " The f i n a l "symbol perfected i n death" i s the fusion of the f i r e and the rose. I t i s t h i s sense of the perfected symbol which E l i o t i s s t r a i n i n g to a r t i c u l a t e through the development of central images i n Four Quartets. These images become the perfected symbol of the l a s t three movements of " L i t t l e Gidding": the "dove," the " s h i r t of flame," the "rose," the "yew-tree," the "hidden w a t e r f a l l , " the "children i n the apple-tree," 130 the " f i r e . " These images are i d e n t i f i e d with the s p i r i t u a l process of the poem; they are that process, just as the "Incarnation" i s both the symbol of the transformation of s p i r i t into f l e s h and the transformation i t s e l f . The rose, f i r e , and other symbols not only represent certain concepts i n Four Quartets, they p a r t i c i p a t e i n the movement toward the perfecting of symbols. The l o g i c a l development of a discursive s t y l e i n section I I I give way to a l y r i c a l s t y l e i n the fourth movement. The near iambic rhythm and the alternating rhyme scheme of the two stanzas create the formalized structure i n which the r i t u a l of redemption "from f i r e by f i r e " takes place. "The dove descending" i s the manifest-ation of s p i r i t analogous to the "Incarnation" of Christ. But the incarnation of the Holy S p i r i t here brings flame and " t e r r o r " and redemption. The descent of the Holy S p i r i t i s the r e a l i z a t i o n of the purgation and r e b i r t h promised man by the death and resurrection of Christ. This r e b i r t h through f i r e i s a continuation of the theme of "agony" as a "way" of reaching a permanent state of integrated being. "Love" i s named as the inventor of "the i n t o l e r a b l e s h i r t of flame." Yet, i n "Burnt Norton," love i s "the cause and end of movement"; i t i s both the cause and end of "torment." And l a t e r i n " L i t t l e Gidding," "the drawing of t h i s Love" i s associated with the process 131 of achieving the "perfected" s p i r i t . The l a s t movement of Four Quartets introduces no new themes; i t i s the resolution of the themes of the other movements and the conclusion of the progression toward the perfected symbol of fusion: "the f i r e and the rose are one." The section opens with a set of variations upon the theme of beginning and end. The f i r s t three l i n e s present the relationship between beginning and end as an abstraction: What we c a l l the beginning i s often the end And to make an end i s to make a beginning. The end i s where we s t a r t from. (214-16) E l i o t then applies t h i s abstract idea to the structure of language and to the theme of a r t i c u l a t i o n which has occupied a considerable portion of the quartets: "every phrase and every sentence i s an end and a beginning." He conveys t h i s sense of completeness and proportion i n the very phrasing of the l i n e s which describe the resolution of the poet's struggle for expression. A balance i s achieved between the opposing words " d i f f i d e n t " and "ostentatious," "old" and "new"; the d i c t i o n i s "common" without being 'vulgar,' "formal" without being "pedantic." Within the form of the poem i t s e l f , "co-existence" i s 132. the p r i n c i p l e of harmony. "The s t i l l point of the turning world" i s an aesthetic state as w e l l as a psychological one. In t h i s l a s t movement, the correspondence between the aesthetic representation of timelessness and the s p i r i t u a l " r e a l i t y " i t s e l f i s d e f i n i t i v e l y established. Aesthetic form — the Chinese j a r or the pattern of sound af t e r the music has ended — i s one of the "hints and guesses," a symbolic pattern of "co-existence" which suggests the fusion of being beyond time and beyond the world of the f l e s h . The metaphor of the "dance," previously connected with the state of being at "the s t i l l point,"^9 i s now associated with the harmony of an aesthetic creation: "The complete consort dancing together." The theme of beginning and end modulates s l i g h t l y at t h i s point to include the concept of a c y c l i c a l l i f e and death process f i r s t presented i n "East Coker." "Any action / Is a step to the block, to the f i r e " ; but each step takes us to the point from which "we s t a r t . " The f i r s t half of the cycle i s expressed i n d i f f e r e n t form i n "Dry Salvages": "And the time of death i s every moment"(159). The concept of the cycle i s i m p l i c i t i n the structure of these l i n e s : We die with the dying: See, they depart, and we go with them. We are born with the dead: See, they return, and bring us with them. (228-31) 133. The relationship between the dead and the l i v i n g has been growing as a theme i n the quartets. Here, the connection i s not merely symbolic — as i n the "communication of the dead" through the r i t u a l of prayer — but actual. E l i o t ' s c y c l i c a l process i s not simply the decay of the f l e s h leading to the generation of new l i f e forms; i t i s the continuing process of s p i r i t made f l e s h and f l e s h made s p i r i t . Incarnation and transfiguration are complementary. The statement "The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree / Are of equal duration" reinforces the concept of the interdependency of b i r t h and death; i t also suggests once again that the rose-garden experience and the way of darkness and dessication are 'one and the same.• The echoes of previous imagery i n t h i s conclusion of the poem are many. In f a c t , there are r e l a t i v e l y few words which have not been used before i n the quartets. The "sea's throat" r e c a l l s the "dark throat" of the sea i n section IV of "Dry Salvages"(181); the " i l l e g i b l e stone" echoes the "old stones that cannot be deciphered" of "East Coker"(196). The phrase "History i s now and England" i s a v a r i a t i o n upon the e a r l i e r "Now and i n England"(39) and "England and nowhere"(53). Even the set t i n g i s f a m i l i a r : the f a l l i n g l i g h t on a winter's afternoon i s a prevalent atmosphere i n the quartets, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the f i r s t movement of "East Coker." The 134. h a l f - l i g h t has come to be associated with a state of pas s i v i t y that suggests the st a s i s of timelessness without being timeless i t s e l f . The l i n e "With the drawing of t h i s Love and the voice of t h i s c a l l i n g , " a formulation of the recurring theme of Love, i s the most o r i g i n a l of the movement. I t i s the manner of expression which i s most s t r i k i n g . The style i s that of incantation, the r e p e t i t i o n of a mystical concept i n r i t u a l i s t i c fornu The form of the phrasing seems to embody the l i n e ' s r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i -cance. This phrase i s more closely related i n style and content to the concluding l i n e s of the movement than to the juxtaposed ones. I t represents a recurring voice of mysticism i n Four Quartets. The l i f e of the saint i s remembered i n such allusions to the words of mystics. "The figure of the ten s t a i r s " and the phrase "And a l l s h a l l be wel l and / A l l manner of thing s h a l l be w e l l " are two e x p l i c i t such a l l u s i o n s ; they are part of the o v e r a l l s t y l e of symbolic, r e l i g i o u s expression used by E l i o t . After the interruption of the "incantation," the movement returns to i t s theme with a series of compressed, short l i n e s , the st y l e with which E l i o t concludes each of his f i f t h movements. "Exploration," a theme developed i n "East Coker," i s seen i n r e l a t i o n to the "co-existence" of beginning and end: "the end of a l l our exploring / W i l l 135. be to arrive where we started." The concept of a c y c l i c a l exploration may be applied to the development of the quartets, f o r the poem returns to i t s beginnings, to i t s " f i r s t world." However, as the " f i r s t world" of the rose-garden i s redefined by the rest of the experience i n and out of time represented i n the poem, the l a s t movement of " L i t t l e Gidding" i s a re c a p i t u l a t i o n with a difference of "Burnt Norton." The rose-garden i s seen f o r the f i r s t time i n the l i g h t of the f u l l "meaning" which has been brought to bear upon the "experience." The images of the "w a t e r f a l l " and the "children" and the phrase "Quick now, here, now, always" bring back the experience of the rose-garden, but they are accompanied by certain phrases which represent the other way, the l i f e of "prayer, observance, d i s c i p l i n e , thought and action": A condition of complete s i m p l i c i t y (Costing not less than everything) And a l l s h a l l be well and A l l manner of thing s h a l l be w e l l (253-56) F i n a l l y , the Ch r i s t i a n symbology of the poem i s reinforced i n the closing three l i n e s : "the f i r e and the rose are one" when the s p i r i t has been consumed by f i r e and reborn. The permanent state of fusion of the s p i r i t and Love i s achieved through s p i r i t u a l death and redemption. 136 PART IV CONCLUSION Once one comes to the conclusion that The Prelude and Four Quartets present a s i m i l a r experience, one begins to discover the differences i n conception and expression between the two poems. The "spots of time" and the "rose-garden" incident are both timeless moments; they are poetic representations of timelessness, of integrated perception. The character of the "spots of time" has been discussed: the mood of relaxation preceding the experience, the progression from sensual stimulation to synthesis of perception and emotion to elevation of f e e l i n g , the i n i t i a l concentration upon concrete images i n the description of the experience, and the correspondence between the transformation of f e e l i n g and a s h i f t from a concrete to a more abstract language. The experience i s presented i n a sequence of perceptions and fee l i n g s . May one detect a s i m i l a r kind of progression i n E l i o t ' s rendering of the "rose-garden" experience? . Through the f i r s t gate, Into our f i r s t world, s h a l l we follow The deception of the thrush? Into our f i r s t world. There they were, d i g n i f i e d , i n v i s i b l e , Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves, In the autumn heat, through the vibrant a i r , 137 And the b i r d c a l l e d , i n response to The unheard music hidden i n the shrubbery, And the unseen eyebeam crossed, f o r the roses Had the look of flowers that are looked at. There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting. So we moved, and they, i n a formal pattern, Along the empty a l l e y , into the box c i r c l e , To look down into the drained pool. Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged, And the pool was f i l l e d with water out of sunlight, And the lotos rose, q u i e t l y , q u i e t l y , The surface g l i t t e r e d out of heart of l i g h t , And they were behind us, reflected i n the pool. Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty. Go, said the b i r d , f o r the leaves were f u l l of children, Hidden excitedly, containing laughter. Go, go, go, said the b i r d : human kind Cannot bear very much r e a l i t y . Time past and time future What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which i s always present. ("Burnt Norton." 20-46) In a general way, t h i s description of timeless experience follows a pattern s i m i l a r to that of the "spots of time." The personae i n E l i o t ' s poem are drawn into the experience, into the " f i r s t world," i n v o l u n t a r i l y ; the c a l l i n g of the b i r d seems to have an almost hypnotic ef f e c t . As they are s t i l l wondering whether they should follow, they are suddenly i n that world. The personae progress through the experience, f i r s t responding to the sensual world and then achieving the moment of transcendence. Once the experience i s over, E l i o t comments upon the meaning of the perception i n the philosophical l a s t three l i n e s , a kind of commentary fundamental to Wordsworth's presentation of the "spots of time." 138 As one examines the "rose-garden" experience i n d e t a i l , however, i t s distinctness from the "spots" becomes apparent. F i r s t of a l l , the i n i t i a t i o n of the experience, the drawing i n of the personae, i s accomplished much more deliberately by E l i o t . The sense of entering another state of being i s emphasized by the r e p e t i t i o n of the phrase "Into our f i r s t world," and by l a t e r use of that same " i n t o " : "into the box c i r c l e , " "into the drained pool." The world seems to be an enclosed one, and more p a r t i c u l a r l y , a kind of "formal pattern," a "box c i r c l e . " Wordsworth draws the reader into the world of timeless experience by concentrating upon concrete images and creating a detailed representation of the natural scene. The reader i s attracted simply by his emotional associations with the sensual imagery. Wordsworth's imagery follows the movement of the eye and of f e e l i n g from one image to another. E l i o t traces an emotional, but not a v i s u a l , continuity i n hi s imagery. He unveils the sett i n g of the experience by a process of associative images. He focuses f i r s t upon the mysterious "they," l a t e r i d e n t i f i e d as the " i n v i s i b l e " "guests," and t h e i r movement through the "rose-garden." This attention to t h e i r movement leads to the image of the "dead leaves," which i n turn leads to the images of the "autumn heat" and the "vibrant a i r . " These three images are associated by f e e l i n g , by the atmosphere of intense calm they create. 139 The imagery of the whole scene functions i n th i s way. The images discussed describe a kind of i n t e n s i t y ; the next group of images — "the unheard music," "the unseen eyebeam," the flowers "that are looked at" — strongly suggests the i n t a n g i b i l i t y of the experience. An emotional relationship exists between the "dead leaves" and the "roses": both images define the nature of the experience i n terms that are vaguely mysterious. The qua l i t y of fe e l i n g which the imagery as a whole suggests i s i n t a n g i b i l i t y . This imagery of the intangible i s an attempt to give form to an experience that i s not subs t a n t i a l , but s p i r i t u a l . While the images are r i c h l y sensual, they are not es s e n t i a l l y v i s u a l , and they c e r t a i n l y do not merge into a clear v i s u a l pattern. One responds not to the photographic ve r i t e of the scene described, but to the f e e l i n g contained within each image and to the "formal pattern" of the imagery as a whole. Northrop Frye comments upon the fact that E l i o t ' s imagery i s not primarily v i s u a l : " E l i o t has achieved his hold on the modern reader's imagination not by clear v i s u a l images, but by un i t i n g the extremes of incantation and meaning."40 "Incantation" i s a s i g n i f i c a n t mode i n Four Quartets. The re p e t i t i o n of a formula of words i s a technique already noted i n the word game passages, the "prayer" passage i n " L i t t l e Gidding," and the r i t u a l i s t i c fourth movements generally. Even i n the rose-garden 140 description, where the images have a sensual character, one does not respond so much to the sensual effect as to the "power of incantation,"41 to the r i t u a l i s t i c "pattern" of imagery i t s e l f . One sees i n retrospect that the "meaning" of the "experience" i n the rose-garden i s the "formal pattern." E l i o t conveys t h i s sense of "pattern" la r g e l y through images of movement; he l a t e r states i n "Burnt Norton" that "the d e t a i l of the pattern i s movement." The "pattern" of movement i s as follows: the "we" enter the " f i r s t world"; the " i n v i s i b l e " "they" are "moving without pressure, over the dead leaves" i n the garden; "the unseen eyebeam crossed"; "we moved, and they, i n a formal pattern"; "the lotos rose, q u i e t l y , q u i e t l y " ; "a cloud passed." Then there are three passive forms of movement: the roses are looked at; the pool was f i l l e d ; the "guests" were " r e f l e c t e d . " Of these actions, only the entering of the garden and the passing of the cloud are tangible movements; the r e s t , i n the experience of the garden, seem to be abstract motions, formal gestures within some preconceived pattern of movement, or "dance." The "dance" does not originate with these dancers. They are simply p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a movement that expresses a universal experience of "formal pattern." The essential figures i n the dance are those who are perceived, the " i n v i s i b l e " "guests." The fact that they are perceived, that they, l i k e the roses, are "looked at," conveys t h e i r 141. separateness from the personae. I t i s as i f the personae have somehow stepped out of t h e i r normal selves and become the " i n v i s i b l e " "guests" so that they may see the "formal pattern." "They" are f i r s t seen "moving" "over the dead leaves"; they then pa r t i c i p a t e i n the "formal pattern" with the perceivers; and f i n a l l y they are seen "behind us, refle c t e d i n the pool." They are seen i n front and apart; then they j o i n the personae; f i n a l l y they are seen behind and apart again. Their movement represents a completed pattern of separation of consciousness, integration, and separation again.. The integrated perception of the experience i s the perception of t h i s movement. But the movement of the "guests" i s not the f i n a l "formal pattern"; i t i s a metaphor f o r "pattern" as an e n t i t y i n i t s e l f beyond the senses. The abstracted, intangible nature of the movement i s suggested by the passive "actions" i n the passage, the i n v i s i b i l i t y of the "guests," the "unheard music," the "unseen eyebeam," the "dry pool" " f i l l e d with water out of sunlight." These images suggest that there i s a pattern without substance behind the substantial movement "into the box - c i r c l e . " They suggest what E l i o t says i n section V of "Burnt Norton," that the "form" of the experience continues a f t e r the " v i o l i n " stops playing and carries into the "si l e n c e , " the " s t i l l n e s s . " The "formal pattern" E l i o t i s t r y i n g to represent i s not simply an aesthetic unity of hi s poem, but the essence of form suggested by that unity. An analogy to music may make the d i s t i n c t i o n clear: i f one has an experience of transcendence i n l i s t e n i n g to a Bach fugue, one i s not l e f t with an impression of the p a r t i c u l a r form of the fugue, but with an impression of form as an abstraction beyond concrete d e f i n i t i o n . I am attempting to i d e n t i f y "formal pattern" here i n the aesthetic terms E l i o t uses i n section V of "Burnt Norton." Ultimately, he defines the perception of a timeless "formal pattern" as a s p i r i t u a l experience. In section V, he foreshadows the transformation from "co-existence" to "Incarnation" by moving from "Words, af t e r speech" to "the Word i n the desert." The aesthetic pattern of "co-existence" i s but a 'hint* of the " g i f t " of "Incarnation." Wordsworth represents the integrated experience of the timeless moment by recreating a series of ordered perceptions which are related to one another s p a t i a l l y and emotionally; he f i r s t pieces together a scene so that the reader may vi s u a l i z e that scene and respond to i t sensually. Although the reader reacts emotionally to the sensual images as they appear, his ultimate response i s determined by his recognition of the integration of the imagery i n the whole passage. He represents the sequence of perceptions i n time leading up to the moment at which time i s suspended. One can i d e n t i f y precisely the moment of transcendence by a s t a r t l i n g transformation i n imagery: the black crag looms up, or the l i g h t flashes upon the t u r f revealing the sea and mist beyond. One has greater d i f f i c u l t y i n i s o l a t i n g the moment of transcendence i n the "rose-garden," for there i s no point of transformation i n f e e l i n g and imagery. The whole of the scene i n the rose-garden i s imbued with a sense of the intangible and the timeless. The progression i n movement which does occur i s c i r c u l a r rather than l i n e a r . This d i s t i n c t i o n between the sequential development of the "spots of time" and the lack of such development i n the rose-garden description indicates fundamentally d i f f e r e n t perspectives. Wordsworth i s c h i e f l y concerned with the process of transcendent experienc E l i o t with i t s essence. While Wordsworth traces the process i n terms of a "language of the sense" that modulates toward abstraction, E l i o t conveys the essence of the s p i r i t u a l state immediately through a language of abstraction. The form of abstractness of "formal pattern" incomprehensible to the senses, i s E l i o t ' s i m i t a t i o n of the qu a l i t y of the s p i r i t . In his ef f o r t s to a r t i c u l a t e the "pattern" through word variations and games, r e p e t i t i o n of sounds, symbolic use of sensual imagery, r i t u a l i s t i c verse structures, and "incantation" he suggests the struggle of the s p i r i t f o r expression. Just as the sensuality of Wordsworth's language i s immediately f e l t , so the s p i r i t u a l i t y of E l i o t ' s i s experienced d i r e c t l y by the reader. The q u a l i t y of s p i r i t i n The  Prelude result s i n part from Wordsworth's direct statements about the "sublime**; but t h i s s p i r i t u a l i t y i s i n greater measure the r e s u l t of the poet's capacity to convey the process of transcendence through subtle changes i n sensual imagery and f e e l i n g . One must recognize, of course, the interdependency of sensual experience and s p i r i t u a l experience i n the two poems. The Prelude has i t s s p i r i t u a l and abstract dimension just as Four Quartets has i t s sensual and concrete one. However, the "spots of time" represent the sensual and the transcendent i n sequence, while the "rose-garden" i s an attempt to convey them simultaneously. In The Prelude, communion with God begins i n the sensual world with a sense of communion with Nature. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the s e l f with the external world leads to the recognition of a divine presence and to s p i r i t u a l ecstasy. The body, the sensual being, i n i t i a t e s the experience. In Four Quartets. continuing communion with God i s achieved through r i t u a l and prayer. The sensual world of the rose garden provides only a t r a n s i t o r y medium f o r communion. Incantation and r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l are the vehicles for an enduring s p i r i t u a l communion. The body, rather than being the c a t a l y s t , i s the agency of 145. the s p i r i t ; i t participates i n such communion almost as s p i r i t . For the mystic, and Four Quartets attempts, i n part, to a r t i c u l a t e the experience of the mystic, communion with God does not depend upon the senses, but may be accomplished d i r e c t l y between s p i r i t s . The mystic, the " s a i n t , " 'leaves his body behind on a distant shore' to enjoy u n i f i c a t i o n with God i n his l i f e t i m e , whereas "most of us" can put aside our bodies for such u n i f i c a t i o n only through death and r e b i r t h . Wordsworth's "higher minds" do not seem to achieve the self-negation necessary f o r the transcendence of body of the mystics, though they "hold f i t converse with the s p i r i t u a l world." F i n a l l y , one must return to The Prelude and Four  Quartets as poems, not just visionary or mystical s revelations. In major respects, they are f a r apart a e s t h e t i c a l l y . Yet, at the most fundamental aesthetic l e v e l , they are the same. Each i s an aesthetic whole which evokes i n the reader the sense of joy at the perception of a poetic " t o t a l i t y . " One might argue that any good poem creates t h i s kind of " t o t a l i t y " and response. However, these poems, by dealing primarily with the subject of transcendent experience, make the reader more conscious of form and of the nature of his appreciation of the poems. As with the Bach fugue, one i s l e f t f i n a l l y with the impression of form. While the one poem i s concerned primarily with the process of an experience and the other with the essence, both point to the same end, which i s the poetic form of transcendence. 147. FOOTNOTES 1. William Wordsworth, The Prelude: A Parallel Text, ed. J.C. Maxwell (Harmondsworth, England! Penguin Books, 1 9 7 1 ) , p.479, Bk.XII, 208. This is the edition of the poem which w i l l be referred to hereafter. Cross-reference has been made to the text of 1805 edited by-Ernest De Selincourt and revised by Helen Darbishire (Oxford University Press, 1969), and to the 1850 text edited by Jack Stillinger(Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1965). 2. Ibid., VI, 635-4°. 3. T.S. El i o t , "Dry Salvages," Four Quartets (London: Faber, 1959), p.44, 215-19. "This edition referred to hereafter. 4. Four Quartets. "Li t t l e Gidding," 194. 5. Prelude. IV, 297. 6. Four Quartets, "East Coker," 179-80. 7. Prelude. XIV, 188. 8. William Blake, "The Divine Image," Songs of Innocence. Blake: Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (London: Oxford University Press, 1969), p.117. 9. Four Quartets, "Burnt Norton," 43. 10. "East Coker," 113. 11. "Burnt Norton," 122. 12. "East Coker," 1 2 3 . 13. "Burnt Norton," 160. 14. Ibid., 168. 15. Elizabeth Drew. "Dry Salvages," T.S. E l i o t : The Design of his Poetry (New York: Charles Scribner's, 1949), p.187. 16. " L i t t l e Gidding," 2 3 2 . 143. 17. "Dry Salvages," 214. 13. Ibid., 202. 19. "Dry Salvages," 159. 20. Prelude. I, 302. 21. Ibid., 3 5 7 - 4 0 0 . 22. "Burnt Norton," 124. 2 3 . Ibid., 117. 24. Prelude, V, 335. 25. T.S. Eli o t , "Tradition and the Individual Talent," Selected Essays. 1917-32 ( New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1932), p.11. 26. Prelude. I, 475. 27. Ibid., XIV, 59-60. 23. Ibid.. XIV, 70-71. 2 9 . William Wordsworth, "Preface to Lyrical Ballads. 1802," Lyrical Ballads, ed. R.L. Brett and A.R. Jones (London: Methuen and Co., 1963), p.257. 3 0 . T.S. El i o t , "The Perfect C r i t i c . " The Sacred Wood, 2nd ed. (London: Methuen, 1928), p.8. 31. Thomas De Quincey, Reminiscences of the English Lake  Poets, ed. £"John E j Jordan (London, 1961), pp. 122-25, as quoted in The Prose Works of William Wordsworth, III, ed. W.J.B. Owen and Jane Worthington Smyser (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974), p . 4 3 . 32. Prelude, XII, 234-53. The Parallel Text shows a variant upon this version in lines 244^ 4 5 . It reads, "and to that hour / The characters were fresh and visibl e . ^ I can find no support for this reading in either of the texts previously cited or in the De Selincourt edition of the 1850 text. Therefore, I have bowed to the majority in selecting a reading of the lines. 3 3 . Henry Vaughan, "The World," The Norton Anthology of English Literature, I, ed. M.H. Abrams et a l (New-York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1968), p.976. 1 4 9 . 3 4 . "Dry Salvages," 9 3 - 9 9 . 3 5 . Helen Gardner, "The Music of Four Quartets," The Art °£ E l i o t (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1 9 5 0 ) , p p . 3 o ^ 3 7 . 3 6 . I b i d . , p p . 4 8 - 5 4 . 3 7 . E l i o t , "Tradition and the Individual Talent," p . 1 0 . 3 8 . "Burnt Norton," 3 1 - 3 3 . 3 9 . I b i d . , 6 2 - 6 7 . 4 0 . Northrop Frye, "Dialect of the Tribe," T.S. E l i o t (London: Oliver and Boyd, 1 9 6 3 ) , p . 3 3 . 4 1 . I b i d . , p . 3 3 . 1$0 BIBLIOGRAPHY Blake, William. Blake: Complete Writings. Ed. Geoffrey Keynes. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. Drew, Elizabeth. T.S. E l i o t : The Design cj; MJS Poetry. New York: Scribner's, 1949. E l i o t , T.S. Four Quartets. London: Faber, 1959. E l i o t , T.S. The Sacred Wood. 2nd ed. London: Methuen, 1928. E l i o t , T.S. Selected Essays. 1917-32. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1932. Frye, Northrop. T.S. E l i o t . London: Oliver and Boyd, 1963. Gardner, Helen. The Art of T.S. E l i o t . New York: E.P. D u t t o n , " T 9 " 5 0 T " The Norton Anthology of English L i t e r a t u r e . I. Ed. M.H. Abrams et a l . New York: W.W. Norton, 1968. Wordsworth, William. L y r i c a l Ballads. Ed. R.L. Brett and A.R. Jones. London: Methuen, 1963. Wordsworth, William. The Prelude, or, Growth of a Poet's  Mind. Text of 1805. Ed. Ernest De Selincourt. Rev. Helen Darbishire. I960; rpt. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. Wordsworth, William. The Prelude: A P a r a l l e l Text. Ed. J.C. Maxwell. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1971. Wordsworth, William. The Prose Works of William Wordsworth. I I I . Ed. W.J.B. Owen and Jane Worthington Smyser. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974. Wordsworth, William. Selected Poems and Prefaces. Ed. Jack S t i l l i n g e r . Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1965. 

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