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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., U n i v e r s i t y 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 t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1975  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s  thesis  an advanced degree at the I  Library shall  f u r t h e r agree  for  f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r  the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,  make i t  freely available  that permission  for  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f  this  that  study. thesis  s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or  by h i s of  in p a r t i a l  representatives.  this  written  thesis  f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l  English  University of B r i t i s h  2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1WS  Date  i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  permission.  Department of The  It  June 25, 1975  Columbia  not be allowed without my  ii  ABSTRACT  S t 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. i n a n a r r a t i v e mode; meditative mode.  The former i s an a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l poem the l a t t e r , a metaphysical poem i n a  Yet, each has as i t s focus the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n  of timeless experience.  Wordsworth's "spots of time" are the  expressions of such experience i n The Prelude.  Eliot's  "rose-garden" i s the most f u l l y developed t i m e l e s s 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 i m a g i n a t i v e l y . The Imagination acts upon the e x t e r n a l world, i n t e g r a t i n g a s e r i e s of perceptions i n t o a s i n g l e , transcendent v i s i o n beyond time and space.  This  i n t e g r a t i n g a c t i v i t y of the Imagination i s a c e n t r a l t o p i c i n The Prelude.  Wordsworth i s as i n t e r e s t e d i n the imaginative  process toward transcendence itself.  as i n the state o f timelessness  E l i o t , on the other hand, passes over the process  and concentrates on the nature of the t i m e l e s s s t a t e .  He  i n t e r p r e t s t h i s s t a t e i n terms of C h r i s 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 " I n c a r n a t i o n " 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 C h r i s t i a n poem; secular.  The Prelude fundamentally  The d i f f e r e n c e i n perspective between Wordsworth's emphasis upon process and E l i o t ' s upon a s t a t e of being  may  be seen i n the form of the t i m e l e s s experience i n the two poems.  Wordsworth moves through the "language of the  through concrete and sensual imagery —  sense"  to an a b s t r a c t  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 a b s t r a c t i o n blended w i t h  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 t r a n s -  cendent i n sequence, while E l i o t attempts to convey them simultaneously.  This t h e s i s i s concerned w i t h a n a l y z i n g prosody and o v e r a l l s t r u c t u r e i n the two poems, e s p e c i a l l y as i t r e l a t e s to the presentation of the t i m e l e s s or transcendent moment. The Prelude gives a l i n e a r s t r u c t u r e to experience:  time  progresses i n a n a r r a t i v e sequence i n t e r r u p t e d 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 r a t h e r than progression: are one;  the "way up" and the "way  the end and the beginning 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 t u r n i n g world."  iv TABLE OF CONTENTS  PART I :  The V i s i o n o f the Timeless Experience i The Prelude and Four Quartets n  PART I I :  PART I I I :  PART IV:  1  The Structure o f Time and Timelessness i n The Prelude ( i ) The Framework o f Time  23  ( i i ) The "Spots of Time"  41  The S t r u c t u r e of Theme and V a r i a t i o n s i n Four Quartets ( i ) "Burnt Norton"  72  ( i i ) "East Coker"  93  ( i i i ) "Dry Salvages"  108  ( i v ) " L i t t l e Gidding"  122  Conclusion  136  Footnotes  147  Bibliography  150  1  PART I THE VISION OF THE TIMELESS EXPERIENCE IN THE PRELUDE AND FOUR QUARTETS W i l l i a m Wordsworth and T.S. E l i o t are not of a s i n g l e l i t e r a r y age, nor of s i m i l a r a e s t h e t i c b e l i e f s and p r a c t i c e s . 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 n a r r a t i v e poem that  i s ordered according to a c h r o n o l o g i c a l sequence of events i n the l i f e of the poet;  Four Quartets i s a s e t of meditations  upon a given experience and i s organized according to the p s y c h o l o g i c a l 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 e q u a l l y true t o say t h a t both poems give form to a fundamental p s y c h o l o g i c a l process, that each i s the form of that process.  The Prelude i s an  attempt to t r a c e 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 w i t h i n 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 w i t h s p i r i t , both poems t r e a t the same s u b j e c t .  The c e n t r a l  experience of timelessness i s the same. Moreover, t h i s experience i n c l u d e s not merely an act of mind o r s p i r i t , but o f the e n t i r e 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 —  o f the i n d i v i d u a l .  The Prelude and Four Quartets are founded on the same premise:  that "there are i n our existence spots of time"**  i n which a world of s p i r i t u a l harmony and ecstasy i s revealed to the imagination.  These timeless moments involve the recog-  n i t i o n of a divine force that moves through a l l things, making the universe an integrated whole.  They are timeless  i n the sense that time ceases to exist i n 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.  I t i s probable that time has no r e a l i t y outside  human imagination.  The transformation of time into timeless-  ness occurs because the imagination has extended i t s normal powers of perception to t h e i r ultimate capacity.  Man experiences the divine force of integration through his imagination.  Imagination responds to the phenomenal  world by perceiving r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the objects of that world.  Through i t s impulse to perceive r e l a t i o n s h i p s ,  the imagination integrates; the unity manifested  i t creates on a human scale  i n universal dimensions.  While the imag-  ination i s continually seeing r e l a t i o n s h i p s , i t r a r e l y succeeds i n making of a series of perceptions one harmonious vision.  Such visions are not only rare, they are so t r a n s i t o r y  3. as to be merely momentary.  Yet, they are of such power  f e e l i n g of ecstasy i s so acute —  the  that they i n s p i r e i n  Wordsworth and E l i o t an exalted poetry.  The Prelude and  Four Quartets are centrally the expressions of personal experience with a l i v i n g s p i r i t u a l force.  Each poet, i n  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 i s represented by Wordsworth i n r e l a t i o n to the imaginative process such perception embodies;  i t i s represented by E l i o t i n r e l a t i o n  to t h i s imaginative process and also to the C h r i s t i a n symbol for integration, the "Incarnation."  The concept of unity,  of the fusion of opposing forces, i s expressed by one poet as a mental process, by the other, c h i e f l y as the r e a l i z a t i o n of the "Incarnation":  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 E t e r n i t y , Of f i r s t , and l a s t , and midst, and without end. (The_  Prelude.-VI.635-40)  2  4 The hint h a l f guessed, the g i f t half understood, i s Incarnation. Here the impossible union Of spheres of existence i s actual, Here the past and future Are conquered, and reconciled, (Four Quartets."Dry Salvages."215-19)  The "Incarnation" i s the 'perfected symbol* of integration i n Four Quartets; other, non-Christian imagery.  of the process  i t i s complemented by  The abstract form of "co-exist-  ence" i s another o f the means by which E l i o t defines the timeless experience of integrated perception:  Not the s t i l l n e s s of the v i o l i n , while the note l a s t s , 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" i n an eternal "now" seems to be the same e s s e n t i a l conception of timelessness as Wordsworth's " f i r s t , and l a s t , and midst, and without end."  Wordsworth's "Imagination" i n The Prelude operates upon the world around i t , at times 'half perceiving and half creating' a harmonious v i s i o n of that world.  While the  Imagination i s constantly shaping perception, i t i s most f i n e l y attuned i n contact with Nature.  Nature provides  the i n s p i r a t i o n f o r 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 " s e l f - f o r g e t f u l n e s s W o r d s w o r t h , the perceiver, becomes a part of the world around him.  The l i n e between subject  and object disappears:  That through the growing f a c u l t i e s of sense Doth l i k e an agent of the one great Mind Create, creator and receiver both, Working but i n a l l i a n c e with the works Which i t beholds. I • • (11.256-60)  This i d e n t i f i c a t i o n 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 i n 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 i n 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 f a i t h as does E l i o t ' s acceptance of the f a c t of Incarnation.  Metaphor and symbol are the only means which  can transmute such mysterious powers into wordsl  And even  t h i s language i s a vehicle which E l i o t p e r i o d i c a l l y finds  6  inadequate, "a r a i d on the i n a r t i c u l a t e / With shabbyequipment 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 o p e r a t i o n 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 e x p l i c a b l e :  Dust as we are, the immortal s p i r i t grows L i k e harmony i n music; there i s a dark I n s c r u t a b l e workmanship that r e c o n c i l e s Discordant elements, makes them c l i n g together In one s o c i e t y . . . . ( 1 . 3 4 0 - 4 4 )  He can do no more than a t t r i b u t e the experience of s y n t h e s i s 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 m a n i f e s t a t i o n of i t s operation.  The transformation of  f e a r and pain i n t o an ' a l l - p e r v a d i n g 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 i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h i s v i s i o n i s the c o r r e l a t i o n he e s t a b l i s h e s between the human power of u n i f i c a t i o n and a d i v i n e harmony. The perception of a t o t a l i t y i n which the s u b j e c t i v e and o b j e c t i v e worlds are fused leads Wordsworth to the b e l i e f i n a g r e a t e r "Power," o f which the Imagination i s but an imitation.  This "Power" i s the d i v i n e s p i r i t which  the Imagination to conceive of harmony;  enables  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 c e r t a i n h i g h l y s e n s i t i v e men to aspire to knowledge of the d i v i n e i n a s p i r i t of "communion" w i t h the n a t u r a l world:  Such minds are t r u l y from the D e i t y , 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, h a b i t u a l l y infused Through every image and through every thought, And a l l a f f e c t i o n s by communion r a i s e d From earth to heaven, from human t o d i v i n e , (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 e x p l a i n the process  as he recreates i t , but rather to communicate the essence o f the s p i r i t u a l s t a t e of being achieved both i n the t i m e l e s s moment and i n time.  When he does p h i l o s o p h i z e , he does so  i n a c r y p t i c and oblique way. The meaning o f the opening l i n e s i n "Burnt Norton," f o r example, evolves g r a d u a l l y from the i m a g i s t i c 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 f u t u r e , And time f u t u r e contained i n time past.  8 In E l i o t ' s poem, the f i n a l significance :of the timeless experience i s rendered i n C h r i s t i a n terms of union with God. The integrated perception of the timeless moment i s but a glimpse into a more l a s t i n g " r e a l i t y " 9 of s p i r i t u a l awareness.  The process enacted i n the poem i s that of  transforming a transitory state of being into a permanent one.  The presence of God i n Four Quartets i s f e l t as the  t h i r d partner of Christ and the Holy Ghost, both of whom play an active, symbolic part i n 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 i s too intimate a gesture to make i n a poem which dramatizes the f u l f i l m e n t of an integration of being and awareness of the divine essence.  Although not expressly C h r i s t i a n , Wordsworth's conception of human experience of divine presence i s based on the p r i n c i p l e s of reintegration —  the attainment of an inner  harmony which according to Christian myth was l o s t i n the f a l l from Grace i n Eden —  and of the submission of the s e l f  i n humility to an external force, both of which are fundamental to C h r i s t i a n i t y .  However, one cannot help  f e e l i n g that with respect to the second p r i n c i p l e Wordsworth lacks the necessary self-effacement.  He seems too attracted  to the f a s c i n a t i n g power of his own imagination.  He never  9  reaches i n The Prelude the point of undesiring, of the "dessication" described by E l i o t , which leads to the upward f l i g h t of the s p i r i t .  While he c e r t a i n l y achieves great  elevation of s p i r i t , he does not seem to arrive at the point of  "dessication" i n his downward s p i r i t u a l journey.  Furthermore, h i s d i v i n i t y i s rather too humble to resemble t r u l y the Christian God. the  Wordsworth's God i s e s s e n t i a l l y  r e a l i z a t i o n of the best i n the human s p i r i t .  The  "indwelling" nature of the d i v i n i t y he worships i s a n t i t h e t i c a l to  the mystical separateness of the Christian God i n  Four Quartets.  Wordsworth's path toward the new state of s p i r i t u a l being i s not the "way"'1  1  of darkness, but the "way" of  l i g h t and i t s triumph over despair.  Darkness i s to be  transcended, not c u l t i v a t e d as i t i s i n Four Quartets. The C h r i s t i a n way, and one of the ways i n Four Quartets, i s through suffering, i n which darkness and l i g h t  'co-exist.'  Wordsworth's i s the triumph of l i f e over death; E l i o t ' s , r e b i r t h through death both s p i r i t u a l and actual.  The ultimate darkness i n Four Quartets. "the dark night of the soul," i s the nadir from which s p i r i t u a l enlightenment may come.  Out of the ashes of the purging  f i r e come new l i f e and harmony: are  one."  "And the f i r e and the rose  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 i n harmony with God. This process of s p i r i t u a l journey i s not seen i n terms o f the imagination;  i t i s revealed i n 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 f o r granted by E l i o t i n  Four Quartets.  Rather than imaginative process, he focuses  on the nature of the psychological states — detachment, and indifference* —  'attachment,  i n s p i r i t u a l progress  and the feelings associated with these states. his  purpose t o recreate the moment i n the "rose-garden"  objectively, but psychologically. set  I t i s not  Thus he constructs a  of symbols which w i l l convey the mental, emotional, and  s p i r i t u a l nature of the experience and which w i l l l a t e r be integrated with the C h r i s t i a n symbols of the poem.  Eliot  need not examine the transcendent experience to determine its  causes;  he has a symbology'and a creed which give  meaning to the experience.  Unlike Wordsworth, he i s not  creating a personalized r e l i g i o n , but i s acting out the s p i r i t u a l growth of man within the context of a t r a d i t i o n a l one.  The symbol which forms the centre of E l i o t ' s v i s i o n i s  that which gave r i s e to C h r i s t i a n i t y :  the Incarnation of  Christ, s p i r i t made f l e s h .  point of the turning  "The s t i l l  world," the u n i f i c a t i o n of the rose and the yew, and a l l the  11 other incidences of "co-existence" evolve from t h i s archetypal transformation of s p i r i t into f l e s h and the i n t e r s e c t i o n of time and timelessness i t represents.  The "shaft of sunlight,"  the "winter l i g h t n i n g , " the " w a t e r f a l l , " "the wild thyme," the "music," are a l l incarnations i n Four Quartets. Elizabeth Drew says, "they are a l l an i n v i s i b l e  As  energy  manifesting i t s e l f i n the phenomena of sense."15  The  r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of l i f e and death and the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e b i r t h i n s p i r i t u a l form depend upon the acceptance of the Incarnation as a symbolic, i f not actual, f a c t .  One  can recognize i n The Prelude a kind of incarnation, a divine s p i r i t within the Imagination of man, Incarnation.  but i t i s not the  While The Prelude i s visionary, Four Quartets  i s mystical and r i t u a l i s t i c .  I t i s perhaps the mysticism  of Four Quartets which distinguishes i t most profoundly from The Prelude.  At E l i o t ' s " s t i l l point o f the turning world," where opposites are compatible, "The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree / Are of equal duration."-^ L i f e and death, the beginning and the end, the way of l i g h t and the way of darkness, merge into an integrated v i s i o n o f 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, i s used as a governing process leading toward fusion i n the image of the f i r e and the rose.  In The Prelude, incidences  of f u s i o n appear throughout, a n t i c i p a t i n g the c l i m a c t i c f u s i o n o f the Mount Snowdon episode.  The point of f u s i o n  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 o f the s o u l .  This  f u s i o n i s permanent and absolute, and i t cannot be achieved i n the "unattended moment" o f r e v e l a t i o n 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 l o v e "  through "prayer, observance, d i s c i p l i n e , thought and a c t i o n . E a r t h l y love and common d e s i r e s are transcended by d i v i n e love.  Wordsworth does not leave the f u s i o n o f 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 o f time,' i n terms of the f u s i o n o f extremes.  He makes no d i s t i n c t i o n between the f u s i o n of  images achieved i n the t r a n s i t o r y perception o f t o t a l i t y and the f u s i o n completed i n a permanent s t a t e of i n t e g r a t e d being.  I n 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 t o say  that there are only t r a n s i t o r y moments of awareness i n The Prelude.  The growth o f the poet's mind i s toward a  new 'mode o f Being,* a c o n t i n u i n g consciousness t h a t harmony does e x i s t between the p h y s i c a l and s p i r i t u a l worlds.  This development of consciousness i s very n e a r l y  E l i o t ' s "occupation f o r the s a i n t " ; 1 ^  i t i s a lifetime  process of transforming the unconscious and f l e e t i n g perception o f t o t a l i t y i n t o a constant and more conscious way  13.  of seeing the world.  The l i g h t and the dark are not j u s t  brought to a point o f balance i n such experiences; l i g h t subsumes the darkness i n i t s own radiance.  the  For  Wordsworth, p h y s i c a l death i s not a stage i n the progress toward i n t e g r a t i o n ; such progress. ("And are  f o r E l i o t , i t plays a v i t a l part i n  Death i s an overpowering force i n Four Quartets  the time of death i s every moment").19  Fear and pain  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 f e a r and l o v e , To love as prime and c h i e f , f o r there f e a r ends, Be t h i s a s c r i b e d ; to e a r l y i n t e r c o u r s e , In presence of sublime or b e 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 r a s h l y named by men Who know not what they speak. By love s u b s i s t s A l l l a s t i n g grandeur, by pervading l o v e : (XIV. 162-69)  The young Wordsworth grew up " f o s t e r e d a l i k e by beauty and by fear."20  The "spots of time" which so profoundly  a f f e c t e d h i s conception of h i m s e l f i n r e l a t i o n t o the world e l i c i t e d f e e l i n g s of both joy and t e r r o r .  His d i s t u r b i n g  perception of the black c r a g ! looming over the moonlit 2  lake and the sense o f "huge and mighty forms"(398) i t conveys are as s i g n i f i c a n t as any of h i s 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 i n t o the f e e l i n g  of love which springs from a r e c o g n i t i o n of harmony between  a l l l i v i n g things. imaginative energy.  Love i s the product and the source of Love as the product and the source  appears i n 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 i n the aspect of time Caught i n the form of l i m i t a t i o n Between un-being and being. ("Burnt Norton." 163-68)  S p i r i t u a l love i s not a desire; time.  i t does not progress i n  I t i s the end of desiring, and thus i s timeless.  Earthly love i s "caught i n a form of l i m i t a t i o n " that prevents i t from transcending time and reaching the s t i l l n e s s of s p i r i t u a l love.  This l i m i t e d form of love exists i n the  t r a n s i t i o n a l state between conception and f u l f i l m e n t of the desire, "between un-being and being." The absence of desire and "abstention from movement"  22  constitute the  condition of " i n t e r n a l darkness," 3 the negative "way" 2  toward the s t i l l n e s s , the harmony.  Wordsworth's concept  of a radiant " s p i r i t u a l Love" i s f a r more a t t r a c t i v e and accessible to most than E l i o t ' s "emotionless" Love. Wordsworth's Love retains i t s emotional character;  Eliot's  i s more nearly s p i r i t u a l essence.  In the midst of the glory of the Romantic v i s i o n , one may miss the element of suffering which Wordsworth's "growth"  15. exacts.  Even the misery of the French Revolution i s much  d i l u t e d i n 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 s p i r i t u a l 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 t h e i r presence imaginatively.  The way of darkness does  not exist i n The Prelude with the i n t e n s i t y that i t does i n Four Quartets.  The entry into " i n t e r n a l darkness" i s one way i n Four Quartets;  the other i s by way of the "rose-garden,"  the sudden illumination of the timeless world.  The t o t a l i t y  of experience i s revealed and confirmed i n one glimpse. This revelation of the whole i s not perceived i n progressive stages of time, but at once i n the moment of perception. Rather than following the normal process of seeing the parts i n d i v i d u a l l y 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 i n a l i n e a r fashion i n such  moments, but i s gathered into a moment o f s t a s i s .  The  timeless moments i n both poems are not s u f f i c i e n t i n  16  themselves to s u s t a i n the d e s i r e d harmony of being;  they  i l l u m i n a t e the way, but they cannot be grasped and h e l d , or  even sought.  The "spots o f time" i n v a r i a b l y occur to the  unsuspecting Wordsworth, l u l l e d i n t o p a s s i v i t y by the calm of  h i s surroundings.  S i m i l a r l y , the "rose-garden"  catches  the persona of Four Quartets "unawares": ^ the b i r d c a l l s , 2  the s h a f t of s u n l i g h t f i l l s the p o o l , and the moment i s gone.  Such experiences are but " h i n t s and guesses" of the  nature of the permanent timeless s t a t e .  In Four Quartets.  the growth of being, of s p i r i t u a l consciousness, occurs w i t h i n the c y c l e 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. of  The aging  the boy marks the p h y s i c a l 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 o l d men and by the persona of the poem. a u n i v e r s a l movement.  Their journey through time represents These r e p r e s e n t a t i v e f i g u r e s are  caught i n the continuous f l u x between time and timelessness; they are s t r u g g l i n g to reach "the s t i l l p o i n t of the t u r n i n g world" through time.  The "now"  may only be recognized i n  r e l a t i o n to "time past and time f u t u r e . " time i s i n e v i t a b l e :  The n e c e s s i t y of  17 But only i n time can the moment i n the rose-garden, The moment i n the arbour where the r a i n beat, The moment i n 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 i n The Prelude as i t i s i n Four Quartets.  I t i s the context i n which the growth  of the i n d i v i d u a l occurs.  Wordsworth i s concerned with  timelessness i n human experience as i t r e f l e c t s "Eternity." However, he does not conceive of the "spots of time" as points of i n t e r s e c t i o n with time as does E l i o t , but rather as moments of suspension i n the midst of passing time. Nonetheless, one may detect a s i m i l a r i t y between E l i o t ' s "present moment of the past" and Wordsworth's conception of the history of the i n d i v i d u a l :  . . . 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 o l d stones that cannot be deciphered. ("East Coker." 192-96)  . . history i s a pattern of timeless moments • ( " L i t t l e Gidding." 234-35)  13. • . . . S o f e e l i n g comes i n a i d Of f e e l i n g , and d i v e r s i t y of strength Attends us, i f but once we have been strong. (The Prelude. XII. 269-71)  But by t h e i r [.higher mindsj 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 t o come, Age a f t e r age, t i l l Time s h a l l be no more. (The Prelude. XIV. 107-11).  These sections from The Prelude i l l u s t r a t e the i n t e r relationship of "the spots of time." of f e e l i n g . "  "Feeling comes i n a i d  The experiences of the past are connected to  the experiences o f the present by f e e l i n g ; they are joined with the present as moments of intense awareness which are the foundation stones o f "Being."  A l l these moments  together form the history of one's being, and, ultimately, of a l l beings.  "Converse with the s p i r i t u a l world" i s  not l i m i t e d to any one i n d i v i d u a l or any one place i n 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 l i v i n g history "burning i n every moment."  Like "the spots  of time," E l i o t ' s "intense moment" does not remain an " i s o l a t e d " 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. t h i s sense of the l i v i n g past:  • . . the poet i s not l i k e l y to know what i s to be done unless he l i v e s i n what i s not merely the present, but the present moment of the past, unless he i s conscious, not of what ^ i s dead, but of what i s already l i v i n g . ^  As the past i s r e f l e c t e d i n the present, "the intense moment," by i t s very i n t e n s i t y , revives i n the present consciousness of the i n d i v i d u a l .  The effect, then, i s to  create a history of past, present, and future i n the individual.  Wordsworth's f a i t h that "Time s h a l l be no more" suggests that he, too, foresees a permanent state composed of the "spots of time."  As stated e a r l i e r , death i s not the  medium through which such permanence i s thought to be achieved i n The Prelude.  The medium i s l i f e conducted  on a very  r a r i f i e d plane of s p i r i t u a l "communion" with the world. One  i s given a sense of the f l e s h made s p i r i t i n some  distant sphere of existence when men beings.  l i v e as s p i r i t u a l  Wordsworth seems to be implying immortality for  mortal man.  However, i t i s more l i k e l y that he does not  conceive of the i d e a l of immortality as an a c t u a l i t y , but as an emblem of a form of consciousness to which men aspire.  may  I t i s clear that his "higher minds" have acquired  a status that enables them to function as integrated beings i n time as well as i n the timeless moments:  20.,  They from t h e i r n a t i v e 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 i n e v i t a b l e mastery, L i k e angels stopped upon the wing by sound Of harmony from Heaven's remotest spheres. Them the enduring and the t r a n s i e n t both Serve to e x a l t ; they b u i l d up greatest t h i n g s From l e 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 e x t r a o r d i n a r y c a l l s To rouse them; i n a world of l i f e they l i v e , By s e n s i b l e impressions not e n t h r a l l e d , But by t h e i r quickening impulse made more prompt To hold f i t converse w i t h the s p i r i t u a l world, And w i t h the generations of mankind Spread over time, past, present, and to come, Age a f t e r age, t i l l Time s h a l l be no more. Such minds are t r u l y from the D e i t y , 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, h a b i t u a l l y i n f u s e d Through every image and through every thought, And a l l a f f e c t i o n s by communion r a i s e d From earth to heaven, from human to d i v i n e ; Hence endless occupation f o r the S o u l , Whether d i s c u r s i v e 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 f o r e s i g h t need not f e a r , Most worthy then of t r u s t when most i n t e n s e . Hence, amid i l l s that vex and wrongs that crush Our hearts — i f here the words of Holy Writ May w i t h 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 v a i n . (XIV. 93-129)  The "endless occupation of the S o u l " 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 a c t i o n " :  21  • • • • But to apprehend The point of i n t e r s e c t i o n of the t i m e l e s s With time, i s an occupation f o r t h e s a i n t — No occupation e i t h e r , but something given And taken, i n a l i f e t i m e s death i n l o v e , Ardour and s e l f l e s s n e s s and s e l f - s u r r e n d e r . 1  ("Dry Salvages," 200-05)  The f a c t t h a t Wordsworth r e s o r t s 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," " d i v i n e , " "Soul," "peace t h a t passeth understanding" —  draws h i s conception of "higher minds"  very close to that of a s a i n t .  Such "minds" seem t o be  not j u s t good men, but beings who extend the normal human c a p a c i t i e s to the p o i n t o f partaking i n ' d i v i n e power.'  However,  they do not have c a p a c i t i e s beyond those a t t a i n a b l e by any deeply s e n s i t i v e , v i s i o n a r y human being.  According t o  C h r i s t i a n myth, the s a i n t i s not merely attuned t o the s p i r i t u a l world, he i s somehow blessed with d i v i n e essence. His powers are superhuman, whereas those o f "higher minds" are but human, i f e x t r a o r d i n a r y . The aura of mysticism surrounding the s a i n t 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 c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n a s u b t l e way i n the nature  of the s a i n t ' s occupation: and c o n t i n u a l s a c r i f i c e .  the l i f e of negation of s e l f Although there i s an element o f  s e l f l e s s n e s s i n Wordsworth's d e s c r i p t i o n , there i s not the u t t e r negation required of the s a i n t . 'conscious' "Of Whom they are";  His "minds" are  they are " i n f u s e d " with  a sense of the e a r t h l y and n o n - s p i r i t u a l .  Moreover, t h e i r  22  •'cheerfulness" i s not i n keeping with the exalted nature of the saint.  This comparison i s not intended to reduce  Wordsworth's concept i n r e l a t i o n to the Christian doctrine of sainthood.  Rather, i t demonstrates the very r e a l  correspondence  between the ideas of the two poems, while  pointing out the fundamental d i s t i n c t i o n between the two: Four Quartets i s a Christian poem;  The Prelude i s not.  Four Quartets represents a human struggle which functions within a Christian context;  The Prelude traces the growth  of a man ordering the world l a r g e l y i n his own terms. Although Wordsworth i s versed i n the Christian  tradition  and converts h i s pantheism to C h r i s t i a n i t y over the years, he i s by no means ever the orthodox Christian that E l i o t is.  One may carry the analogy between Wordsworth and E l i o t  on an i d e o l o g i c a l l e v e l up to a point just short of f a i t h i n the Incarnation and the other mysteries o f Christianity.  The mystery of Incarnation cannot be solved  by personal experience; E l i o t ' s poem.  i t must be accepted as a fact of  The concept becomes acceptable f o r the non-  believer only i f he can conceive of the existence of such mysteries i n the human psyche, or i n the Imagination as Wordsworth describes i t .  23.  PART I I THE STRUCTURE OF TIME AND TIMELESSNESS IN THE PRELUDE  ( i ) The Framework of Time  The Prelude i s organized  as a narrative.  Events i n  the poem follow a chronological sequence i n the l i f e of the maturing Wordsworth.  Measured time provides the  framework of and natural continuity f o r the poem. Four Quartets. on the other hand, does not f a l l into a pattern of incidents arranged i n time.  The moment i n the  "rose-garden" i s not f i x e d to some point i n the l i f e t i m e of an i n d i v i d u a l ; i t may occur as a revelation to the c h i l d or the mature man.  The experiences and r e f l e c t i o n s  of the poem revolve around the centre point of the i n t e r s e c t i o n of time and timelessness, of the turning world."  "fcfaei s t i l l point  In The Prelude, because the  organization i s chronological, the structure i s e s s e n t i a l l y l i n e a r , rather than c i r c u l a r as i s that of Four Quartets.  The difference i n o v e r a l l structure of the two . poems i s determined, i n large part, by the immense length of The Prelude.  Wordsworth had to s e t t l e 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 i s autobiographical, and as such i s dominated and u n i f i e d by the force of a single personality.  Secondly, the events of Wordsworth's  l i f e are presented i n a sequential narrative. narrative —  the t e l l i n g of a story —  The  moves i n time and  provides the sense of continuity which carries the growth metaphor fundamental to the poem.  As Wordsworth's  growth i n The Prelude i s 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 r i v e r ;  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"; presence.  Nature;  the "divine"  The r i v e r ' s progress corresponds to the pro-  gression of time; be timeless.  the sea's movement seems almost to  The growth of the poet's mind i s measured  by the movement of the streams and r i v e r s i n the poem. However, within the gradual progress of mental growth, there are moments of revelation; time" i n which time i s suspended.  there are "spots of In these moments, the  mind no longer follows the gradual progression suggested by the stream metaphor;  i t acquires the power more t r u l y  represented by the 'working of the s e a . ' works l i k e the sea —  2 0  And the mind  that i s , i t manifests i t s capacity  f o r an integration o f perception that i s timeless -- i n  these "spots of time."  The sea as a metaphor i s much  l e s s c l e a r l y defined than the r i v e r ;  i t i s a necessary  counterpart t o the movement of growth conveyed by the r i v e r f o r i t encompasses a power beyond that o f the river.  The r i v e r as a metaphorical s t r u c t u r e does not  suggest the element of r e g r e s s i o n i n human development nor the sudden surge o f r e v e l a t i o n . the l i f e t i m e ' s struggle i n time;  The r i v e r represents  the sea, the element  of the e t e r n a l w i t h i n t h a t l i f e t i m e .  The a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l , c o n f e s s i o n a l poem can be an i n t i m a t e , sometimes agonizing experience f o r the reader. He may f e e l unable to e x t r i c a t e himself from the persona l i t y and experiences of the poet.  An uncomfortable  intimacy i s demanded by such tormented i n d i v i d u a l s as S y l v i a P l a t h o r John Berryraan.  Wordsworth i s not  tormented, of course, but he does recognize the n e c e s s i t y of a e s t h e t i c d i s t a n c i n g i n h i s use of the " F r i e n d . " His l o n g , personal poem would be unbearable without the sense t h a t he i s t a l k i n g to a s p e c i f i c person, someone w i t h whom he may share h i s experiences.  The reader can  i d e n t i f y w i t h another i n d i v i d u a l i n the poem besides Wordsworth.  I n a d d i t i o n , the apostrophes to the F r i e n d  provide points o f entry t o and departure from sequences i n the n a r r a t i v e and o f f e r r e l i e f from the c h r o n i c l i n g of events and the expression of f e e l i n g s .  The Prelude begins w i t h a rhapsodic hymn to Nature c o n t a i n i n g a number of the dominant Nature images of the poem:  "green f i e l d s , " "azure sky," " s o f t breeze,"  "grove," "stream."  Wordsworth then describes a "breeze"  w i t h i n him which 'corresponds Nature.  1  t o t h e " s o f t breeze" o f  The s t i r r i n g w i t h i n 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 c e n t r a l theme of the poem:  the "correspondence"  between Nature and the Imagination.  At t h i s p o i n t , the  " F r i e n d " i s introduced and the n a r r a t i v e s t a r t s w i t h the r e c o l l e c t i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r experience.  The mood i s  t r a n q u i l and the scene p a s t o r a l , a combination which recurs throughout the poem.  The n a r r a t i v e s t y l e o f t h i s s e c t i o n  ( 6 2 - 7 0 ,  i s of a d i s t i n c t order which reappears l a t e r ;  7 5 - 3 7 )  i t i s not  the mode of expression used to t e l l the story o f Wordsworth's experience w i t h the French R e v o l u t i o n * i n Books IX-XI.  I t does not describe an event so much as  i t conveys a state of being. as the m e d i t a t i v e mode.  I s h a l l characterize i t  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 n a r r a t i v e one of the l a t e r books i s q u i t e c l e a r .  However, t h e d i f f e r e n c e  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 .  I n f a c t , some o f 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 a c t i o n , other than the mental one o f contemplation.  Wordsworth comes i n t o  the "green and shady p l a c e , " s i t s down and muses, goes on to another grove of t r e e s , muses, and then sets out once more at sunset.  The contemplative moments are  c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i m a g i s t i c l i n e s i n which s i l e n c e and stillness prevail:  ' Twas autumn, and a c l e a r and p l a c i d day, With warmth, as much as needed, from a sun Two hours d e c l i n e d towards the west; a day With s i l v e r clouds, and sunshine on the grass, And i n the s h e l t e r e d and s h e l t e r i n g 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 s i g h t 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 r u s t l e d , o r at once To the bare earth dropped w i t h a s t a r t l i n g sound. (30-35)  The f i r s t passage describes a s e r i e s of sense impressions:  the warmth of the day, the d e c l i n i n g 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  i n t o "a p e r f e c t s t i l l n e s s , " the s t i l l n e s s o f the contemplative mind.  The occurrence of the word s h e l t e r  on either side of "and" imitates the e f f e c t of balance and harmony i n the moment.  Time ceases to e x i s t .  The  second passage captures the s t i l l n e s s by comparing i t to the " s t a r t l i n g " effect of a f a l l i n g acorn.  Such an  incident i s " s t a r t l i n g " only i n a state of meditative concentration.  The impressionistic and representative  nature of the description i n such moments of meditation i n The Prelude may be distinguished from the detailed descriptions of incidents i n 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 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 . But now, l i k e one who rows, Proud of his s k i l l , to reach a chosen point With an unswerving l i n e , I f i x e d my view Upon the summit of a craggy ridge, The horizon's utmost boundary, f o r 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 s i l e n t lake, And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat Went heaving through the water l i k e 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 i n s t i n c t 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 l i k e a l i v i n g 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 d e s c r i b i n g a transformation, not a moment of " p e r f e c t s t i l l n e s s . "  The impact of the  d e s c r i p t i o n i s created by the v i v i d n e s s o f the imagery as i n the meditative s e c t i o n .  This time, the imagery i s  portioned out over a whole scene;  the l i m i t s o f the per-  ception are defined i n terms o f v e r t i c a l and h o r i z o n t a l proportions:  the sky, the h o r i z o n , and the lake are l a i d  out as i f on a canvas.  The r e l a t i o n s h i p o f the s t a r s  and the moon i n the sky and the boat on the lake i s s y s t e m a t i c a l l y developed i n t o a complete v i s u a l p a t t e r n . The imagery unfolds i n the n a r r a t i v e progression u n t i l the scene i s a c c u r a t e l y and completely described. Wordsworth's purpose i s not merely t o describe a v i s u a l p i c t u r e , but t o recreate an experience.  The images o f  the g l i t t e r i n g lake and the black crag are associated with f e e l i n g s as are those o f the "sunshine on the grass" and the "grove."  However, i n the meditative s e c t i o n , the imagery  corresponds w i t h a s i n g l e emotion or s t a t e of being. i s a u n i f o r m i t y o f imagery and emotion.  There  I n the contrast  between the l i g h t on the lake and the darkness o f the peak, c o n f l i c t i n g emotions are brought together; s e r e n i t y i s transformed  into fear.  a state of  The sense o f s t i l l n e s s  e s t a b l i s h e d 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 t o become conscious o f a r e l a t i o n s h i p between opposites.  By r e c r e a t i n g the scene so e x a c t l y , the  30. poet enables the reader to comprehend the experience and i t s effect.  He wants not to describe a contemplative  s t a t e c h a r a c t e r i z e d by s t i l l n e s s , but t o r e c r e a t e an experience i n which movement takes place i n the p h y s i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l worlds.  Book I as a whole i s h i g h l y i m a g i s t i c and emotional. Much o f the book i s concerned w i t h conveying the boy's imaginative response to the sensual world. i s on an emotional l e v e l .  This  response  Although there are moments o f  p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , these are g e n e r a l l y the r e 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 t u r n generates the mental and s p i r i t u a l capacities.  This process i s rendered  the appropriate form of sensual imagery.  through  Book I I continues  i n t h i s s t y l e f o r i t , t o o , i s d e a l i n g with the childhood i n t e r a c t i o n with the world.  The metaphor o f 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 r e f e r s to "the. r i v e r o f my mind" (209). r i v e r i s personified:  I n Book I , the  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 h i s murmurs with my nurse's song, And, from h i s a l d e r shades and rocky f a l l s , And from h i s fords and shallows, sent a voice That flowed along my dreams? • . . (269-74)  The a s s o c i a t i o n of the r i v e r w i t h the mental processes i s begun: dreams.  1  the "voice" of the r i v e r 'flowed along h i s This gentle voice of the r i v e r l a t e r becomes a  "roar of waters, t o r r e n t s , streams / Innumerable, r o a r i n g w i t h one v o i c e " ? i 2  on Mount Snowdon.  n  the moment of transcendent  perception  The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the r i v e r w i t h  the imaginative process i s r e a f f i r m e d and r e f i n e d i n another s e c t i o n 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 n a t a l 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 f a r t h e r from i t s a c t u a l character i n Nature;  by Book XIV, i t has  become the a b s t r a c t 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 d i s c u s s a b s t r a c t i o n s such as " s p i r i t u a l Love," "Imagination,"  32. and "Reason" w i t h a p r e c i s i o n made p o s s i b l e 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 f u s i n g the metaphor of the r i v e r w i t h the growth of the Imagination i s achieved by a c a r e f u l e v o l u t i o n 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 s t a t e of mind f i n a l l y become 'emblems' of t h a t f e e l i n g or s t a t e j u s t as the 'workings' of Nature became "the emblem o f a mind / That feeds upon infinity."  2 8  Wordsworth i s c a r e f u l l y a t t e n t i v e to passing time i n h i s n a r r a t i o n of events.  He can only r e c r e a t e the  suspension of time i n the "spots" i f he has f i r s t establ i s h e d the presence o f time.  The r i v e r suggests a movement  of time, a movement which corresponds to the a c t u a l 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 t h a t i t seems unaffected by time, and thus nearly timeless i n i t s e l f .  This t i m e l e s s aspect of the  r i v e r i m p l i e s 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  individual.  Furthermore, maturation i n one i n d i v i d u a l  i s not the process of a s i n g l e l i f e t i m e , but o f "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 t o measure time i n the poem.  S p e c i f i c references  to the seasons, to the time of day, to p o i n t s 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 f e e l i n g of the timeless world of imaginative experience, i s f i l l e d with e x p l i c i t 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 i n the grove  takes place i n 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 l a s t s "three days"(106).  Wordsworth l a t e r  describes youthful adventures of "bathing of a summer's day" (290) and wandering "among the mountain slopes'* where f r o s t had "snapped / The l a s t 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 h i s "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 " f r o s t y season, when the sun / Was are  set"(425-26).  His childhood pleasures  inevitably linked to the seasonal and c e l e s t i a l cycles:  "the  year / Did summon us i n h i s d e l i g h t f u l  "the  changeful earth . . .  round"(477-78);  on my mind had stamped / The  faces of the moving year"(559-61).  These cycles are perhaps  more prominent i n Book I than i n any section o f The Prelude,  but they do appear with r e g u l a r i t y elsewhere, e s p e c i a l l y i n the childhood remembrances of the poem.  Time i s measured i n the same terms i n Book I I :  "From  week to week, from month to month, we l i v e d / A round of tumult"(8-9). to time.  Many of the books open with some a l l u s i o n  Book I I I begins:  " I t was a dreary morning";  Book IV, "Bright was the summer's noon"; were fading";  VI, "The leaves  VII, "Six changeful years have vanished";  X, " I t was a beautiful and s i l e n t day"; and so on. Books IX through XI are p a r t i c u l a r l y associated'with h i s t o r i c a l time;  they are books which deal with the actions of men  set i n a s p e c i f i c time and place.  Seasonal and c e l e s t i a l  time are l i t t l e considered during the course of such actions.  The temporal setting, whether i t i s seasonal,  h i s t o r i c a l , or chronological, i s the foundation f o r the timeless moments of the poem.  The timeless i s not  comprehensible except i n r e l a t i o n to time:  "Only through  time time i s conquered."  While the general mode of The Prelude i s narrative, there i s considerable v a r i e t y of expression within that mode.  In addition to the meditative and descriptive  passages already discussed, the poem contains two kinds of narrative s t y l e :  one which recounts external events  and one which describes the course of a mental or  emotional process:  In France, the men, who, f o r t h e i r desperate ends, Had plucked up mercy by the r o o t s , were g l a d 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 f o e s , The goaded land waxed mad; the crimes o f few Spread i n t o madness o f the many; b l a s t s 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 s o r t The months passed on, r e m i s s l y , not given up To w i l f u l a l i e n a t i o n from the r i g h t , Or walks of open scandal, but i n vague And loose i n d i f f e r e n c e , easy l i k i n g s , aims Of a low p i t c h — duty and z e a l dismissed, Yet Nature, o r a happy course of t h i n g s Not doing i n t h e i r stead the needful work. The memory l a n g u i d l y r e v o l v e d , the heart Reposed i n noontide r e s t , the i n n e r pulse Of contemplation almost f a i l e d t o beat. ( I I I . 324-34)  Both passages are prosaic and r e l a t i v e l y f r e e o f sensual imagery.  The imagery and metaphor which do e x i s t appeal  l a r g e l y to the i n t e l l e c t r a t h e r than t o the emotions. Figures o f speech such as "the men, who, . . . had plucked up mercy by the r o o t s , " "Tyrants," "strong as demons," and " b l a s t s / 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" d e a l with a b s t r a c t i o n s r a t h e r than w i t h concrete o b j e c t s .  One has to have a concept of "mercy,"  of "demons," o f " h e l l " and "heaven" to complete the s i m i l e or metaphor, r a t h e r than u s i n g the metaphor t o 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 t r a c k / Of s p a r k l i n g l i g h t . " of the many i n t o the one — poem —  The f u s i o n  the c e n t r a l process of the  i s given form i n the sensual world.  I n the  second passage, which describes Wordsworth's personal h i s t o r y , the tone i s more i n f o r m a l and the s t y l e s i m p l e r . Emotions are named —  "indifference," "zeal" —  rather  than conveyed through a b s t r a c t f i g u r e s of speech.  Heart  and mind are j o i n e d i n the metaphor which compares "the i n n e r pulse / Of contemplation" to the heartbeat. However, such a metaphor f u n c t i o n s 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 o f expression i n The Prelude which i s not s t r i c t l y n a r r a t i v e nor d e s c r i p t i v e nor meditative.  I t i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l s t y l e , i n which the  poet r e f l e c t s upon u n i v e r s a l themes, not p a r t i c u l a r experiences o r f e e l i n g s .  P a r t i c u l a r experiences,  such as the "spots o f time," lead Wordsworth to formulate a philosophy of general t r u t h s , " 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  first  s e c t i o n i n t h e f o l l o w i n g e x e m p l i f i e s Wordsworth at h i s most p h i l o s o p h i c a l ;  the second, the way i n which he  blends the p a r t i c u l a r and the concrete w i t h the general and the a b s t r a c t :  • . . . V i s i o n a r y power Attends the motions o f 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 t h e r e , 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 f l a s h e s , and with g l o r y not t h e i r own. (V. 595-605)  . . . • The immeasurable height Of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The s t a t i o n a r y b l a s t s of w a t e r f a l l s , And i n the narrow rent at every t u r n Winds thwarting winds, bewildered and f o r l o r n , The t o r r e n t s shooting from the c l e a r 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 s i c k s i g h t And giddy prospect of the r a v i n g 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 o f one mind, the features Of the same f a c e , blossoms upon one t r e e ; Characters o f the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of E t 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 o f the former i s remarkable f o r i t s abstractness:  words such as " v i s i o n a r y , " "mystery,"  "forms and substances," r a p i d succession.  " d i v i n e , " and " g l o r y " appear i n  Coupled w i t h the vagueness of the  imagery, t h i s a b s t r a c t vocabulary creates an e f f e c t o f intangibility.  Wordsworth seems t o be grasping f o r a  concept which i s j u s t out o f reach.  The very mystery of an  unseen power i s the q u a l i t y which he has attempted to capture i n p o e t i c form.  One need only examine the images  to e s t a b l i s h that the r e l a t i v e opaqueness of the passage i s intended. " V i s i o n a r y power" i s associated with "viewless winds," "shadowy t h i n g s , " 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 e x i s t s i n darkness or shadow;  i t i s l a t e r c h a r a c t e r i z e d 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 d i v i n e , " when the "forms and substances" are no longer i n shadow, but become "objects recognized." Without d e f i n i n g the power, the forms and substances, or the objects which they become, Wordsworth has reproduced the transformation of p o e t i c v i s i o n from darkness t o l i g h t , from mystery to r e c o g n i t i o n . an a b s t r a c t concept here;  " V i s i o n a r y power" i s s t i l l  and i t i s t h i s abstractness  which i s the subject o f these l i n e s .  But a b s t r a c t i o n i s  a part of the imaginative process, a point E l i o t makes i n d i s c u s s i n g the a b s t r a c t 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 r e q u i r e a d e l i b e r a t e suppression of analogies of v i s u a l or muscular experience, which i s none the l e s s an e f f o r t of i m a g i n a t i o n . ' 0  39.  The  second passage becomes increasingly abstract  and  philosophical, beginning with a description of a s p e c i f i c incident and incident.  ending with a symbolic interpretation of that  The nature of the imagery i n the  description  i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n r e l a t i o n to t h i s development. perception  i s a rather bizarre one;  The  i t i s not a c a r e f u l l y  ordered and panoramic view of the lake and the black crag. Wordsworth c a r r i e s his reader from woods to waterfalls to torrents to rocks to " d r i z z l i n g crags" to a stream and f i n a l l y to "the Heavens."  I t i s a dizzying journey  from one violent image to another. possessed of some madness:  Nature seems to be  the waterfalls are  winds are "thwarting winds," "torrents" are from the sky,'  "stationary,"  'shooting  the rocks speak, the stream i s "raving."  However, one  can also detect a note of contrast to a l l  t h i s frenzy.  The woods are decaying without decaying,  the w a t e r f a l l seems to be motionless, the winds create a s t a s i s by opposing one  another.  Such language suggests  that there i s s t i l l n e s s i n the midst of motion, "peace" i n the midst of "tumult."  The metaphors embody the  of the i n t a n g i b l e — "immeasurable height," blasts" —  The  with the tangible —  synthesis  "stationary  woods, w a t e r f a l l s .  description of t h i s scene i s obviously  i s t i c , a r e f l e c t i o n of the poet's state of mind.  impressionHis  own  bewilderment i s transferred to the winds and torrents  and  crags.  The landscape i s not so much an a c t u a l one as a  mental one. I n such d e s c r i p t i o n s , Wordsworth approaches E l i o t ' s symbolic representation of n a t u r a l 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 w i t h the e f f e 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 t e n s i o n o f opposites —  to symbolize h i s concept of u n i v e r s a l harmony.  came  The purely  p h i l o s o p h i c a l statement of the l a s t s i x l i n e s evolves from the s e n s a t i o n a l experience of the preceding ones.  Although  the f i r s t p h i l o s o p h i c a l passage i s not derived from an experience, i t , too, i s rendered fused with the t a n g i b l e .  i n terms o f the i n t a n g i b l e  Such a blend i s the only p o e t i c  means p o s s i b l e f o r a r t i c u l a t i n g a b s t r a c t i o n s .  Neither  Wordsworth nor E l i o t i s i n t e r e s t e d i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l argument per se;  they are concerned with c r e a t i n g a  poetic form which w i l l convey t h e i r perception o f the "co-existence" o f two "spheres of e x i s t e n c e . "  Such an  abstract v i s i o n i s r e a l i z e d by a poetry of counterbalance or synthesis of opposites.  I n Wordsworth's case, the  f u s i o n o f images i s the usual means of r e c o n c i l i n g opposites: darkness.  Love a s s i m i l a t e s f e a r ;  l i g h t absorbs the  For E l i o t , a balance of oppositions i s  achieved i n the imagery — equal d u r a t i o n  1  'the rose and the yew are of  — more commonly than f u s i o n — "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 i n which the timeless may  timeless moment may  be set.  The  be approximated to during the p a s s i v i t y  of meditation, but only f u l l y r e a l i z e d i n the "spots of time."  Wordsworth's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of these "spots"  conveys t h e i r e f f e c t s , but not t h e i r character:  There are i n our existence spots of time, That with d i s t i n c t pre-eminence r e t a i n A renovating v i r t u e , whence, depressed By f a l s e 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 i n v i s i b l y repaired; A v i r t u e , 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 f a l l e n . This e f f i c a c i o u s s p i r i t c h i e f l y lurks Among those passages of l i f e that give Profoundest knowledge to what point, and how, The mind i s l o r d and master — outward sense The obedient servant of her w i l l . Such moments Are scattered everywhere, taking t h e i r date From our f i r s t childhood. • . •  (XII.  208-25)  One would be mistaken to think that these l i n e s provide a complete description of the experience l a b e l l e d "spots of time."  They are c h i e f l y concerned with two things:  the "renovating v i r t u e " of such experience and the  supremacy of the mind over the senses.  Neither of these  aspects o f the "spots of time" i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the nature of the experience i t s e l f , or to i t s t i m e l e s s quality.  The r e a l i z a t i o n that the mind i s supreme i s a  s i g n i f i c a n t i n s i g h t , but one t h a t succeeds at some distance the perception which i n s p i r e d i t .  The character  of the "spots of time" can be determined only by studying c e r t a i n passages i n The Prelude which seem to describe s i m i l a r experiences, such as the "gibbet" and "Christmastime" i n c i d e n t s , both of which are i d e n t i f i e d as "spots of time."  There are seven i n c i d e n t s which would seem t o have some c l a i m to be "spots o f time," moments o f some v i v i d perception and i n s i g h t : lake(I. (IV.  3 5 7 - 4 0 0 ) ;  3 7 9 - 4 6 9 ) ;  the owls(V. chasm"(VI.  the "summer evening" on the  the encounter w i t h the s o l d i e r  the d e s c r i p t i o n o f the "Boy" mimicking  3 6 4 - $ $ ) ;  6 1 7 - 4 0 ) ;  the journey through the "narrow the "gibbet" scene(XII.  2 2 5 - 8 6 ) ;  the "Christmas-time" ascent o f t h e " c r a g " ( X I I . the climb on "Mount Snowdon"(XIV.  1 1 - 8 6 ) .  2 8 7 - 3 3 5 ) ;  There are  other b r i e f s e c t i o n s i n the poem which a l l u d e to o r describe i n some shorthand form the experience of t i m e l e s s ness, o f harmony o f perception.  However, they need to be  r e f e r r e d t o these f u l l y developed d e s c r i p t i o n s of the whole experience — of both the experience and the  4 3  meaning —  i n 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 o f heart, a joyous band Of schoolboys hastening to t h e i r distant home Along the margin of the moonlight sea — We beat with thundering hoofs the l e v e l sand. ( 5 9 4 - 6 0 3 )  This childhood remembrance comes a f t e r a detailed chronicle of the bloody events of the French Revolution; followed by a resumption of t h i s chronicle.  i t is  Surrounded  by the actions of history, t h i s moonlight adventure seems to be suspended i n 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 r e c a l l a s p i r i t of innocence and youthful s e n s i t i v i t y i n the midst o f the d i s i l l u s i o n i n g experience of history.  This r e c o l l e c t i o n i s given further poignancy  by i t s association with the memories o f actual timeless moments.  Of the seven experiences c i t e d , the meeting with the s o l d i e r should probably not be described as a 'spot of  time' i n that i t does not involve the reshaping of the sensual world by the Imagination as do the others. Yet, the stoicism of the s o l d i e r represents to Wordsworth the mastery of mind over body and a triumph over suffering. Moreover, the incident shares i n common with the others several c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s .  F i r s t , i t i s an experience, as  d i s t i n c t from a meditation o r a series of narrative events o r a passage of philosophy;  i t i s something which  happened once which had a d e f i n i t e beginning and ending. The experience i s of s u f f i c i e n t duration and i n t e n s i t y to j u s t i f y the exalted interpretations which are placed upon the "spots of time."  Perhaps the most s i g n i f i c a n t  aspect of t h i s incident i n r e l a t i o n to the "spots" i s i t s beginning:  My homeward course l e d up a long ascent, Where the road's watery surface, to the top Of that sharp r i s i n g , g l i t t e r e d to the moon And bore the semblance of another stream Stealing with s i l e n t lapse to j o i n the brook That murmured i n the vale. A l l else was s t i l l ; No l i v i n g thing appeared i n 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, s l i p p i n g back into the shade Of a thick hawthorn, I could mark him w e l l , Myself unseen. . .  (379-91)  The t r a v e l l e r i s concentrating on h i s journey, l u l l e d into p a s s i v i t y by the peacefulness of his surroundings;  Wordsworth translates t h i s mood into a s e r i e s of sense impressions, centreing upon water imagery., The only sound i s that o f "the flowing water's peaceful voice"; the only l i g h t provided by the g l i t t e r i n g moon.' 1  The  t r a n q u i l l i t y i s completed by the v i r t u a l absence of motion:  " A l l else was s t i l l . "  The s i m i l a r i t y of mood  and scene to the incident on the lake i s quite s t r i k i n g : the "moon" i s " g l i t t e r i n g " on the lake;  the only sound  i s the lapping of the water against the oars; moving thing, the boat and the oars;  the only  the appearance of  the black crag i s as s t a r t l i n g and unexpected as that of \ the "uncouth shape."  A section from the Mount Snowdon 'spot of time  1  may also be s i g n i f i c a n t l y compared to the above passage:  . . . . With forehead bent Earthward, as i f i n 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 i n s t a n t l y a l i g h t upon the t u r f F e l l l i k e a f l a s h , and l o l as I looked up, The Moon hung naked i n a firmament Of azure without cloud, and at my f e e t Rested a s i l e n t sea of hoary mist. (XIV.  23-42)  46 The emphasis here i s upon the physical a c t i v i t i e s of the climber p r i o r to his perception i n the moonlight. the moon and the s t i l l n e s s are there; mood i s one of p a s s i v i t y .  Nonetheless,  and the predominant  The world illuminated by moonlight  s t r i k e s the climber with the same suddenness as the black crag and the "uncouth shape" struck him i n the e a r l i e r experiences.  One wonders why moonlight would seem to be an  i n t e g r a l part of such perceptions. Perhaps i t i s darkness thrown i n r e l i e f by l i g h t that produces the catalyst f o r a new and s t a r t l i n g perception of the world.  F u l l sunlight  i s somehow too brazen most of the time, although some of the "spots" do indeed occur i n daylight.  The sunlight i n  such experiences does not seem to play a s i g n i f i c a n t role i n the perception, however.  The common denominator i n the  three incidents examined and i n 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  v i s i o n , " t o t a l i t y , " cannot be  experienced through a deliberate act.  The sudden i l l u m i n a t i o n  and the intense f e e l i n g which accompanies  i t come upon the  conscious mind of the perceiver "unawares":  47, Then sometimes, i n that silence while he hung Listening, 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, 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 o f time" which describes the s e n s i t i v i t y of the "Boy" reacting to Nature. revelation.  I t describes the state of being p r i o r to The state of preparation involves primarily  an attitude of relaxation i n which one i s e n t i r e l y open to suggestion.  Wordsworth further characterizes t h i s  condition i n a discussion with Thomas De Quincey:  I have remarked, from my e a r l i e s t 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 t h i s intense condition of vigilance should suddenly relax, at that moment any b e a u t i f u l , any impressive v i s u a l object, or c o l l e c t i o n of objects, f a l l i n g upon the eye, i s carried to the heart with a power not known under any other circumstances. Just now, my ear was placed upon the s t r e t c h , i n 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 f o r t h i s night, at the very instant when the organs of attention were a l l at once relaxing from t h e i r tension, the bright star hanging i n the a i r 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 q u a l i t y about the meeting w i t h the s o l d i e r i s t h a t i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e i s l a r g e l y l e f t unstated.  The  i n c i d e n t c l o s e s with "Back I cast a look, / And l i n g e r e d near the door a l i t t l e space, / Then sought w i t h quiet heart my d i s t a n t  home"(467-69).  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 n a r r a t i v e and d e s c r i p t i v e i n a manner common to the "spots o f time."  However, the d e s c r i p t i o n i s n e i t h e r as  i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c nor as sensual as the other "spots." Nor does the s e c t i o n modulate into the p h i l o s o p h i c a l mode i n order to analyze the meaning o f the experience with the s o l d i e r .  I f any such d i s c u s s i o n 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 f o l l o w i n g book upon "Man, / Earth's paramount Creature! (V.  4 - 5 ) .  The i n c i d e n t o f the "Boy" and the owls i s the b r i e f e s t of the "spots," a compressed v e r s i o n 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 i n c i d e n t .  A l l the necessary i n g r e d i e n t s f o r a  'spot o f time' are present:  49.  There was a Boy: ye knew him w e l l , ye c l i f f s And i s l a n d s of Winander! — many a time At evening, when the e a r l i e s t s t a r s began To move along the edges of the h i l l s , R i s i n g or s e t t i n g , would he stand alone Beneath the t r e e s or by the glimmering l a k e , And there, with f i n g e r s interwoven, both hands Pressed c l 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 v a l e , and shout again, Responsive t o i h i s c a l l , with q u i v e r i n g p e a l s , And long h a l l o o s and screams, and echoes l o u d , Redoubled and redoubled, concourse w i l d Of jocund d i n ; and, when a lengthened pause Of s i l e n c e came and b a f f l e d h i s best s k i l l , Then sometimes, i n that s i l e n c e w h i l e he hung L i s t e n i n g , a gentle shock of m i l d s u r p r i s e Has c a r r i e d f a r into h i s heart the voice Of mountain t o r r e n t s ; or the v i s i b l e scene Would enter unawares into h i s mind, With a l l i t s solemn imagery, i t s r o c k s , I t s woods, and that u n c e r t a i n heaven, r e c e i v e d Into the bosom of the steady l a k e . (V. 364-38)  The beginning of the experience i s s i g n a l l e d by Wordsworth's concentration upon the n a t u r a l s e t t i n g . He draws the reader i n t o the scene by d e s c r i b i n g the gradual appearance of the s t a r s at evening.  The  statement  "the e a r l i e s t s t a r s began / To move along the edges of the h i l l s " achieves an acuteness of focus t h a t 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  e f f e c t may be compared to t h a t of a camera suddenly f o c u s i n g upon an object which p r e v i o u s l y has been b l u r r e d 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.  n a r r a t i v e progression of events o r of the p r e s e n t a t i o n of ideas.  The n a r r a t i o n of events creates a momentum  of i t s e l f which Wordsworth must d e l i b e r a t e l y i n t e r r u p t i n order to d i s t i n g u i s h the 'spot of time' from o r d i n a r y experience.  I am speaking here of the n a r r a t i v e as the l a r g e r s t r u c t u r e of The Prelude.  The i n c i d e n t of the "Boy" i s  w r i t t e n i n the n a r r a t i v e mode, but i t s t i l l represents a break i n the o v e r a l l n a r r a t i v e .  The "spots of time"  are d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the r e s t o f the poem not i n mode of expression, but i n the i n t e n s i t y of language, and emotion.  imagery,  Just as E l i o t concentrates h i s p o e t i c  techniques t o grasp the i n t e n s i t y o f the "intense moment," so Wordsworth d i r e c t s h i s energies toward r e c r e a t i n g the experience o f the "spots of time."  I f one compares the  opening l i n e s of t h i s 'spot' w i t h the s e c t i o n preceding them, the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f the language i n such i n c i d e n t s becomes apparent.  The s i x l i n e s preceding the i n c i d e n t  are as f o l l o w s :  . . when w i l l t h e i r presumption l e a r n , That i n the unreasoning progress of the world A wiser s p i r i t i s at work f o r us, A b e t t e r eye than t h e i r s , most p r o d i g a l Of b l e s s i n g s , and most studious o f 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 p h i l o s o p h i c a l nature; c o n s i s t s e n t i r e l y of a b s t r a c t i o n s .  the d i c t i o n  The o n l y noun which  comes close to conveying a concrete image i s "eye." adjectives —  The  "unreasoning," "wiser," " b e t t e r , " " p r o d i g a l , "  "studious," and " u n f r u i t f u l " -- describe a mental and moral c o n d i t i o n .  A f t e r t h i s somewhat ponderous expression  of a p h i l o s o p h i c a l 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," "stars" —  and  verbs which denote s p e c i f i c a c t i o n s , 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 n a t u r a l scene i n concrete and sensual language. imagery achieves exactness;  The concreteness of the  i t s s e n s u a l i t y produces the  a s s o c i a t i v e f e e l i n g s which give the experience i t s heightened effect.  The ' s u b l i m i t y ' of the experience i s conveyed  through the intense emotional content of the d e s c r i p t i o n . A quickening of excitement accompanies the "jocund d i n " of 'shouts,' " h a l l o o s and screams," " q u i v e r i n g p e a l s , " and "echoes loud";  the excitement then subsides i n t o a  r e f i n e d 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 " d i n " 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  s i l e n c e came and b a f f l e d h i s best s k i l l , / Then sometimes, i n that s i l e n c e while he hung / L i s t e n i n g ,  .  .  ."  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 a b s t r a c t , i n d i c a t i v e of the i m p o s i t i o n of i n t e l l e c t upon the sense impressions of the Wordsworth i s now  experience.  concerned w i t h the e f f e c t o f the n a t u r a l  scene upon the mind and "heart":  "the voice of mountain  t o r r e n t s " i s c a r r i e d into h i s "heart";  "the v i s i b l e  scene" enters "unawares i n t o his mind."  The Nature  imagery i s no longer s p e c i f i c and purely sensual; generalized and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e .  "The  i t is  v i s i b l e scene" i s  possessed of "solemn imagery," of "rocks," "woods," "heaven," and " l a k e . "  Where at f i r s t t h i s scene was  perceived, i t has now been a s s i m i l a t e d by the  Imagination.  This process of sensual s t i m u l a t i o n , e l e v a t i o n of f e e l i n g , and i n t e g r a t e d consciousness  i s repeated i n a l l  the "spots of time," with the p o s s i b l e exception of the encounter w i t h 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 a b s t r a c t i d e a .  The d e s c r i p t i o n of the scene gives way to the presentation of the response of the perceiver to t h a t 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 w e l l as emotional i t n e c e s s i t a t e s a c e r t a i n 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 the "crag" than on the experience i t s e l f .  on  It is a  unique 'spot' i n that i t i s composed o f three p a r t s : the perception from the crag, the death of Wordsworth's f a t h e r , and the lesson learned from the combination the two.  of  The t h i r d part i s the core of the i n c i d e n t :  Yet i n the deepest passion, I bowed low To God, Who thus c o r r e c t e d my d e s i r e s ; And, afterwards, the wind and s l e e t y r a i n , And a l l the business of the elements, The s i n g l e sheep, and the one b l a s t e d t r e e , And the bleak music of t h a t o l d 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 i n d i s p u t a b l e shapes; A l l these were kindred spectacles and sounds To which I o f t r e p a i r e d , and thence would d r i n k , As at a f o u n t a i n ; . . . ( X I I . 315-26)  The imagery here i s reminiscent of the "solemn imagery" of the previous i n c i d e n t discussed.  I t c o n s i s t s of the  parts of the perception from the crag.  These parts —  s i n g l e sheep," the "wind," "the one b l a s t e d t r e e , " e t c .  "the —  54.  are no longer j o i n e d i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of a n a t u r a l scene; they are emblems of Wordsworth's perception of the r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t i n g among n a t u r a l o b j e c t s .  L i k e the  "woods," "rocks," and "steady l a k e , " these images have been a s s i m i l a t e d and reshaped by the Imagination.  In  Wordsworth's rendering of the "spots of time," a p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e f l e c t i o n upon the meaning of a 'spot* f r e q u e n t l y succeeds the d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience itself.  Here, the r e f l e c t i o n i s r a t h e r more f u l l y  developed than the d e s c r i p t i o n 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 i n c i d e n t s .  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 d e t a i l e d terms;  a change i n f e e l i n g occurs,  although here i t i s a f t e r - t h e - f a c t ;  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 r e c r e a t i n g the experience and the sense of timelessness i n v o l v e d .  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 f u s i o n of images i n an i n t e g r a t e d perception.  The three extensive d e s c r i p t i o n s of the t i m e l e s s experience are the i n c i d e n t s of the l a k e and the crag, of the "gibbet-mast," and of Mount Snowdon.  The  first  has f i g u r e d q u i t e prominently i n e a r l i e r d i s c u s s i o n s .  Therefore, I s h a l l analyze the character and s t r u c t u r e of the l a s t two.  The f o l l o w i n g quotation describes the  c e n t r a l encounter w i t h the "gibbet-mast"  and "the murderer'  name": I l e d my horse, and, stumbling on, at length Came to a bottom, where i n former times A murderer had been hung i n i r o n chains. The gibbet-mast had mouldered down, the bones And i r o n case were gone; but on the t u r f , Hard by, soon a f t 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 i n s c r i b e d In times long past; but s t i l l , from year to year, By s u p e r s t i t i o n of the neighbourhood, The grass i s c l e a r e d away, and to t h i s hour The characters are f r e s h 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 l a y beneath the h i l l s , The beacon on the summit, and, more near, A g i r l , who bore a p i t c h e r 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 s i g h t of the name carved i n the ground produces the same e f f e c t i n Wordsworth as does the black crag i n the experience on the l a k e :  f e a r and f l i g h t .  At the  point h i s emotions are aroused, the n a t u r a l scene takes on the character of those emotions.  The d e s c r i p t i o n  l e a d i n g up to h i s perception of "the murderer's name" creates a s p a t i a l arrangement o f 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 d i g r e s s i o n i n which the h i s t o r y o f the "characters" i s o u t l i n e d .  This d i g r e s s i o n intervenes  between the perception and the emotion i t evokes, p r o v i d i n g time f o r the perception to be absorbed and i n t e r p r e t e d 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 s t a t e o f being i s suggested  by the chaotic nature of h i s perceptions:  h i s eye f l i e s  from the "naked p o o l " "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 r e l a t e d t o one another s p a t i a l l y and c o n n o t a t i v e l y , 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 s i n g l e sheep and the one b l a s t e d t r e e " p r e v i o u s l y 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 h i s s u b j e c t i v e state.  Yet, with a l l t h e i r apparent separateness, the  objects he perceives are parts o f a s i n g l e experience, and f i n a l l y , a s i n g l e perception.  The s i g h t s which  confronted the boy are etched upon the mind o f the man: the "gibbet-mast" and "the murderer's name" carved i n "monumental l e t t e r s , " the "naked p o o l , " "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 i n t i m a t i o n  of the t i m e l e s s i s i n d i c a t i v e o f an a l t e r a t i o n i n the emotional s t a t e of the p e r c e i v e r .  The f e a r which has  been the c a t a l y s t f o r h i s imaginative c a p a c i t i e s of perception i s replaced by a k i n d o f j o y .  An experience  of f e a r and "melancholy" becomes one o f "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 j o i n e d i n a u n i f i e d experience.  Like the moonlight on the l a k e 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 d u r a t i o n . "  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 e s p e c i a l l y by the image of a r r e s t e d movement represented by the g i r l ; separateness  i n f i n i t y of space i s emphasized by the very of the images, by t h e i r l a c k o f inherent  relationship.  The power o f 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 i m i t a t e i t s operation; i t works.  but he cannot define e x a c t l y how  Unlike E l i o t , he does not c o n s i s t e n t l y t r a n s l a t e  t h i s imaginative process i n t o balanced images of "co-existence."  Fusion i s the essence of the process; i t  may i n v o l v e not only the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of opposites, but o f t o t a l l y unrelated objects as w e l l .  I n the experience  w i t h the "gibbet-mast," harmony of being does not o r i g i n a t e w i t h i n the p e r c e i v e r as a r e s u l t of some innate u n i t y among the objects perceived.  But the n a t u r a l objects  c e r t a i n l y a c t upon the Imagination i n a v i t a l way: the image of the g i r l i s r e l a t e d by contrast t o that o f 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 f e a r 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 level.  This e l e v a t i o n of f e e l i n g has already been e s t a b l i s h e d  59.  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 r o l e as the u n i f y i n g element of the experience.  In the Mount Snowdon 'spot,' the r e l a t i o n s h i p between e x t e r n a l and i n t e r n a l u n i t y i s absolute.  The metaphorical  s t r u c t u r e of the d e s c r i p t i o n develops an exact r e l a t i o n s h i p between the u n i t y o f Nature and of the process of Imagination which perceives the n a t u r a l world.  This s t r u c t u r e enables  the reader to i d e n t i f y more r e a d i l y the nature of the synthesis i n the experience.  Wordsworth c l e a r l y s t a t e s  that Nature i s possessed of a u n i t y apart from the mind of man,  although a r e l a t i o n s h i p does e x i s t between the  two:  One f u n c t i o n , above a l l , of such a mind Had Nature shadowed there, by p u t t i n g f o r t h , 'Mid circumstances awful and sublime, That mutual domination which she loves To exert upon the face of outward t h i n g s , So moulded, j o i n e d , a b s t r a c t e d , so endowed With interchangeable supremacy, That men, l e a s t 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 b o d i l y sense e x h i b i t s , i s the express Resemblance of t h a t g l o r i o u s 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 : the  i m a g i s t i c s t r u c t u r e of the d e s c r i p t i o n ;  within  w i t h i n the  n a t u r a l scene i t s e l f ;  and w i t h i n the mind o f the man  p e r c e i v i n g 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 b a s i s of the p a t t e r n suggested by the f i r s t two. the  P o e t i c a l l y , he can recreate  i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of o b j e c t s i n Nature through h i s  imagery, but he must r e l y on the language of a b s t r a c t i o n to discuss the u n i t y o f the mind. are  The f i r s t two l e v e l s  metaphorical; the t h i r d , symbolic.  A metaphor  provides the t r a n s i t i o n between the n a t u r a l scene and the operation of the mind: mind .  .  .  "There I beheld the emblem of a  I t s voices i s s u i n g f o r t h 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, t o r r e n t s , streams /  Innumerable, r o a r i n g with one voice"(59-6°). The concepts of the stream and the v o i c e connect the two  metaphors,  and thus the processes of Nature and Imagination.  However,  whereas the f i r s t metaphor corresponds to a t a n g i b l e event, the  second does not.  stream;  The second stream i s not an a c t u a l  the " v o i c e s " are transformed i n t o " s i l e n t l i g h t . "  The image o f " 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. r e f e r to Henry Vaughan to f i n d a poetic precedent:  One  may  " I saw  61..  e t e r n i t y the other night / L i k e a great r i n g of pure and endless l i g h t . " 3 3  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 a b s t r a c t than the f i r s t and contains a symbolic image of e t 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 e t e r n i t y .  By i t s connection  w i t h the more concrete metaphor of u n i t y , i t e s t a b l i s h e s a r e l a t i o n s h i p between the concrete imagery of the passage and the l a t e r p h i l o s o p h i c a l and abstract d i s c u s s i o n s .  The  reader i s prepared by an i m a g i s t i c s t r u c t u r e that provides form f o r those a b s t r a c t i o n s .  The concept of "interchangeable  supremacy" has manifested i t s e l f i n the i m a g i s t i c 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 f e e t 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 s t r e t c h e d , In headlands, tongues, and promontory shapes, Into the main A t l a n t i c , that appeared To dwindle, and give up h i s majesty, Usurped upon f a r as the s i g h t could reach. Not so the e t h e r e a l v a u l t ; encroachment none Was t h e r e , nor l o s s ; o n l y the i n f e r i o r s t a r s Had disappeared, or shed a f a i n t e r l i g h t In the c l e a r presence of the f u l l - d r b e d Moon, Who, from her sovereign e l e v a t i o n , gazed Upon the b i l l o w y ocean, as i t l a y A l l meek and s i l e n t , save that through a r i f t Not d i s t a n t from the shore whereon we stood, A f i x e d , abysmal, gloomy, breathing-place — Mounted the r o a r of waters, t o r r e n t s , streams Innumerable, r o a r i n g with one v o i c e l Heard over earth and sea, and, i n t h a t hour, For so i t seemed, f e l t by the s t a r r y 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 u n i f y i n g element i n the passage and the source o f i l l u m i n a t i o n i n the scene;  i t i s a point of  focus w i t h i n the a c t u a l experience and w i t h i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of that experience.  From the "firmament," Wordsworth  turns h i s a t t e n t i o n to the view 'at h i s f e e t ' and the " s i l e n t sea of hoary mist."  The s i l e n c e of the scene i s  emphasized i n a l a t e r reference to the " b i l l o w y ocean" as "meek and s i l e n t . "  Just as the "Moon" and l i g h t i s  associated w i t h 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 h i s f e e t a " b i l l o w y ocean";  i t connects  "headlands," "tongues," and "promontory shapes" with one another and w i t h "the main A t l a n t i c . "  The "mist" dominates  and harmonizes the images of the earth and sea;  the  "Moon" f l o o d s 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 s t a r s . "  The passage a l t e r n a t e s  between d e s c r i p t i o n s of sky and earth, c r e a t i n g 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 e t h e r e a l v a u l t " i s not a f f e c t e d by i t : loss."  "encroachment none / Was there, nor  The separateness of the c l e a r sky and the shrouded  earth f u l f i l s the p r 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 o f opposites that s u s t a i n s the "domination" and "supremacy" o f each.  Within  each scene, the images function;,as equal parts w i t h i n the whole.  Although the "Moon" and the "mist" appear  to dominate, they merely draw together the elements of each scene;  they provide the e s s e n t i a l centre of the  i m a g i s t i c pattern and give shape to the r e s t 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 e q u a l i t y , the two halves of the perception i n t e r s e c t 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 o f images of "co-existence" alone, but r e s o l v e s the tension o f opposites with an image of f u s i o n :  the r o a r i n g o f the waters with one v o i c e .  He  introduces the image of the waters as the f i n a l i n t e g r a t i n g force.  The s i l e n c e o f the seas i s replaced by the voice  of harmony.  He concludes w i t h a statement that e s t a b l i s h e s  the u n i t y between e a r t h , sea, and sky as they a l l hear the same v o i c e :  "Heard over earth and sea, and, i n that  hour, / For so i t seemed, f e l t by the s t a r r y heavens." This perception o f harmony i n Nature leads Wordsworth to conceive o f a s i m i l a r p a t t e r n o f harmony w i t h i n the imaginative process:  the two patterns m i r r o r one another.  These patterns e x i s t without respect t o time o r space. use E l i o t ' s terminology, " a l l i s always now" when one perceives the p a t t e r n o f t o t a l i t y .  The timelessness o f  To  64.  the Snowdon experience i s i m p l i c i t i n the i m a g i s t i c s t r u c t u r e of "co-existence" and i n the f u s i o n of the many i n t o the one, of the r o a r i n g of the waters i n t o a s i n g l e 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 i n t e g r a t e d perception.  The "experience" i s rendered i n  d e t a i l e d and concrete terms which e s t a b l i s h a foundation f o r the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of that experience.  The "meaning"  develops as the language becomes more a b s t r a c t . Once the "experience" of Snowdon i s over, the poem becomes a p h i l o s o p h i c a l meditation.  Wordsworth devotes much of  Book XIV to f u r t h e r d e f i n i n g the imaginative process involved i n the "spots of time."  He moves from a represent-  a t i o n of the p a r t i c u l a r experience of Snowdon to a d i s c u r s i v e rendering of the a b s t r a c t concepts of Love, Imagination, and Reason.  I s h a l l conclude t h i s study of The  Prelude  w i t h an a n a l y s i s of how concrete and a b s t r a c t language f u n c t i o n together i n a s i g n i f i c a n t passage from the l a s t book(188-209).  I have broken the passage into three p a r t s ,  l a r g e l y on the b a s i s 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 s e c t i o n s are as f o l l o w s :  65.  This s p i r i t u a l Love acts not nor can e x i s t Without Imagination, which, i n t r u t h , Is but another name f o r absolute power And c l e a r e s t i n s i g h t , amplitude of mind, And Reason i n her most e x a l t e d 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 b l i n d cavern whence i s f a i n t l y heard I t s n a t a l 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 s i g h t of i t bewildered and engulphed: Then given i t g r e e t i n g as i t rose once more In strength, r e f l e c t i n g from i t s p l a c i d 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 F a i t h i n l i f e endless, the s u s t a i n i n g thought Of human Being, E t e r n i t y , 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 Dividually. — . The f i r s t s e c t i o n c o n s i s t s wholly of a b s t r a c t i o n s , dealing w i t h the component p a r t s of Imagination conceptually, rather than i m a g i s t i c a l l y .  The second s e c t i o n 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 s e c t i o n , i t i s r a t h e r more concrete, but i t i s a b s t r a c t as w e l l as i r a a g i s t i c . conceptual statement:  I t ends with a g e n e r a l i z e d  "from i t s progress have we drawn /  F a i t h i n l i f e endless, the s u s t a i n i n g thought of human Being, E t e r n i t y , and God."  This statement, i n t u r n , leads  to the abstract mode of the t h i r d s e c t i o n , a counterpart i n concept and expression of the opening s e c t i o n . Wordsworth's use of metaphor here to represent a b s t r a c t ideas i s quite d i f f e r e n t from the technique a p p l i e d i n the d e s c r i p t i o n s of  66  the "spots of time."  The imagery of the stream creates a  symbolic s t r u c t u r e of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , not a v i s u a l arrangement of objects that i m i t a t e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f Nature. imagery i s b a s i c a l l y not sensual;  The  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 o f b i r t h and maturation inherent i n such images as "the b l i n d cavern" and the " n a t a l murmur" serves t o f u r t h e r 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 n a t u r a l scene as the "emblem" of an imaginative process.  The d e s c r i p t i o n of  the Mount Snowdon experience e s t a b l i s h e d a metaphorical correspondence of Imagination.  between the u n i t y o f Nature and the u n i t y This correspondence  was conveyed through  the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a concrete, sensual metaphor the r o a r i n g of the waters w i t h one voice — one —  —  and an abstract  the "voices i s s u i n g 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 s t r i p p e d 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 a b s t r a c t language i s removed:  image and idea f u n c t i o n simultaneously  without the intermediary of sensual s t i m u l a t i o n .  67  The concept of " s p i r i t u a l Love" presented i n the  first  s e c t i o n i s a c o n t i n u a t i o n of a theme developed i n the preceding passage i n which Wordsworth describes a love beyond e a r t h l y love which connects man with God.  In the  c o n t i n u a t i o n of the theme, he s h i f t s h i s focus from the "Love" i t s e l f to that which gives i t expression, He defines an interdependent  "Imagination."  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 a b s t r a c t , but p a r t i c u l a r and d e s c r i p t i v e . "Absolute power," " c l e a r e s t i n s i g h t , " and "amplitude  of  mind" suggest a process of Imagination that begins w i t h 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 a m p l i f i e d understanding. i n t h i s way  The f u n c t i o n i n g of  Imagination  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 s e c t i o n i s concerned with the g e n e r a l i z e d a b s t r a c t i o n s , Love, Imagination, and Reason;  the tense of  i t s verbs i s accordingly the u n i v e r s a l present.  With the  t r a n s i t i o n from the general a b s t r a c t i o n s 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 s e c t i o n , the verb changes to the past tense.  Wordsworth i s now  63. d e s c r i b i n g 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. t h i s growth.  The movement o f the stream represents  The "source" of the stream i s the Imagination;  the "progress" of the stream i s the development of h i s imaginative powers from b i r t h to maturity.  The "long labour"  i s both the s t r u g g l e to a r t i c u l a t e the Imagination i n h i s own l i f e t i m e and i n the poem. of  He has " t r a c e d " the stream  imaginative growth through The Prelude from the a c t i v e  and productive childhood p e r i o d to i t s 'impairment' i n h i s Cambridge and French Revolution years to i t s ' r e s t o r a t i o n ' i n such experiences as Mount Snowdon. The process o f imagina t i v e growth and f u l f i l m e n t begins i n "the b l i n d cavern," i n an unconscious s t a t e , and i s e v e n t u a l l y brought " t o l i g h t and open day," to consciousness. demonstrates  The stream's  progress  t h a t , although the Imagination i s always  present, i t can become " l o s t " ;  i t can f a i l to f u n c t i o n a t  the l e v e l of Reason, as an expression o f s p i r i t u a l Love. Imagination f u l f i l s i t s p o t e n t i a l when i t i n t e g r a t e s perception and i l l u m i n a t e s the p a t t e r n of d i v i n e harmony i n human l i f e .  The r e s t o r a t i o n of " t h i s f a c u l t y " of  Imagination i s i n d i c a t e d i n the statement t h a t the stream ' r i s e s once more i n strength' t o r e f l e c t "the works of man and the face of human l i f e . "  Wordsworth makes use o f the  capacity o f a stream to r e f l e c t images to convey an aspect of the Imagination.  Imagination as i t f u n c t i o n s w i t h i n the  i n d i v i d u a l creates a u n i t y that ' r e f l e c t s ' the harmonious r e l a t i o n s h i p between "human Being, E t e r n i t y , and God."  69.  The r e f l e c t i o n o f the Imagination i n a more concrete sense i s man's c r e a t i o n s , h i s "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 c o n s i s t e n t with the e a r l i e r p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of the stream as a c h i l d . Here i t has a " p l a c i d b r e a s t , " an image which  suggests  that the "bewildered" c h i l d has a t t a i n e d a measure o f maturity.  The imagery of the passage creates an impression  of human form: maternal images;  "the feeding source" and "long labour" are the " n a t a l murmur" and the "bewildered"  s t a t e suggest the c h i l d ;  the "breast" and " f a c e " 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 r e i n f o r c e d .  The mother and  c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t h a t between the "source" and the stream, between the Imagination as a source o f energy and the a p p l i c a t i o n o f that energy, i t s progress through a lifetime.  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 t u r n i n g  world i s r e c o n c i l e d with the s t i l l n e s s of " E t e r n i t y . " r e c o n c i l i a t i o n i s manifested i n the c l o s i n g phrase:  This Man,  E t e r n i t y , and God u n i t e i n a s i n g l e transcendent thought. This statement o f a u n i v e r s a l r e l a t i o n s h i p b r i n g s the passage back to the l e v e l of a b s t r a c t i o n o f the f i r s t s e c t i o n and a n t i c i p a t e s the abstractness of the t h i r d .  In the t h i r d s e c t i o n , Wordsworth returns to h i s concept of the r e l a 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, w h i l e 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 r e l a t i o n s h i p between Love and Imagination introduced i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n :  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 s i n g l e word D i 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 f o l l o w i n g sentence, creates a r a t h e r 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 o f 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 o f u n i t y presented i n the phrase "each i n each," although the meaning o f " D i v i d u a l l y " i s the opposite of i n t e g r a t i o n .  With the double punctuation  of a period and a dash a f t 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 p e r s p e c t i v e . My d e c i s i o n to end the a n a l y s i s o f t h i s p o r t i o n o f The Prelude here stems from a c o n v i c t i o n that the t h i r d s e c t i o n  complements the f i r s t and elaborates upon the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Love and Imagination.  The f i r s t s e c t i o n s t a t e s  that there i s an inseparable connection between Love and Imagination;  the second t r a c e s the progress of Imagination  and the t h i r d r e a f f i r m s and r e f i n e s 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 s t r u c t u r e 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 r e l a t i o n s h i p of i t s p a r t s .  The Prelude, of course,  creates an order o f i t s p a r t s , but u n l i k e E l i o t ' s poem, i t does not depend e n t i r e l y upon a r e c u r r i n g system of images and ideas f o r i t s c o n t i n u i t y and coherence.  Its  r e l i a n c e upon n a r r a t i v e progression, upon a consistent p o e t i c p e r s o n a l i t y , and upon d e t a i l e d , concrete d e s c r i p t i o n has already been discussed.  Four Quartets i s organized  according to p s y c h o l o g i c a l time;  events and ideas and  f e e l i n g s appear as they occur to the imagination o f the p e r s o n a l i t y or p e r s o n a l i t i e s o f the poem, not as they may have occurred i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l 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 p s y c h o l o g i c a l development of being.  The r e a l i t y of The Prelude i s both  p s y c h o l o g i c a l and phenomenal.  Wordsworth creates a  convincing p o r t r a i t of the world of crags and c a t a r a c t s and groves i n order t h a t the reader may see Nature i n i t s own r i g h t and as an 'emblem' of a p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e . On the other hand, E l i o t makes no attempt to persuade the reader t h a t the landscape of Four Quartets i s a f a i t h f u l  7 3  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the p h y s i c a l world.  Physical r e a l i t y  i s transformed completely into a p s y c h o l o g i c a l one. This transformation produces i n Four Quartets. and i n much other modern poetry, an e f f e c t of d i s c o n t i n u i t y , of an apparent l a c k of ordered progression.  The b a s i s of the  order i n Four Quartets i s the c o n t i n u i t y of ideas and abstract images, rather than the c o n t i n u i t y produced l a r g e l y by n a r r a t i v e sequence i n The Prelude.  The i d 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 r e l a t e d to a c e n t r a l experience of timelessness.  The c e n t r a l image of the  poem i s "the s t i l l point of the t u r n i n g world";  the c e n t r a l  concept i s the I n c a r n a t i o n . The image i s the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the concept;  the image and concept together represent  the concentration upon a s i n g l e f o c a l experience.  In  Four Quartets, E l i o t creates a poetic s t r u c t u r e that conveys the process of concentration upon idea and experience. This s t r u c t u r e i s the expression of the imaginative reshaping of the world as a p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e of being.  A musical metaphor of theme and v a r i a t i o n s i s perhaps the best means o f d e f i n i n g the s t r u c t u r e of Four Quartets. The musical s t r u c t u r e of Four Quartets i s a subject already treated by Helen Gardner.  She s t a t e s 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, o r s o n a t a . " 3 5  However, most of her d i s c u s s i o n i n  74.  "The Music o f Four Quartets" i s concerned with the p a t t e r n o f themes i n the poem.  A p o e t i c theme i s not  quite the same t h i n g as a musical theme; A musical theme i s an idea transformed  i t i s an idea.  i n t o a progression  of notes that creates a p a r t i c u l a r s t r u c t u r e o f sound; i t i s those notes.  I t i s the form o f the sound as w e l l  as the idea o r f e e l i n g i t t r a n s m i t s .  An idea i n a poem  may be separated a t l e a s t 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  a n a l y s i s of a musical theme c o n s i s t s not of the ideas of a piece, but of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the notes. words of a poem have 'meaning  1  As the  i n a way i n which musical  notes do not, the a n a l y s i s of a poem must deal with the form of the poem —  the progression of notes —  to the meaning o f the separate words.  i n relation  Such an a n a l y s i s  must also consider the sounds and rhythms of the poem w i t h i n the context of the whole "musical" s t r u c t u r e . Gardner's a n a l y s i s of the p o e t i c themes discovers a pattern o f 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 v a r i a t i o n of musical themes. the simultaneous  But she does not analyze  r e i t e r a t i o n of images, rhythms, tense  forms, o r sounds except i n a b r i e f s e c t i o n on the development of such images as the "shaft of s u n l i g h t , " the "yew-tree," and the "end" and the " b e g i n n i n g . " 3 6  My purpose i s not t o  c r i t i c i z e Gardner, but to point out that I s h a l l examine  75  somewhat d i s t i n c t organizational p r i n c i p l e s i n Four Quartets, while agreeing that the application of a musical metaphor of theme and v a r i a t i o n provides entry to a long poem which does not adhere to a chronological time sequence.  The structure of theme and v a r i a t i o n s i n Four Quartets means simply that the f i r s t quartet, "Burnt  Norton,"  presents certain themes which are continued i n modified form i n 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 i n d i v i d u a l quartets into a cohesive poem.  This sense of cohesion i s produced  most strongly by the c y c l i c a l pattern of the musical form, of what Gardner i d e n t i f i e s as "sonata" form.  Each quartet  begins and ends with the same thematic material:  the  f i f t h movement i s the " r e c a p i t u l a t i o n " of the f i r s t . S i m i l a r l y , " L i t t l e Gidding" i s the r e c a p i t u l a t i o n of "Burnt Norton";  i t returns to the v i s i o n of the integrated,  timeless experience f i r s t presented i n "Burnt  Norton."  While none of the quartets i s ever f a r from t h i s central experience, the middle two quartets are more d i r e c t l y concerned with time and death.  As i n musical form,  r e c a p i t u l a t i o n i n Four Quartets i s not simply duplication of previous themes, but strong echoes of those themes and t h e i r mode of presentation.  The l a s t movement of each  76.  quartet i s 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 f i v e 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 i n the "rose-garden." the  I t returns to the garden i n  l a s t movement with a r e p e t i t i o n of imagery — the  "shaft of sunlight," "the dust," the "hidden laughter / Of children" ~  and of the words of the b i r d , "Quick now,  here, now, always."  But, as previously stated, the l a s t  section i s not merely a r e p e t i t i o n of the f i r s t .  The f i r s t  moment i n 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 r e l a t i o n to time.  Although  time does not pass i n 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 i n r e l a t i o n to the experiences and ideas presented i n 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. presents the theme of the "rose-garden";  Section I  section V i s the  theme's recapitulation with a s l i g h t difference.  The  timeless moment i n the rose-garden and the journey i n time are the two main themes which provide the i d e o l o g i c a l continuity of Four Quartets.  They are counterpointed  themes, balanced opposites which develop i n separate cycles which " i n t e r s e c t " intermittently throughout the poem.  This balance of opposites i s represented s t r u c t u r a l l y  by images of "co-existence" and by appropriately balanced rhythms and syntax. ness — —  The i n t e r s e c t i o n of time and timeless-  "the s t i l l point of the turning world", the Incarnation  provides the resolution of the quartets i n d i v i d u a l l y and  together.  The elements of structure which I am going to trace through Burnt Morton are rhythm and tense and the imagery of l i g h t , sound, and movement.  A l l of these are linked,  but I s h a l l t a l k about them separately f o r purposes of analysis.  The l i g h t 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 "dim  light"(92)  light"(73)  of the second movement, to the  and darkness of the t h i r d movement, to the  "white l i g h t " of the fourth movement, and returns f i n a l l y to the "shaft of sunlight."  Apart from the c y c l i c a l path  of l i g h t , an i n t e r e s t i n g and r e v e a l i n g symmetry appears. Section I I I i s the middle o f the poem; only s e t t i n g o f complete darkness.  i t i s also the  I t i s bracketed on  e i t h e r side by white l i g h t , and beyond t h a t , by s u n l i g h t . The s u n l i g h t — e s p e c i a l l y the "shaft o f s u n l i g h t "  —  i l l u m i n a t e s the p a r t i c u l a r experience o f timelessness, the moment of i n s i g h t .  The white l i g h t i s the radiance o f  absorption i n t h a t s t a t e when one has transcended the "time" of the p a r t i c u l a r . one way"(122);  "Darkness" i s a mode of "the  i n i t s timelessness i t i s the "same" as  the s t a t e 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 " I n t e r n a l darkness" to escape the " t w i t t e r i n g world" o f sense and d e s i r e , the world of time.  The metaphor of "the s t i l l point of the t u r n i n g world" i s suggested by the o p p o s i t i o n 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 f u t u r e . (124-26)  The "abstention from movement" here f u r t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h e s the middle s e c t i o n from the other movements.  The only  d e f i n i t e movement i n the s e c t i o n i s the w h i r l i n g wind and the t u r n i n g 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 p u r s u i t of the "boarhound," the  movement along "the moving t r e e , " and the "dance" o f s e c t i o n I I ; and the "black cloud," the t u r n i n g o f "the sunflower," and the c u r l i n g "Fingers of yew" of s e c t i o n IV. These images o f motion are q u i t e concrete;  the movements  i n the f i r s t and l a s t sections are of a more a b s t r a c t k i n d , o f " s u n l i g h t " and "dust" and "words."  This abstracted  kind of movement i n s e c t i o n s I and V represents the "formal pattern"(31) of movement and s t i l l n e s s i n a t i m e l e s s experience.  The enclosed s e c t i o n s transform t h i s a b s t r a c t  concept o f pattern i n t o images of movement set against images of s t i l l n e s s .  The middle p o r t i o n ( I I I ) 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 o f sections I I and IV. In r e l a t i o n to each other, s e c t i o n I I I i s the s t i l l point and the other two the world that turns around i t . to be made about movement.  There i s one f i n a l observation The cloud appears as a passing  darkness twice i n the quartet: the rose-garden  i t blocks' out the sun i n  scene of s e c t i o n I and i t ' c a r r i e s the sun  away* i n s e c t i o n IV. I n the f i r s t instance, the cloud's passing over marks the end of the i l l u m i n a t e d moment; the i l l u m i n a t i o n of the world of " r e a l i t y " fades.  I t h i n k the  80.  second cloud's i n t e r v e n t i o n can be seen as a comment upon the experience of descent i n t o darkness o f the t h i r d movement. That experience, too, i s followed by the passing o f a cloud, as i f t o suggest t h a t i t i s "the one way" and the same as the s u n l i g h t experience.  The p a t t e r n of sound imagery bears considerable resemblance t o 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 s e c t i o n s , w i t h a counterpoise o f sound and near s i l e n c e .  One hears the  echo o f 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 s e c t i o n I .  The music, the b i r d and the  laughter are 'echoed' i n the c l o s i n g s e c t i o n , and " s h r i e k i n g voices"(153) and a "loud lament" are added to the medley of sounds.  The a d d i t i o n a l sounds i n s e c t i o n V give a  sense o f the clamorous world outside the rose-garden, the world o f time.  The motionlessness  and quiet o f the  t i m e l e s s moment are s e t against the perception o f everyday existence as a " s h r i e k i n g " world.  E l i o t makes the point  i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n t h a t " r e a l i t y , " as d i s t i n c t from what might be c a l l e d a c t u a l i t y , e x i s t s i n the timeless s t a t e , not i n the t u r n i n g world:  Go, go, go, s a i d the b i r d : human k i n d Cannot bear very much r e a l i t y . (42-43)  The only reference to sound i n s e c t i o n 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 t u r n i n g  world i n the noise "upon the sodden f l o o r " of "the boarhound and the boar" and i n the s i n g i n g of the blood i n s e c t i o n I I , while there i s e s s e n t i a l l y s i l e n c e i n the s t i l l l i g h t of IV. One i s c a r r i e d 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 t h i n k there i s a d i f f e r e n c e between the absence of sound i n darkness and the s i l e n c e of the white l i g h t .  One  has  a negative q u a l i t y 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 i n v o l v e s a conscious process of s e l f - d e n i a l and " d e s s i c a t i o n . " " d e s s i c a t i o n " i n v o l v e d i n the descent i n t o  The s t a t e of darkness  i m p l i e s 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 i m p l i c a t i o n of  death i n the world of absolute darkness a n t i c i p a t e s the concentration upon death i n the s e c t i o n t h a t f o l l o w s .  The  s o l e image of sound i n s e c t i o n 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  curl  / Down";  'the k i n g f i s h e r ' s wing answers l i g h t to l i g h t and i s silent.'  Once the b e l l has sounded, there i s only s i l e n c e .  Unlike the absence of sound i n the descent i n t o darkness, the s i l e n c e here i s made e x p l i c i t i n an image which associates s i l e n c e with l i g h t .  This a s s o c i a t i o n r e c a l l s  82.  the "white l i g h t " o f s e c t i o n I I and the way of l i g h t which i s the "same" as the way o f 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 e l e v a t i o n 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 a c t u a l death as w e l l as the s p i r i t u a l death o f s e c t i o n 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 t u r n i n g 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 d a z z l i n g redemption o f f e r e d by "the dove descending" i n " L i t t l e Gidding": be released from f i r e by f i r e " ( 2 0 6 ) .  "To  Just as "the  k i n g f i s h e r ' s wing / Has answered l i g h t t o 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 e i t h e r f i r e or f i r e , " i n s e c t i o n IV o f the l a s t quartet.  The image  of the " k i n g f i s h e r ' s wing" i s echoed even more c l o s e l y 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, w i t h a movement of darkness on darkness, (114-15)  33.  The theme of t h i s s e c t i o n of the l a t e r quartet i s again death —  "the s i l e n t f u n e r a l " —  but i t i s a f a l s e death,  a death i n l i f e s u f f e r e d by a l l "the captains, merchant bankers, eminent men o f l e t t e r s " ( 1 0 3 ) and other "vacant" men.  The r e a l darkness and the r e a l death —  of God"(113) —  "the darkness  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 k i n g f i s h e r and the dove.  This  development of the k i n g f i s h e r image i s what Gardner would c a l l the •musical treatment of an image,' and that which gives a sense of c o n t i n u i t y and of a m p l i f i c a t i o n to the imagery o f Four Quartets.  The rhythms o f Four Quartets are as removed from t h e i r iambic antecedents as e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century music from Romantic music.  One might as e a s i l y scan Four Quartets  f o r a r e g u l a r m e t r i c a l pattern as search f o r the harmonies of the d i a t o n i c scale i n Schoenberg. not  haphazard;  m e t r i c a l system.  E l i o t ' s rhythms are  they simply do not conform to an e s t a b l i s h e d 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 e f f e c t r e l a t e d to the content of the l i n e .  It  i s the cadence of the l i n e s which I s h a l l r e f e r to as rhythm, not, w i t h c e r t a i n exceptions, s t r i c t m e t r i c a l p a t t e r n s .  #4  I have d i s t i n g u i s h e d three s t y l e s o f rhythm i n "Burnt Norton" as manifesting three kinds of content i n the poem: d i s c u r s i v e rhythm, which presents the p h i l o s o p h i c a l m a t e r i a l ; counterbalanced rhythms, which r e f l e c t p a r a d o x i c a l passages; and l y r i c a l rhythm which conveys the i m a g i s t i c s e c t i o n s .  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 f u t u r e And time f u t u r e contained i n time past.  The tone of these l i n e s i s c e r e b r a l and r e l a t i v e l y emotionless. The poet i s t a l k i n g about a b s t r a c t ideas i n almost e x c l u s i v e l y r a t i o n a l terms. and balance.  The cadence has a s y l l o g i s t i c r e p e t i t i v e n e s s  E l i o t r e t u r n s t o t h i s d i s c u r s i v e s t y l e and  a b s t r a c t i o n s at the end of s e c t i o n s I and I I . The same d e l i b e r a t i v e p r e s e n t a t i o n appears i n the l a s t f i f t e e n l i n e s of the q u a r t e t , 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 " s h a f t of s u n l i g h t . "  "the dust," the " c h i l d r e n , "  L i k e The Prelude, Four Quartets  i s a t v a r i o u s times d i s t i n c t l y concrete o r a b s t r a c t , o r a blend of the two through metaphor o r symbol.  Paradox i s a t the heart of the s t r u c t u r e of Four Quartets. The c e n t r a l metaphor o f "the s t i l l point o f the t u r n i n g world"  35  and the c e n t r a l concept of " I n c a r n a t i o n " are paradoxes; they embody two apparently incompatible q u a l i t i e s : and motion, d i v i n e s p i r i t and human f l e s h .  stillness  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 o f "Burnt Norton," r e s u l t i n g i n such images as a " p o o l , " "dry" but " f i l l e d with water out of sunlight"; moving;  a Chinese j a r that i s " s t i l l " yet " p e r p e t u a l l y "  "unheard music";  " i n v i s i b l e " "guests."  This same  p a r a d o x i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p i s conveyed i n more a b s t r a c t terms: "This i s the one way, and the other / I s the same"; "To be conscious i s not t o be i n time / But only i n time can the moment i n the rose-garden, remembered."  / •  .  .Be  E l i o t supports the paradoxical nature of  c e r t a i n l i n e s w i t h a rhythm that captures the e f f e c t of a point of balance between two extremes. counterbalance  The f e e l i n g of  i s c l e a r i n these l i n e s :  At the s t i l l point of the t u r n i n g 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 p o i n t , there the dance i s , But n e i t h e r a r r e s t nor movement. And do not c a l l i t fixity, Where past and f u t u r e are gathered. N e i t h e r movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor d e c l i n e . Except f o r the p o i n t , 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 h a l f of the paradox r i s e s , turns a t the p i v o t a l p o i n t , and f a l l s t o the end of the phrase.  The l i n e s are wonderfully balanced and they f l o w  i n a way i n which the l i n e s p r e v i o u s l y quoted do not.  As  one reads aloud, one's v o i c e r i s e s on "from" and descends on "towards," r i s e s on "ascent" and descends on " d e c l i n e " i n an even cadence.  The flow i s i n t e r r u p t e d at the  r e p e t i t i o n of " p o i n t " ( 6 6 ) and then spreads out i n t o 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 s e r i e s of monosyllables i n t h i s l i n e sets up a r e s t r a i n e d momentum that i s f i n a l l y released i n the t w o - s y l l a b l e 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 o f the l i n e .  The  predominance of monosyllables and long vowel sounds d i s t i n g u i s h e s t h i s l i n e from the surrounding ones and creates an appropriate moment o f s t a s i s i n the rhythm of the passage.  Another i n t e r r u p t i o n i n the counterbalanced  rhythm occurs i n the near iambic l i n e , "And do not c a l l i t fixity"(64).  This l i n e serves as a f o c a l point on which  the rhythm o f paradox turns.  I t f u r t h e r s the same sense o f  balance i n the s e c t i o n as a whole that the p i v o t a l words do i n each paradoxical l i n e .  A f t e r the moment o f s t a s i s o f the l i n e "By a grace o f sense . . .," the rhythm changes and becomes compressed:  Erhebung without motion, concentration Without e l i m i n a t i o n , both a new world And the o l d made e x p l i c i t , understood In the completion o f i t s p a r t i a l ecstasy, The r e s o l u t i o n o f i t s p a r t i a l horror. (74-78)  The compression o f the l i n e s i s created l a r g e l y by the r e p e t i t i o n o f the ' t i o n ' sound and by the s t r u c t u r e o f phrases i n a p p o s i t i o n to one another. past p a r t i c i p l e ;  The only verb i s a  the only a d j e c t i v e s , "new," " o l 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 w r i t t e n a s e r i e s of v a r i a t i o n s upon the sound o f c e r t a i n a b s t r a c t nouns.  The rhythm i s so balanced, and  the sounds so w e l l proportioned, t h a t the emotions one would associate w i t h the words ecstasy and horror are considerably subdued.  The p h i l o s o p h i c a l content o f 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 r a t h e r as a process i m i t a t e d i n the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the lines:  concentration.  opposites —  The concentration i s such that  the new world and the o l d , ecstasy and horror -  c o - e x i s t i n a s e r i e s o f a p p o s i t i v e 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 o f 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 o l d 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 s e c t i o n IV:  Time and the b e l l have buried the day, The black cloud c a 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 C l u t c h and c l i n g ? (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 s t y l e s .  I t i s h i g h l y m u s i c a l , almost sing-song.  Some of t h i s e f f e c t i s achieved by the rhyme on "day," "away," and "spray";  some by the a l t e r n a t i n g 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 s e c t i o n from i t s neighbours, i s o l a t i n g i t as a k i n d of r e f r a i n , an i m a g i s t i c and musical interlude.  This s e c t i o n , the f i r s t f i f t e e n l i n e s of  s e c t i o n 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 a b s t r a c t i o n s and paradoxes of the quartet.  One  can a t t a c h 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 m a j o r i t y . The p u r i t y of a b s t r a c t i o n i n the r e s t 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 — of opposing ideas —  i n the j u x t a p o s i t i o n and  an emotional tenor.  balance  The mental  process of concentration i s c a r r i e d to the point of f e e l i n g to produce a sense, not so much of a conscious a p p l i c a t i o n  39  of mind as of an i n s t i n c t i v e s t a t e of being.  E l i o t , as  c r i t i c , touches on t h i s point as f o l l o w s : .  For i t i s n e i t h e r 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 o f meaning, t r a n q u i l l i t y . I t i s a c o n c e n t r a t i o n , and a new t h i n g r e s u l t i n g from the c o n c e n t r a t i o n , of a very great number o f experiences which to the p r a c t i c a l and a c t i v e person would not seem to be experiences at a l l ; i t i s a concentration which does not happen c o n s c i o u s l y or of d e l i b e r a t i o n . 3 7  The f i n a l pattern of v a r i a t i o n s i n "Burnt to be discussed i s t h a t of tense changes. concept of time have an obvious connection.  Norton"  Tense and the E l i o t uses  a l l three tenses, but he makes s p e c i a l use of the u n i v e r s a l present to give a sense t h a t " a l l i s always now"(149). The p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s of time are always expressed i n t h i s tense, f o r they present " t r u t h s " that are true f o r a l l time.  S e c t i o n V i s dominated by the u n i v e r s a l present;  i t c a r r i e s the reader completely i n t o the world of the e t e r n a l "now," where "the end precedes the beginning, / And the end and the beginning were always there / Before the beginning and a f t e r the end"(146-43).  However, the  u n i v e r s a l present i s not appropriate f o r d e s c r i b i n g 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 v i b r a n t 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 a t . (22-29) The past tense continues down to the end of l i n e f o r t y - o n e , 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 t h e u n i v e r s a l present o f the p h i l o s o p h i c a l l i n e s :  Time past and time f u t u r e What might have been and what has been Point to one end, which i s always present. (44-46)  There i s a s u b t l e t y o f tense i n these l a t t e r l i n e s t h a t is significant:  "time f u t u r e " 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 f u t u r e , then, are both t r e a t e d i n the past tense, and thus do seem t o p o i n t to the same end.  The interchangeable q u a l i t y of the past and the  f u t u r e i s r e i n f o r c e d by the i n v e r s i o n 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 s t r u c t u r e as w e l l  91.  as i n imagery.  I t begins w i t h the present  place of d i s a f f e c t i o n " — general.  "Here i s a  t h a t i s s p e c i f i c r a t h e r than  "Here" places the scene i n the time and  of a p a r t i c u l a r moment. of present p a r t i c i p l e s — and past p a r t i c i p l e s —  space  The verbs that f o l l o w are a s e r i e s "investing," "turning," "cleansing" "distracted," " f i l l e d , "  —  driven."  The e f f e c t created i s an i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c stream of images that portrays the " t w i t t e r i n g world" of men. of the verb changes at l i n e 114, than i n d i c a t i v e .  The mood  becoming imperative  rather  As the v e r b a l c o n s t r u c t i o n which i m p l i e s  compulsion, the imperative provides the necessary impetus f o r the descent i n t o darkness.  The  s t a t e of " I n t e r n a l  darkness" i s given expression i n a s e r i e s of t e r s e , * emphatic noun phrases that c o n t r a s t 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  s e c t i o n ends with the u n i v e r s a l present;  the p a r t i c u l a r  "Here i s " has become the g e n e r a l i z e d "This is the one  way,  and the other / Is. the same"(122-3).  The future tense appears s p o r a d i c a l l y as an element of doubt i n the quartet.  The poet asks, " S h a l l we  and " w i l l the clematis / Stray down, bend to us; and spray / C l u t c h and cling?"(129-31).  follow?"(18) tendril  In the l a s t movement,  the appearance of the a u x i l a r y w i l l does not s i g n a l f u t u r e tense as i n the previous movements:  "Words  .  not stay i n p l a c e , / W i l l not stay s t i l l " ( 1 4 9 - 5 3 ) .  .  . Here,  will  92.  the verb i m p l i e s the u n i v e r s a l present;  that i s , the past,  present, and continuing m u t a b i l i t y o f words.  Through the  quartet, the verb form modulates from the f u t u r e to the present.  Such a modulation r e i n f o r c e s the concept of the  e t e r n a l "now" which i s presented i n section V.  In fact,  the tense of the whole l a s t movement i s the u n i v e r s a l present.  The p a r t i c u l a r experience of the "rose-garden"  i n the past becomes a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the p h i l o s o p h i c a l g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s o f the quartet u n t i l , i n the l a s t movement, i t represents an e t e r n a l s t a t e o f being.  I n accord w i t h  t h i s p r o g r e s s i o n , the past tense of the opening movement becomes the u n i v e r s a l present of the l a s t :  Sudden i n a shaft of s u n l i g h t Even while the dust moves There r i s e s the hidden l a u g h t e r Of c h i l d r e n 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 a n a l y s i s .  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 c l o s e r r e l a t i o n to the ideas they present.  Reference to my d i s c u s s i o n 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 a n a l y s i s of the l a t e r quartet  "East Coker" and "Dry Salvages" are r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t i n s t r u c t u r e from the f i r s t quartet.  They represent  v a r i a t i o n s upon themes introduced i n "Burnt Norton," but n e i t h e r i s as symmetrical or as " f i n i s h e d " as "Burnt Norton or as the poem's r e c a 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 c e n t r a l preoccupation of the inner poems.  Thus one  does not f i n d the image of the "white l i g h t " or the k i n g f i s h e r '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 p o i n t . "  The t i m e l e s s 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 w i t h the c y c l i c a l pattern of l i f e and death and the regeneration of a dead form i n t o a d i f f e r e n t , l i v i n g one;  i n s e c t i o n IV, i t touches upon  the death of C h r i s t and the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e s u r r e c t i o n .  94  "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 annunciation" — Annunciation,"  the death k n e l l of men  —  "calamitous  w i t h the  the "Incarnation" of C h r i s t .  "one  These poems  become i n c r e a s i n g l y dependent upon C h 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 r e v e l a t i o n i n i m a g i s t i c , p h i l o s o p h i c a l , and a e s t h e t i c terms, the other quartets g r a d u a l l y  transform  t h i s r e v e l a t i o n i n t o r i t u a l i s t i c and symbolic forms of the C h r i s t i a n 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 t u r n i n g  world" becomes the symbol of the I n c a r n a t i o n ;  the "white  l i g h t , " the B i b l i c a l f i r e s of d e s t r u c t i o n 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 p s y c h o l o g i c a l 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 e x t e r n a l 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 f u s i o n of the s p i r i t the f l e s h , i t i s that  and  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 i n v e r s i o n , "In my end i s my  beginning," at the close.  The process of regeneration i s  imitated i n the press of images and r e p e t i t i o n of words i n the f i r s t eight l i n e s :  . . . . I n succession Houses r i s e and f a l l , crumble, are extended, Are removed, destroyed, restored, or i n 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 f i r e s to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which i s already f l e s h , fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and l e a f .  The process i s r e p e t i t i v e , a transformation of matter from "old" to "new," "new"  to "old."  The rhythm i s s i m i l a r to  the compressed metre used f o r philosophical subjects i n "Burnt Norton," but the 'philosophy' i s conveyed by concrete images rather than by abstractions. The image o f the f i r e s anticipates the destructive and purging f i r e s of " L i t t l e Gidding."  F i r e i s v i r t u a l l y the only s p e c i f i c  image of l i g h t i n the middle two quartets.  An exception to  t h i s i s the reference i n the second passage of section I to the f a l l i n g l i g h t .  But that image i s not so much one of  l i g h t as the absence of l i g h t , "dark i n the afternoon." The f a l l i n g of the l i g h t marks the beginning of one of the few p i c t o r i a l descriptions i n Four Quartets.  Although  t h i s scene shares with the "rose-garden" experience a certain dreaminess and p a s s i v i t y , i t i s more s p e c i f i c and more e a s i l y v i s u a l i z e d .  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 e a r l y owl."  The  apparent imperative mood of the verb i s incongruous and without direction.  I t seems l i k e l y that the verb i s an i n d i c a t i v e one  without a subject.  The subject could be the " d a h l i a s , " the  observer, o r a l l o f the objects d e s c r i b e d . 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 c l o s e , i f you do not come too  close"(24),  a counterpart t o the voice i n "Burnt Norton" which asks, " S h a l l we f o l l o w ? " ( 1 8 ) .  The "East Coker" l i n e s i g n a l s an entry into another "world."  However, i t i s not the world o f the t i m e l e s s  moment, but of the past.  The pagan dance i s a r i t u a l  enacted over c e n t u r i e s , a human rhythm i n step w i t h the rhythms o f "the seasons and the c o n s t e l l a t i o n s . "  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 . i n t h i s mannerism a tone of mockery.  One detects  The dancers are  somehow reduced by the s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y formal language of "Holding each other by the hand or the arm / Which betokeneth concorde."  The s i g n i f i c a n c e of the c e l e b r a t i o n  i s reduced to i t s most basic l e v e l w i t h the words, "Dung and  death"(46),  an echo o f " f l e s h , f u r and  faeces"(7).  The mocking o r s e l f - c o n s c i o u s tone i s not apparent i n "Burnt Norton," but i t does f i g u r e quite prominently i n  97.  the inner poems.  One  becomes aware of a personality-  i n t r u d i n g between the words on the page and the a c t i o n s they describe.  Perhaps E l i o t f e l t that he could not  s u s t a i n the elevated tone of "Burnt Norton" without becoming pompous or even "romantic." dialogue w i t h the reader:  Instead, he develops a curious "That was a way of p u t t i n g i t —  not very s a t i s f a c t o r y " ( 6 8 ) ;  "You  say I am repeating /  Something I have s a i d before"(133-4).  He seems, i n p a r t ,  to be conveying some sense of the s t r u g g l e f o r a r t i c u l a t i o n to which he a l l u d e s throughout the quartets. such exaggerated self-consciousness i n " L i t t l e  He abandons Gidding,"  r e t u r n i n g p a r t i a l l y to the unattached, omniscient  persona.  Although he r e t a i n s and extends the use of the f i r s t person i n s e c t i o n 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 w i t h four l y r i c a l , i m a g i s t i c 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 o f the dawn i s l i n k e d to the  notion of "beginning" i n the l a s t l i n e of the s e c t i o n , "In my beginning";  the "sea and the "wind" are picked  up  again as "the wave c r y " and "the wind c r y " of s e c t i o n 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 o f time. " i t [the  I t suggests 'beginnings : 1  seaj tosses / I t s  h i n t s of e a r l i e r and other creation"("Dry Salvages." 17-13).  The gentle l y r a c i s m which concludes the f i r s t movement i s transformed i n t o the b i z a r r e l y r i c i s m o f the f i r s t seventeen l i n e s of the second movement. short and the rhythm dominantly  /  The l i n e s become  iambic:  /  /  And creatures of the summer heat,  /  /  /  /  And snowdrops w r i t h i n g under f e e t  /  /  7  /  And hollyhocks that aim too high  /  /  /  /  Red i n t o grey and tumble down Late roses f i l l e d with e a r l y snow? ( 5 3 - 5 7 )  I r o n i c a l l y , t h i s r e t u r n to metred verse does not s i g n i f y order, but d i s o r d e r . The n a t u r a l rhythms o f the seasons and the c o n s t e l l a t i o n s , so predominant i n the previous movement, are d i s r u p t e d : snow";  "Late roses" are " f i l l e d with  "Scorpion f i g h t s against the Sun." This d i s r u p t i o n  i s caught i n such images o f 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 t u r n i n g world," but of d e s t r u c t i v e o p p o s i t i o n . The couplets which i n i t i a t e the passage soon d i s i n t e g r a t e 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 the "vortex" of d e s t r u c t i o n .  simulates  The words snow and f i r e have  no rhyming partner, i n d i c a t i v e of the d i s c o r d present i n the rhyme and i n the scene described.  The o p p o s i t i o n of snow  and f i r e , of " d e s t r u c t i v e f i r e " and "ice-cap," develops i n t o a thematic l i n e which reappears i n s e c t i o n IV as " f r i g i d purgatorial as " f r o s t and  fires"(165)  fire"(4)  and i n " L i t t l e  and as "The  Gidding"  b r i e f sun flames the  ice"(5).  A f t e r t h i s i r o n i c a l l y measured i n t r o d u c t i o n , s e c t i o n 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 p h i l o s o p h i c a l .  The  speaker steps out of the poem to  discuss once again the "wrestle / With words and meanings" before beginning the kind of a b s t r a c t word game played i n . "Burnt Norton":  . . . . Had they deceived us Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced e l d e r s , Bequeathing us merely a r e c e i p t f o r deceit? ( 7 5 - 7 7 )  The e f f e c t of "a r e c e i p t f o r d e c e i t " i s sardonic.  Eliot  i s mocking the "wisdom" of the " e l d e r s " i n the r e p e t i t i v e word play.  This exaggerated tone of mockery i s q u i c k l y  counterpointed  by the s t r a i g h t - f a c e d 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 p a t t e r n , and f a l s i f i e s , For the p a t t e r n i s a new and shocking V a l u a t i o n 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," " p a t t e r n , " and " v a l u a t i o n , " a l l of which have a q u a l i t y o f 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 a b s t r a c t i o n s 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 p a t t e r n " of sound and meaning.  The d i f f e r e n c e 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 p l a y , of a pattern o f words created through r e p e t i t i o n .  While the f i r s t i m p l i e s mockery  through the r e p e t i t i o n o f rhyming sounds, the second word game conveys the importance of " p a t t e r n . " A passage from section V o f the quartet echoes the tone, i d e a , vocabulary, and tautness of the serious l i n e s :  101.  The world becomes stranger, the p a t t e r n more complicated Of dead and l i v i n g . Not the intense moment I s o l a t e d , w i t h 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 o f o l d 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 o f "Burnt Norton" i n that i t i s dominated by darkness and d e p i c t s the " t w i t t e r i n g world" o f men i n a steady stream o f images. The f i r s t part o f t h i s s e c t i o n revolves around a repeated injunction or declaration:  I s a i d to my s o u l , be s t i l l , and l e t the dark come upon you Which s h a l l be the darkness o f God. (112-13)  I s a i d to my s o u l , 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 e s p e c i a l l y e f f e c t i v e i n b r i n g i n g about the appropriate pause i n the flow o f 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 e f f e c t achieved l a r g e l y i n the v e r b a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s :  " l e t . . . come" and  102.  " s h a l l be."  This kind of c o n s t r u c t i o n i s used even more  d e l i b e r a t e l y 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 t h i n g s h a l l be well"(167-8).  I n 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 s e c t i o n to modulate toward a C h r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  The descent  i n t o darkness i s no longer a purely p s y c h o l o g i c a l process of " d e s s i c a t i o n " ; "God."  i t i s a movement toward u n i f i c a t i o n w i t h  E l i o t returns to the language of "Burnt Norton"  w i t h 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 C h r i s t i a n symbols begin to complement one another.  He  moves, t o o , i n t o another of the modes of "Burnt Norton" i n the second passage o f s e c t i o n I I I , the p a r a d o x i c a l 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 You must In order to You must In order to You must  a r r i v e at what you do not know go by a way which i s the way of ignorance. possess what you do not possess go by the way of d i s p o s s e s s i o n . a r r i v e a t what you are not go through the way i n which you are not. . (133-43)  As i n the other f o u r t h movements, s e c t i o n IV of "East Coker" presents an oblique p e r c e p t i o n of the basic thematic m a t e r i a l of the q u a r t e t s .  "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 t h a t has  gone before i n the q u a r t e t .  Such d i s c 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 a e s t h e t i c p r a c t i c e .  The rhyme and metre  of the s e c t i o n f u r t h e r set i t apart, p r o v i d i n g a r i g i d , almost r i t u a l i s t i c , format f o r the development of the images.  There are a number of connections w i t h the r e s t  of the q u a r t e t s , however.  One  comes to r e a l i z e that the  death of C h r i s t i n "East Coker" i s but the f i r s t stage i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y C h r i s t i a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of experience i n the l a t e r quartets.  spiritual  The n o t i o n of the death  of C h r i s t 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 w i t h which "East Coker" opens.  The death of C h r i s t i s  counterpointed i n "Dry Salvages" by the "Annunciation" of h i s b i r t h .  The promise of human r e s u r r e c t i o n i n h i s  r e b i r t h i s the f i n a l r e l i e f a f t e r the "agony / Of death and birth"(132-33)•  The appropriateness of the image of  "the wounded surgeon" w i t h "the bleeding hands" i s a f f i r m e d when one recognizes him as C h r i s t .  The p s y c h o l o g i c a l  malaise of the people of the " t w i t t e r i n g world" i s seen f o r the f i r s t time as a " s i c k n e s s " brought on by "Adam's curse," but i n t i m a t i o n s 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 s e c t i o n f u r t h e r e s t a b l i s h i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the r e s t of the q u a r t e t s : the " C h i l l / Fingers of yew";  " c h i l l " echoes  " 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 " a n t i c i p a t e s "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 d e l i b e r a t e l y obscure i n t h i s s e c t i o n .  Obscurity, of course, i s a charge  one could l e v e l at Four Quartets as a whole, e s p e c i a l l y i n comparison to The Prelude. accomplishment  The t e s t of E l i o t ' s  i s whether i n h i s complexity he has grasped  a dimension that Wordsworth with h i s 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 i n e f f a b l e experience i n c l e a r and p r e c i s e terms without s a c r i f i c i n g the e s s e n t i a l mystery of that experience.  Why, then, d i d E l i o t choose  the oblique r a t h e r than the d i r e c t ?  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 s u i t a b l e to the character of another, e s p e c i a l l y f o r i n n o v a t i v e w r i t e r s searching f o r new and more e f f e c t i v e modes of expression.  Eliot's  w r i t i n g r e l e c t s a more s o p h i s t i c a t e d approach to p s y c h o l o g i c a l processes than the Romantics possessed.  This s o p h i s t i c a t i o n  does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean that the moderns have a more profound i n s i g h t i n t o human nature than d i d Shakespeare or Wordsworth;  i t simply means thay have developed a  new and perhaps more e f f e c t i v e system f o r a n a l y z i n g human nature.  One suspects t h a t E l i o t ' s r e c r e a t i o n o f p s y c h o l o g i c a l  time and c o n t i n u i t y 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 p s y c h o l o g i c a l  order, o b s c u r i t y 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 l a r g e l y by symbolic s t r u c t u r e s , not by a l o g i c a l progression o f thought or by coherent narrative.  Added to the p o t e n t i a l o b s c u r i t y of the symbols  i s the attempt to i n t e g r a t e the C h r i s t i a n symbols with the p s y c h o l o g i c a l ones.  E l i o t ' s c o n t r i b u t i o n , then, i s t h i s  synthesis of fundamentally p s y c h o l o g i c a l experience w i t h 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 m y s t i c , and thus i s l e s s r e a d i l y a c c e s s i b l e than t h a t of Wordsworth's 'higher mind.'  He  s t r i v e s to capture the mystery of the " I n c a r n a t i o n , " not only the i n t e g r a t i o n of body and s p i r i t i n human experience as does Wordsworth.  The o b s c u r i t y of Four Quartets can be  explained as a f u n c t i o n of the way i n which E l i o t perceives his subject. Nonetheless, one i s o c c a s i o n a l l y 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 s e c t i o n IV of "East Coker," as evidenced by the extravagant imagery — ruined m i l l i o n a i r e " — c a l l t h i s F r i d a y good."  e.g., "the  and the i r o n i c l a s t statement:  "we  The r e g u l a r s t a n z a i c s t r u c t u r e and  rhyme c o n t r i b u t e to the exaggerated mannerism and mocking  106  tone of the s e c t i o n ;  they compel the reader to view the  human c o n d i t i o n described with an i r o n i c detachment to that of the speaker.  similar  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 o f C h r i s t and the a c t u a l i t y of "the ruined millionaire."  From the symbolic and r i t u a l i s t i c  language of s e c t i o n IV,  E l i o t s h i f t s to the d i r 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 s i g n i f i c a n c e of C h r i s t ' s death i n the previous s e c t i o n , he now returns to the problem o f a r t i c u l a t i o n itself:  "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 d e t e r i o r a t i n g In the general mess o f i m p r e c i s i o n of f e e l i n g , U n d i s c i p l i n e d squads of emotion. (179-32)  The case i s overstated rather d e l i b e r a t e l y , I t h i n k .  The  p i c t u r e o f E l i o t , the poet, seems too humble i n r e l a t i o n t o his  accomplishment i n the poem, but perhaps i s not i n  r e l a t i o n to the immensity o f h i s e f f o r t s to express the "inarticulate."  A f t e r the rambling apologies i n the f i r s t part o f s e c t i o n 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 u n i v e r s a l themes.  The  language i s that o f "Burnt Norton":  Love i s most n e a r l y 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 f u r t h e r union, a deeper communion Through the dark c o l d and the empty d e s o l a t i o n , The wave c r y , the wind c r y , 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 p o i n t ;  i t i s positioned  i n the shortest and c e n t r a l 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 o f "union" i n "union" and "communion."  The C h r i s t i a n overtones of the  s e c t i o n 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 c e r t a i n themes and images presented e a r l i e r i n t h i s quartet: "the  the " o l d men,"  "the wave c r y , "  wind c r y , " the f u s i o n of "end" and "beginning."  He  achieves the same blend o f the a b s t r a c t 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 c o n f r o n t i n g the b u i l d e r of bridges. / The problem once s o l v e d , the brown god i s almost f o r g o t t e n . " The subject of both opening movements i s rhythm:  the f i r s t section of "East Coker" i s concerned  w i t h the rhythm of the seasons and the s t a r s as a c y c l i c a l pattern of r e b i r t h ;  t h a t of "Dry Salvages" w i t h the rhythm  of the brown r i v e r god i n the l i v e s of  men.  The c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the r i v e r as a god i s counterpointed by that of the r i v e r as "a conveyor of commerce," as a v e h i c l e which serves man.  The " s u l l e n , untamed and  i n t r a c t a b l e " q u a l i t y of the r i v e r i s "almost f o r g o t t e n " by c i v i l i z e d men who worship the machine r a t h e r than the god.  The r i v e r as a " f o r g o t t e n " god i s r e i n f o r c e d 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 i m p l i e s t h a t the presence o f the r i v e r ' s rhythm i n the "nursery," i n the " a i l a n t h u s , " 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 a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h the r i v e r are the memories o f the c h i l d i n the "nursery" before he becomes "the b u i l d e r of b r i d g e s . " 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: about us."  "The r i v e r i s w i t h i n us, the sea i s a l l  Added to the rhythm o f the r i v e r god i s the  pervasive presence of the sea.  The n o t i o n of the sea i s  another dimension i n the rhythmical p a t t e r n of man; i t suggests a rhythm of recurrence, of a c o n t i n u i n g process of r e b i r t h that i s v i r t u a l l y t i m e l e s s .  The sea tosses up  both the " h i n t s o f e a r l i e r and other c r e a t i o n " and the remnants of human " l o s s e s . "  The rhythm o f the sea i s  f u r t h e r defined l a t e r i n the s e c t i o n 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 q u i t e represent  timelessness, but a time beyond "the time of chronometers" and o f men.  The "ground s w e l l " i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h "the  t o l l i n g b e l l " and death;  i t moves i n time, but i t c a r r i e s  the continuing, t i m e l e s s process o f death.  The r e l 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 / I s a . . . god" and "the sea has . . . / Many gods."  The r i v e r i s a god w i t h i n man;  the sea and i s one of i t s gods.  i t flows from  The sea, though l i n k e d  to human processes, i s beyond man and time; source of the human rhythm of l i f e and death.  i t i s the 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 u l t i m a t e - - o f the "human form d i v i n e " t o God.  A f o c a l p o i n t 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 f o g i s i n the f i r t r e e s . "  These l i n e s stand out both i n terms of  t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n the s e c t i o n and i n terms o f content. "The s a l t " and "the f o g " are r e l a t e d t o the previous imagery i n the s e c t i o n as aspects of the sea and the "rose" and "the f i r t r e e s " as aspects of the land.  Both the rose  and the f o g are r e c u r r i n g m o t i f s i n the i m a g i s t i c p a t t e r n of Four Quartets, but t h e i r s p e c i f i c s i g n i f i c a n c e here i s not c l e a r .  The images contained i n these l i n e s do support  the connection between the sea and the land already e s t a b l i s h e d i n "The sea i s the land's edge a l s o . "  The  images are suggestive r a t h e r than e x p l i c i t :  suggest  they  the "co-existence" of vague opposites i n s t e a d of d e f i n i t e opposites such as darkness and l i g h t o r the end and the beginning.  A f t e r t h i s r a t h e r obscure i n t e r l u d e , E l i o t r e t u r n s t o h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of the sea. The d i f f e r e n t " v o i c e s " of the sea are i d e n t i f i e d as a "howl," a " y e l p , " a "whine," a " d i s t a n t r o t e , " and a " w a i l i n g . " of sounds i s the " s i l e n t f o g . "  Set against t h i s mixture The f o g produces a d i f f e r e n t  111.  v o i c e , "the t o l l i n g b e l l . "  The sound o f the b e l l i s  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the other sounds by the s i l e n c e which surrounds i t .  The b e l l ' s d i s t i n c t n e s s i s emphasized by  the b r e v i t y o f 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 r e s t o f the l i n e s i n the passage concerned with the sea voices.  The sound o f the b e l l i s i m i t a t e d i n the l i n e s  that f o l l o w 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 s w e l l , a time Older than the time o f chronometers, o l d e r Than time counted by anxious worried women (36-9) The cadence of the l i n e s changes a f t e r t h i s point t o the compressed, choppy rhythm which expresses the a n x i e t y o f the women f r e t t i n g over "the past and the f u t u r e . " l i n e s then s t r e t c h out again to carry the "ground  The swell"  of the sea before coming to r e s t on the resounding phrase "Clangs / The b e l l . "  This rhythm o f the "ground s w e l l " and  the t o l l i n g of the b e l l develop i n t o s i g n i f i c a n t themes i n "Dry Salvages," c a r r y i n g w i t h them connotations of an i n e v i t a b l e , t i m e l e s s process and death.  The chorus o f 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 w i t h e r i n g , " "the unprayable prayer," "the v o i c e l e s s w a i l i n g . " sound which i s heard i s the "Clamour o f the b e l l . "  The o n l y A l l the  112  sea sounds which s i g n a l l e d the operation of l i v i n g f o r c e s are transformed i n t o the s i l e n t process of dying.  Many o f  the images o f the v i b r a n t f i r s t s e c t i o n appear i n the a l t e r e d context of the second:  the "wreckage," "the bone  on the beach," the "boat," the "fishermen," the " f o g . " The context i n which they are placed i s a decaying one, and one f i l l e d with negative c o n s t r u c t i o n s :  We cannot t h i n k o f a time t h a t i s oceanless Or of an ocean not l i t t e r e d with wastage Or o f a f u t u r e that i s not l i a b l e L i k e the past, to have no d e s t i n a t i o n . (69-72)  Not as making a t r i p t h a t 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 — "leakage," "cowers," "wastage" — based upon negation —  "failing,"  and one o f the rhymes i s  "motionless," "emotionless,"  " d e v o t i o n l e s s , " "oceanless," " e r o s i o n l e s s , " 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  p o s i t i v e element i n the s e c t i o n , "the one Annunciation." The concept of C h r i s t ' s b i r t h i s considerably burdened by  the predominance of the other k i n d o f annunciation i n the quartet.  I t does not represent a note of triumph;  "hardly, b a r e l y prayable."  i t is  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.  A f t e r the excessiveness of the wreckage  and the b a i l i n g and the clamour and the w i t h e r i n g , i t i s a h o p e f u l , i f t e n t a t i v e , gesture.  The c a r e f u l l y c o n t r i v e d  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 s e t t i n g f o r the presentation o f a r e l i g i o u s i d e a .  This form i s s i m i l a r i n  e f f e c t to that which describes the death of C h r i s t i n s e c t i o n IV of "East Coker";  i t a l s o resembles the l y r i c a l  form which d e p i c t s the descent of the Holy Ghost i n s e c t i o n IV of " L i t t l e Gidding." set  I n a l l cases, l y r i c i s m i s used t o  the o v e r t l y r e l i g i o u s ideas o r events apart from the  r e s t of the poem, as i f to i m i t a t e the k i n d of r i t u a l the church employs t o celebrate such events.  The death and  b i r t h of C h r i s t are not r e a d i l y acceptable o r a c c e s s i b l e events;  they r e q u i r e a p o e t i c environment separate from  that used f o r most of the poem.  The I n c a r n a t i o n and  Resurrection of C h r i s t are mysteries o f the C h r i s t i a n r e l i g i o n which are apart from o r d i n a r y experience, and e s p e c i a l l y 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 s t r u c t u r e 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 a l f of the s e c t i o n to the s t r o n g l y c o n t r a s t i n g nature o f the second i s achieved suddenly.  From the sombre and  r e l i g i o u s , one i s plunged i n t o the p r o f e s s o r i a l " I t seems, as one becomes o l d e r , . . . "  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 p r o s a i c i n the manner of e a r l i e r p h i l o s o p h i c a l 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 r e s t o r e s the experience In a d i f f e r e n t form, beyond any meaning We can assign to happiness. I have s a i d before That the past experience r e v i v e d 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 w r i t e s v a r i a t i o n s on a theme of two words, "meaning" and "experience."  "Meaning" and "experience" d i v i d e human  existence i n t o two e s s e n t i a l p a r t s :  that which happens  and i s f e l t and the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f t h a t 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 r e s t of Four Quartets attempts to d e f i n e .  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  r e l a t i o n s h i p 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 t h i s passage from  Four Quartets, E l i o t suggests the interdependency o f experience and meaning by a l t e r n a t e l y repeating the words while saying the same t h i n g i n various ways:  "approach to the meaning  r e s t o r e s the experience"; "experience revived i n the meaning." The s e c t i o n ends w i t h nine l i n e s o f obscure imagery:  Time the destroyer i s time the preserver, L i k e the r i v e r w i t h i t s cargo of dead negroes, cows and chicken coops, The b i t t e r apple and the b i 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 , f o g 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 l a y a course by: but i n the sombre season Or the sudden f u r y , 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 p u z z l i n g one. The r e l a 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 m o r t a l i t y suggested by the l a t e r a l l u s i o n to "the b i t e i n the apple."  However, the connection of  116  the negro image to the other cargo images i s too ambiguous to warrant i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  The e f f e c t of the three images  together may be described:  the negroes are reduced to a  subhuman l e v e l by a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the other cargo.  This  reduction i s immediately produced by the a p p l i c a t i o n of the word cargo to the human beings.  The analogy e s t a b l i s h e d  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 indirect.  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  s i m i l e i s due to the f a c t that there i s no concrete b a s i s f o r comparison, no s o l i d sensual foundation.  Time i s an  a b s t r a c t concept, the apple i s a mythological symbol, and the cargo imagery i s obscure.  Although the images o f the  cargo are, s t r i c t l y speaking, sensual, they f u n c t i o n 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 " f o g " makes i t s f u n c t i o n as a symbol c l e a r e r i f not t o t a l l y unambiguous.  One  can see the a c t u a l  danger of a rock i n a "sudden f u r y of the sea," so t h a t 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 i n the t h i r d section of the e a r l i e r quartets: the way of darkness and the way of l i g h t point to one end. In "Burnt Norton" there i s the phrase "This i s the one way, and the other / Is the same"(122-23);  i n "Dry Salvages"  the i d e n t i c a l idea i s presented as "And the way up i s the way down, the way forward i s the way back."  The related  phrase i n "East Coker" i s "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."  The essential structure  of these movements i s counterpoint, a point of balance between opposites. the  The following quotations i l l u s t r a t e  s i m i l a r i t y i n structure and concept of the sections:  Into the world of perpetual solitude, World not world, but that which i s not world, (B.N. 115-16) This i s the one way, and the other Is the same, not i n movement But abstention from movement . . . (B.N.  122-24)  And what you do not know i s the only thing you know And what you own i s what you do not own And where you are i s 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 t h i s . . • (D.S. 152-56)  118.  The point of balance between opposites r e c e i v e s i t s f u l l e s t treatment i n s e c t i o n 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 s t r u c t u r e 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 s t a s i s achieved a t "the s t i l l point of the t u r n i n g 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 e q u i l i b r i u m .  In t h i s world  between "the h i t h e r and f a r t h e r shore" time i s a r r e s t e d : the f u t u r e and the past are equal.  The metaphor of the  s t a s i s "between two waves" i s complemented by the continuing rhythm o f the "ground s w e l l , " and "the sea b e l l ' s / Perpetual angelus"("Dry Salvages," 182-83). a t i m e l e s s moment;  The p o i n t o f s t a s i s i s  the "ground s w e l l " and the "angelus"  measure a timeless process of death and r e b i r t h .  The  movement o f 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 f u n c t i o n i n  The Prelude.  The sea journey i s placed i n a C h r i s t i a n context again i n the f o u r t h s e c t i o n w i t h an address to the "Queen of Heaven."  The imperative mood of "fare forward" i n  s e c t i o n 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 o f the l i v i n g s a i l o r s t o the past o f the dead ones.  The three-stanza format,  119.  though r e g u l a r and r e p e t i t i v e , i s not the s t r i c t ,  lyrical  one of the f o u r t h movement o f "East Coker" o r the second movement of "Dry Salvages."  The s e c t i o n i s l i n k e d to the  r e s t o f the quartet by the references t o the s a i l o r s , t o the women w a i t i n g on l a n d ( s e c t i o n I ) , and to the sea b e l l . But by t h i s time, the sea b e l l i s no longer the s i g n a l o f "the calamitous annunciation";  i t i s the "perpetual  angelus" which commemorates the "one Annunciation."  The  concept of the C h r i s t i a n r e b i r t h has been f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d w i t h i n the rhythm of l i f e and death marked by the movement of the sea.  The rhythm of s e c t i o n V returns to the compressed, c l i p p e d 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  f u t u r e are t r a n s l a t e d i n t o a s e r i e s o f phrases by commas:  separated  "To communicate with Mars, converse w i t h  s p i r i t s , / To report the behaviour o f the sea monster, / Describe the horoscope, haruspicate o r s c r y . "  At the  words "But to apprehend," the rhythm becomes more f l u i d and the phrasing balanced: saint —  ". • . i s an occupation f o r the  / No occupation e i t h e r , 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 t o s e r i o u s ;  the d i c t i o n becomes simpler and l e s s v a r i e d than that o f  1 2 0  the opening l i n e s , a s i m p l i c i t y that i n d i c a t e s the subject matter i s o f much s i g n i f i c a n c e and complexity.  To a i d h i s  e f f o r t s to define the now f a m i l i a r t i m e l e s s "moment," E l i o t supplements h i s a b s t r a c t statements with the images associated with the rose-garden experience throughout the quartets:  the " s h a f t of s u n l i g h t , " "the w i l d thyme unseen,"  "the winter l i g h t n i n g , " and the "music" of s e c t i o n V of "Burnt Norton."  Then, w i t h the r e v e l a t i o n o f the u l t i m a t e  C h r i s t i a n "meaning" of the "experience" —  " I n c a r n a t i o n " --  the l i n e s become shorter and more i n t e n s e .  The concept  of " I n c a r n a t i o n " i s given form as the "co-existence" of opposites:  Here the impossible union Of spheres of existence i s a c t u a l , Here the past and f u t u r e Are conquered, and r e c o n c i l e d , Where a c t i o n were otherwise movement Of t h a t which i s only moved And has i n i t no source o f 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 p o i n t , 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 d i v i n e  experience w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n at the close of the quartet of the human e f f o r t s to achieve "union."  He s i g n a l s a  t r a n s i t i o n from the world of the s a i n t and of the " I n c a r n a t i o n "  121  to that o f 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 r e 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 r e v e r s i o n 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 i n t e g r a t i o n i n s i m i l a r terms as that o f 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 a c t i o n . "  I n t h i s movement, E l i o t  brings together the 'ways' of ordinary man, s a i n t , and C h r i s t .  (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 o f "East Coker," where the emphasis i s upon a seasonal rhythm and earth images.  However, "Midwinter  s p r i n g " i s not a part of the progressive c y c l e of s p r i n g , summer, autumn, and w i n t e r , but a suspension o f that c y c l e ; i t i s "suspended i n time."  The imagery, t h e r e f o r e , accomp-  l i s h e s a synthesis of opposites t h a t 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 " c o - e x i s t i n a s t a t e o f balance.  This "co-existence" o f seasonal extremes i s not  the chaotic c o n f l i c t o f the seasons and c o n s t e l l a t i o n s i n s e c t i o n I I of "East Coker."  The c o n f l i c t i s resolved i n  t h i s suspended s t a t e o f time i n which f r o s t and f i r e can f i n d a balance.  The "midwinter s p r i n g , " "between melting and f r e e z i n g , " c l e a r l y represents a s p i r i t u a l s t a t e of being.  As i n the  f i r s t movement o f "Burnt Norton," the images of the n a t u r a l world create a p a t t e r n 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 i c e manifests "pentecostal f i r e " that " s t i r s the dumb s p i r i t " ;  "the soul's sap q u i v e r s " i n the s t a t e of  s t a s i s "between melting and f r e e z i n g . " The l i g h t imagery that has gone before i s gathered up i n t o one g l o r i o u s  1 2 3  " g l a r e " o r "glow" o r " b l a z e " of f i r e that prepares the way f o r the 'incandescent flame' o f d e s t r u c t i o n and purgation of the f o u r t h movement.  The blaze of "midwinter s p r i n g " i s  hot a heat-producing f o r c e , f o r i t i s combined with the "windless c o l d . "  The essence o f the "season" between seasons  i s that i t i s n e i t h e r one extreme nor the other, heat nor c o l d , but a combination of the two. From the distance of "midwinter s p r i n g , " the heat of summer seems an "unimaginable" absolute: summer?"  "Where i s the summer, the unimaginable / Zero The l i n e s of the passage focus upon t h i s two word  l i n e , i m i t a t i n g the "zero" q u a l i t y o f the summer.  The phrase "Zero summer" acts as a p i v o t a l point from which a new momentum i n the s e c t i o n begins.  Repetitive  phrasing e s t a b l i s h e s a regular rhythmic pattern and a formalized system of movement s i m i l a r t o the formal e f f e c t s of the "box c i r c l e " p a s s a g e ^ 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 n i g h t l i k e a broken k i n g , 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 . E i t h e r you had no purpose Or the purpose i s beyond the end you f i g u r e d And i s a l t e r e d i n f u l f i l m e n t . ( 3 2 - 3 5 )  The l a s t example contains another o f the poem s p e r i o d i c 1  word v a r i a t i o n s , t h i s time c e n t r e i n g around "purpose" and to a l e s s e r degree around " f u l f i l l e d . "  The "meaning" of  the l i n e s seems t o be p a r t l y a f u n c t i o n o f 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 r e l a t i o n s h i p t o " 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 s e c t i o n which emphasizes v a r i a t i o n s 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 i n t a n g i b l e as f o r c r e a t i o n o f a formal p a t t e r n represented by "prayer."  The r e c u r r i n g sound o f the word  i m i t a t e s the " i n c a n t a t i o n " 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 o f words, the conscious occupation Of the praying mind, or the sound o f the v o i c e praying. ( 4 5 - 4 $ )  "Prayer" i s more than "an order o f words" because i t i s a means of communicating w i t h the dead, w i t h 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 , " u n i t e s the  1 2 5 .  p a r t i c u l a r with the u n i v e r s a l , time w i t h the t i m e l e s s : "Here, the i n t e r s e c t i o n o f 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 s i l e n c e 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 d e s c r i b i n g the death of the f o u r elements.  The f i r e imagery i s transformed i n t o an image  of death, "ash on an o l d man's sleeve." images are echoed: "old  Other e a r l i e r  the " o l d man" i s reminiscent of the  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"; "sea"  the "water and dead sand" of the  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 r e g u l a r , r e p e t i t i v e verse form;  the process of dying becomes a  126.  kind o f "formal p a t t e r n . "  The r e c u r r i n g phrase "This i s the  death of . . . " develops i n t o an " i n c a n t a t i o n " that measures the r i t u a l o f death.  The death o f the elements i s followed by a passage which i s e s s e n t i a l l y n a r r a t i v e i n that i t describes i n sequence the strange events of a walk through a deserted, dead c i t y .  The d e s o l a t i o n o f 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 w i t h 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 l e a v e s , " "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 f u n c t i o n s i g n i f i c a n t l y w i t h i n the  i m a g i s t i c s t r u c t u r e of Four Quartets.  The "dark dove,"  flame, and smoke a n t i c i p a t e the f i n a l c o n f l a g r a t i o n o f s e c t i o n IV.  The "dead leaves" are associated w i t h the  rose-garden, while the "dawn wind" r e c a l l s the "dawn wind" and the phrase " I n my beginning" o f "East Coker." meeting i n a world o f s t a s i s —  This  "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. I n t h 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 c h i l d r e n , the deserted c i t y r e v e a l s 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.  a world of " s u n l i g h t " ;  The one i s  the other of "waning dusk." Yet,  they are perceptions of the same world, the darkness and the l i g h t .  The g h o s t l y appearance of the "dead master"  with h i s "face s t i l l forming" resembles the " i n v i s i b l e " "guests" o f "Burnt Norton";  the " I " has a s i m i l a r q u a l i t y  of i n t a n g i b i l i t y as the u n i d e n t i f i e d "we" o f that quartet:  So I assumed a double p a r t , and c r i e d And heard another's voice c r y : '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 v i s i o n s 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 c l e a r i n the f i r s t q u a r t e t , although the "experience" i t s e l f i s v i v i d .  The i n c i d e n t  i n the rose-garden represents the "experience" of the timeless moment;  i t does not go f a r i n d e f i n i n g the  "meaning" of such "experience."  The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the  "experience" and the reader are l e f t with the admonition, "human k i n d cannot bear very much r e a l i t y . "  One f e e l s that  "we had the experience but missed the meaning."  The  "meaning" o f 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" o f the rose-garden i s  128  "revived i n the meaning" of the " I n c a r n a t i o n " and r e s u r r e c t i o n . Through the q u a r t e t s , E l i o t reveals that "human k i n d " can l e a r n 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 in rebirth.  In the l i g h t of the "meaning" of r e s u r r e c t i o n ,  the t i m e l e s s moment i n the rose-garden i s not an " i s o l a t e d " i n c i d e n t , but an i n t i m a t i o n of a u n i v e r s a l and enduring state;  i t becomes "the experience" "of many generations."  In the d e s c r i p t i o n 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 c l o s e l y joined than i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the rose-garden i n c i d e n t ; 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 r e a l i z e d . communication / Of the d e a d " ( " L i t t l e Gidding."  "The comes  5 0 - 5 1 )  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 a c t i o n . " The man who walks through the c i t y i s much c l o s e r 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 w i t h a greater  awareness what they experience i n innocence.  The "blowing  of the horn" s i g n a l s 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 l i f e t i m e ' s effort?' described by the "dead master."  a The  theme of the rose-garden i s taken up i n " L i t t l e Gidding" and reshaped i n t o one which i s resonant with a l l the  v a r i a t i o n s upon that theme i n the i n t e r v e n i n g quartets. The timeless moment i n t e r s e c t s with experience  i n time.  " L i t t l e Gidding" represents the r e s o l u t i o n of the f l u x between the temporal and the t i m e l e s s with a v i s i o n of the permanent s t a t e of "the s t i l l point of the t u r n i n g world."  The t h i r d movement launches into a sermon upon "attachment to s e l f , " "memory," "love of a country," "history."  L i k e i t s predecessors,  the world of men  i n time;  and  i t i s - concerned with  but u n l i k e the other middle  movements, i t does not describe the way of darkness. appears i n a new perspective;  Time  time as measured by h i s t o r y  and memory i n t e r s e c t s with the t i m e l e s s .  The  historical  f i g u r e s and p o l i c i e s "are f o l d e d i n a s i n g l e 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 o f "a Chinese j a r " that "moves p e r p e t u a l l y i n its stillness."  The f i n a l "symbol perfected i n death" i s  the f u s i o n o f 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 c e n t r a l 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 " c h i l d r e n i n the apple-tree,"  130  the  "fire."  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 o f the poem;  they are that process, j u s t as the  " I n c a r n a t i o n " i s both the symbol of the transformation of s p i r i t i n t o 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 c e r t a i n concepts i n Four Quartets,  they p a r t i c i p a t e i n the movement  toward the p e r f e c t i n g o f symbols.  The l o g i c a l development  of a d i s c u r s i v e s t y l e i n  s e c t i o n I I I give way to a l y r i c a l s t y l e i n the f o u r t h movement.  The near iambic rhythm and the a l t e r n a t i n g  rhyme scheme of the two stanzas create the formalized s t r u c t u r e i n which the r i t u a l o f redemption "from f i r e by f i r e " takes place.  "The dove descending" i s the manifest-  a t i o n of s p i r i t analogous to the " I n c a r n a t i o n " of C h r i s t . But the i n c a r n a t i o n o f 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 o f the purgation and r e b i r t h promised man by the death and r e s u r r e c t i o n of C h r i s t . This r e b i r t h through f i r e i s a continuation o f the theme of "agony" as a "way" o f reaching a permanent state of i n t e g r a t e d being. "the  "Love" i s named as the inventor o f  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 o f movement"; cause and end of "torment." "the  i t i s both the  And l a t e r i n " L i t t l e Gidding,"  drawing of t h i s Love" i s associated w i t h 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 r e s o l u t i o n o f the themes o f the  other movements and the conclusion o f the progression toward the perfected symbol o f f u s i o n :  "the f i r e and the  rose are one." The s e c t i o n opens with a set o f v a r i a t i o n s upon the theme o f beginning and end.  The f i r s t three  l i n e s present the r e l a t i o n s h i p between beginning and end as an a b s t r a c t i o n :  What we c a l l the beginning i s o f t e n 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 a p p l i e s t h i s abstract idea to the s t r u c t u r e o f language and to the theme of a r t i c u l a t i o n which has occupied a considerable p o r t i o n o f 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 o f the l i n e s which describe the r e s o l u t i o n of the poet's s t r u g g l e f o r expression.  A balance i s  achieved between the opposing words " d i f f i d e n t " and " o s t e n t a t i o u s , " " o l d " and "new";  the d i c t i o n i s "common"  without being 'vulgar,' "formal" without being "pedantic." Within the form o f 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 p o i n t of the t u r n i n g  world" i s an a e s t h e t i c s t a t e as w e l l as a p s y c h o l o g i c a l one.  In t h i s l a s t movement, the correspondence between  the a e s t h e t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n 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. A e s t h e t i c form —  the Chinese j a r or the pattern of sound  a f t e r the music has ended —  i s one of the " h i n t s and  guesses," a symbolic p a t t e r n of "co-existence" which suggests the f u s i o n of being beyond time and beyond the world of the f l e s h .  The metaphor of the "dance," p r e v i o u s l y  connected with the s t a t e of being at "the s t i l l i s now "The  point,"^9  associated with the harmony of an a e s t h e t i c c r e a t i o n :  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 i n c l u d e 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."  action /  Is a step to the block, to the f i r e " ; us to the p o i n t from which "we the cycle i s expressed "And  start."  "Any  but each step takes The f i r s t h a l f of  i n d i f f e r e n t form i n "Dry  the time of death i s every moment"(159).  The  of the c y c l e i s i m p l i c i t i n the s t r u c t u r e of these  We die with the dying: See, they depart, and we go with them. We are born with the dead: See, they r e t u r n , and b r i n g us with them. (228-31)  Salvages": concept lines:  133.  The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the dead and the l i v i n g has been growing as a theme i n the q u a r t e t s . i s not merely symbolic —  Here, the connection  as i n the "communication  dead" through the r i t u a l of prayer —  but a c t u a l .  o f the Eliot's  c y c l i c a l process i s not simply the decay o f the f l e s h l e a d i n g t o 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 spirit.  I n c a r n a t i o n and t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n are complementary.  The statement "The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree / Are o f equal d u r a t i o n " r e i n f o r c e s the concept o f the interdependency of b i r t h and death; i t a l s o suggests once again that the rose-garden experience and the way of darkness and d e s s i c a t i o n are 'one and the same.•  The echoes o f previous imagery i n t h i s conclusion o f the poem are many.  I n 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 t h r o a t " r e c a l l s the "dark t h r o a t " of the sea i n s e c t i o n IV o f "Dry Salvages"(181);  the " i l l e g i b l e  stone" echoes the " o l d stones that cannot be deciphered" of "East Coker"(196).  The phrase " H i s t o r y 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). setting i s familiar:  Even the  the f a l l i n g l i g h t on a w i n t e r ' s  afternoon i s a prevalent atmosphere i n the q u a r t e t s , 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 s t a t e o f p a s s i v i t y that suggests the s t a s i s of timelessness being timeless i t s e l f .  without  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 o f the r e c u r r i n g theme o f 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  striking.  The s t y l e i s that of i n c a n t a t i o n , the r e p e t i t i o n  of a m y s t i c a l 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 cance.  signifi-  This phrase i s more c l o s e l y r e l a t e d i n s t y l e and  content t o the concluding l i n e s of the movement than to the juxtaposed ones.  I t represents a r e c u r r i n g voice of  mysticism i n Four Quartets.  The l i f e of the s a i n t i s  remembered i n such a l l u s i o n s to the words o f mystics. "The f i g u r e of the t e n s t a i r s " and the phrase "And a l l s h a l l be w e l l and / A l l manner of t h i n g 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 Eliot.  A f t e r the i n t e r r u p t i o n of the " i n c a n t a t i o n , " the movement returns to i t s theme with a s e r i e s o f compressed, short l i n e s , the s t y l e with which E l i o t concludes each of h i s f i f t h movements.  " E x p l o r a t i o n , " 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 o f a l l our e x p l o r i n g / W i l l  135.  be to a r r i v e where we s t a r t e d . "  The concept o f a c y c l i c a l  e x p l o r a t i o n 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 r e s t o f the experience i n and out o f time represented i n the poem, the l a s t movement o f " L i t t l e Gidding" i s a r e c a p i t u l a t i o n w i t h a d i f f e r e n c e 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 " c h i l d r e n " and the phrase "Quick now, here, now, always" b r i n g back the experience o f the rosegarden, but they are accompanied by c e r t a i n 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 a c t i o n " :  A c o n d i t i o n o f complete s i m p l i c i t y (Costing not l e s s than everything) And a l l s h a l l be w e l l and A l l manner of t h i n g s h a l l be w e l l (253-56)  F i n a l l y , the C h r i s t i a n symbology o f the poem i s r e i n f o r c e d i n the c l o s i n g 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 f u s i o n 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 t h a t The Prelude and Four Quartets present a s i m i l a r experience, one begins to d i s c o v e r the d i f f e r e n c e s i n conception and expression between the two poems.  The "spots of time" and the "rose-  garden" i n c i d e n t are both t i m e l e s s moments;  they are  p o e t i c representations of timelessness, of i n t e g r a t e d perception.  The character of the "spots of time" has been  discussed:  the mood of r e l a x a t i o n preceding the experience,  the progression from sensual s t i m u l a t i o n t o s y n t h e s i s o f perception and emotion to e l e v a t i o n of f e e l i n g , the i n i t i a l concentration upon concrete images i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of the experience, and the correspondence  between the  transformation o f f e e l i n g and a s h i f t from a concrete to a more a b s t r a c t language.  The experience i s presented i n  a sequence of perceptions and f e e l i n g s .  May one detect  a s i m i l a r k i n d 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 f o l l o w 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 l e a v e s , In the autumn heat, through the v i b r a n t a i r ,  137  And the b i r d c a l l e d , i n response t o The unheard music hidden i n the shrubbery, And the unseen eyebeam crossed, f o r the roses Had the look of flowers t h a t are looked a t . There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting. So we moved, and they, i n a formal p a t t e r n , Along the empty a l l e y , i n t o the box c i r c l e , To look down i n t o the drained pool. Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged, And the pool was f i l l e d with water out of s u n l i g h t , And the l o t o s 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, r e f l e c t e d i n the pool. Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty. Go, s a i d the b i r d , f o r the leaves were f u l l of c h i l d r e n , Hidden e x c i t e d l y , containing l a u g h t e r . Go, go, go, s a i d the b i r d : human k i n d Cannot bear very much r e a l i t y . Time past and time f u t u r e 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 d e s c r i p t i o n of t i m e l e s s experience f o l l o w s a p a t t e r n s i m i l a r to t h a t o f the "spots o f time." The personae i n E l i o t ' s poem are drawn i n t o the experience, i n t o 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 e f f e c t .  As  they are s t i l l wondering whether they should f o l l o w , 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 p h i l o s o p h i c a l l a s t three l i n e s , a k i n d o f commentary fundamental to Wordsworth's p r e s e n t a t i o n 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 d i s t i n c t n e s s 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 o f the experience, the drawing i n o f the personae, i s accomplished much more d e l i b e r a t e l y by E l i o t .  The sense of e n t e r i n g another s t a t e of being i s  emphasized by the r e p e t i t i o n o f the phrase "Into our f i r s t world," and by l a t e r use of t h a t same " i n t o " : box c i r c l e , " " i n t o the drained p o o l . "  " i n t o the  The world seems to  be an enclosed one, and more p a r t i c u l a r l y , a k i n d o f "formal p a t t e r n , " a "box c i r c l e . "  Wordsworth draws the  reader into the world of t i m e l e s s experience by concentrating upon concrete images and c r e a t i n g a d e t a i l e d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the n a t u r a l scene. his  The reader i s a t t r a c t e d simply by  emotional a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h the sensual imagery.  Wordsworth's imagery f o l l o w s the movement of the eye and of f e e l i n g from one image t o another.  E l i o t traces  an emotional, but not a v i s u a l , c o n t i n u i t y i n h i s imagery. He u n v e i l s the s e t t i n g of the experience by a process of a s s o c i a t i v e 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 a t t e n t i o n  to t h e i r movement leads to the image o f the "dead l e a v e s , " which i n t u r n leads to the images of the "autumn heat" and the " v i b r a n t a i r . "  These three images are associated  by f e e l i n g , by the atmosphere of intense calm they c r e a t e .  139  The imagery o f the whole scene f u n c t i o n s i n t h i s way. The images discussed d e s c r i b e a k i n d o f i n t e n s i t y ; group o f images —  the next  "the unheard music," "the unseen eyebeam,"  the f l o w e r s "that are looked a t " —  s t r o n g l y suggests  the i n t a n g i b i l i t y o f the experience.  An emotional  r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t s between the "dead l e a v e s " and the "roses":  both images define the nature of the experience  i n terms that are vaguely mysterious.  The q u a l i t y o f  f e 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 o f the i n t a n g i b l e i s an attempt to give form to an experience t h a t i s not s u b s 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 e s 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 i n t o a c l e a r v i s u a l pattern.  One responds not to the photographic  v e r i t e o f the scene d e s c r i b e d , but to the f e e l i n g contained w i t h i n each image and t o the "formal p a t t e r n " o f the imagery as a whole.  Northrop Frye comments upon the f a c t t h a t  E l i o t ' s imagery i s not p r i m a r i l y v i s u a l :  " E l i o t has  achieved h i s hold on the modern reader's imagination not by c l e a r v i s u a l images, but by u n i t i n g the extremes of i n c a n t a t i o n and meaning."40 mode i n Four Quartets.  "Incantation" i s a s i g n i f i c a n t  The r e p e t i t i o n of a formula of  words i s a technique a l r e a d y 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 f o u r t h movements g e n e r a l l y .  Even i n the rose-garden  140  d e s c r i p t i o n , where the images have a sensual character, one does not respond so much to the sensual e f f e c t as to the "power of incantation,"41 to the r i t u a l i s t i c " p a t t e r n " of imagery i t s e l f .  One sees i n r e t r o s p e c t that the  "meaning" of the "experience" i n the rose-garden i s the "formal p a t t e r n . " E l i o t conveys t h i s sense o f " p a t t e r n " l a r g e l y through images of movement;  he l a t e r s t a t e s i n  "Burnt Norton" that "the d e t a i l of the p a t t e r n i s movement." The " p a t t e r n " of movement i s as f o l l o w s : the " f i r s t world";  the "we"  enter  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"; formal p a t t e r n " ; "a cloud passed." movement:  "we moved, and they, i n a  "the l o t o s rose, q u i e t l y , q u i e t l y " ; Then there are three passive forms of  the roses are looked a t ;  the "guests" were " r e f l e c t e d . "  the pool was  filled;  Of these a c t i o n s , only  the e n t e r i n g of the garden and the passing of the cloud are t a n g i b l e movements;  the r e s t , i n the experience of  the garden, seem to be abstract motions, formal gestures w i t h i n some preconceived p a t t e r n of movement, or "dance." The "dance" does not o r i g i n a t e with these dancers.  They  are simply p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a movement t h a t expresses a u n i v e r s a l experience of "formal p a t t e r n . " The e s s e n t i a l f i g u r e s i n the dance are those who are perceived, the " i n v i s i b l e " "guests."  The f a c t that they are perceived,  that they, l i k e the roses, are "looked a t , " 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 t h a t they may see the "formal pattern." leaves";  "They" are f i r s t seen "moving" "over the dead they then p a r t i c i p a t e i n the "formal p a t t e r n "  w i t h the p e r c e i v e r s ;  and f i n a l l y they are seen "behind us,  r e f l e c t e d i n the p o o l . "  They are seen i n f r o n t and apart;  then they j o i n the personae; and apart again.  f i n a l l y they are seen behind  T h e i r movement represents a completed  pattern o f separation of consciousness, i n t e g r a t i o n , and separation again.. The integrated perception of the experience i s the perception of t h i s movement.  But the  movement o f the "guests" i s not the f i n a l "formal p a t t e r n " ; i t i s a metaphor f o r " p a t t e r n " as an e n t i t y i n i t s e l f beyond the senses.  The a b s t r a c t e d , i n t a n g i b l e nature of the  movement i s suggested by the passive " a c t i o n s " 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 p o o l " " f i l l e d with water out of s u n l i g h t . "  These images suggest that there  i s a pattern without substance behind the s u b s t a n t i a l movement " i n t o the b o x - c i r c l e . "  They suggest what E l i o t  says i n s e c t i o n V o f "Burnt Norton," that the "form" of the experience continues a f t e r the " v i o l i n " stops p l a y i n g and c a r r i e s i n t o the " s i l e n c e , " the " s t i l l n e s s . "  The "formal p a t t e r n " E l i o t i s t r y i n g to represent i s not simply an a e s t h e t i c u n i t y of h i s poem, but the essence  of form suggested by that u n i t y . make the d i s t i n c t i o n c l e a r :  An analogy to music may  i f one has an experience o f  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 o f the p a r t i c u l a r form o f the fugue, but with an impression o f form as an a b s t r a c t i o n 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 p a t t e r n " here i n the a e s t h e t i c terms E l i o t uses i n s e c t i o n V o f "Burnt Norton."  U l t i m a t e l y , he defines the  perception o f a timeless "formal p a t t e r n " as a s p i r i t u a l experience.  I n s e c t i o n V, he foreshadows the transformation  from "co-existence" t o " I n c a r n a t i o n " by moving from "Words, a f t e r speech" to "the Word i n the desert."  The a e s t h e t i c  pattern o f "co-existence" i s but a 'hint* o f the " g i f t " of " I n c a r n a t i o n . "  Wordsworth represents the i n t e g r a t e d experience o f the timeless moment by r e c r e a t i n g a s e r i e s o f ordered  perceptions  which are r e l a t e d 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 v i s u a l i z e that scene and respond to i t sensually.  Although  the reader r e a c t s emotionally to the sensual images as they appear, h i s u l t i m a t e response i s determined by h i s r e c o g n i t i o n o f the i n t e g r a t i o n of the imagery i n the whole passage.  He represents the sequence o f perceptions i n  time l e a d i n g up t o the moment a t which time i s suspended. One can i d e n t i f y p r e c i s e l y the moment o f 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 f l a s h e s upon the t u r f r e v e a l i n g the sea and mist beyond.  One has g r e a t e r 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," f o r there i s no p o i n t 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 w i t h a sense of the i n t a n g i b l e 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 s e q u e n t i a l  development of the "spots of time" and the l a c k of such development i n the rose-garden d e s c r i p t i o n i n d i c a t e s fundamentally d i f f e r e n t perspectives.  Wordsworth i s  c h i e f l y concerned w i t h the process of transcendent experienc E l i o t w i t h i t s essence.  While Wordsworth traces the process i n terms o f a "language of the sense" that modulates toward a b s t r a c t i o n , E l i o t conveys the essence of the s p i r i t u a l s t a t e immediately through a language of a b s t r a c t i o n .  The form of abstractness  of "formal p a t t e r n " incomprehensible to the senses, i s E l i o t ' s i m i t a t i o n of the q u a l i t y of the s p i r i t .  In his  e f f o r t s to a r t i c u l a t e the " p a t t e r n " through word v a r i a t i o n s and games, r e p e t i t i o n of sounds, symbolic use o f sensual imagery, r i t u a l i s t i c verse s t r u c t u r e s , and " i n c a n t a t i o n " he suggests the struggle of the s p i r i t f o r expression.  Just  as the s e n s u a l i t y 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 r e s u l t s i n part from Wordsworth's d i r e c t about the "sublime**;  statements  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 imagery and f e e l i n g . interdependency  through s u b t l e changes i n sensual  One must recognize, of course, the  of sensual experience and  experience i n the two poems.  spiritual  The Prelude has i t s s p i r i t u a l  and a b s t r a c t dimension j u s t 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 w i t h 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 w i t h the e x t e r n a l world leads to the r e c o g n i t i o n of a d i v i n e 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.  I n c a n t a t i o n and r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l  are the v e h i c l e s f o r an enduring s p i r i t u a l communion. body, rather than being the c a t a l y s t , i s the agency of  The  145.  the s p i r i t ;  i t p a r t i c i p a t e s i n such communion almost  as s p i r i t .  For the m y s t i c , and Four Quartets attempts,  i n p a r t , to a r t i c u l a t e the experience of the m y s t i c , communion w i t h 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 h i s body behind on a d i s t a n t shore' to enjoy u n i f i c a t i o n with God i n h i s l i f e t i m e , whereas "most of us" can put aside our bodies f o r 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 s e l f - n e g a t i o n 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 r e t u r n to The Prelude and Four Quartets as poems, not j u s t v i s i o n a r y or m y s t i c a l s  revelations. aesthetically.  In major r e s p e c t s , they are f a r apart Yet, at the most fundamental  l e v e l , they are the same.  aesthetic  Each i s an a e s t h e t i c whole  which evokes i n the reader the sense of joy at the perception of a p o e t i c " t o t a l i t y . "  One might argue  that any good poem creates t h i s k i n d of " t o t a l i t y " response.  and  However, these poems, by d e a l i n g p r i m a r i l y w i t h  the subject of transcendent experience, make the reader more conscious of form and of the nature of h i s a p p r e c i a t i o n of the poems.  As w i t h the Bach fugue, one i s l e f t f i n a l l y  w i t h the impression of form.  While the one poem i s concerned  p r i m a r i l y w i t h 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 P a r a l l e l Text, ed. J.C. Maxwell (Harmondsworth, England! Penguin Books, 1 9 7 1 ) , p.479, Bk.XII, 208. This i s the e d i t i o n of the poem which w i l l be referred to hereafter. Crossreference has been made to the text of 1805 edited byErnest De Selincourt and revised by Helen Darbishire (Oxford University Press, 1969), and to the 1850 text edited by Jack S t i l l i n g e r ( B o s t o n : Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1965).  2.  Ibid., VI, 635-4°.  3.  T.S. E l i o t , "Dry Salvages," Four Quartets (London: Faber, 1959), p.44, 215-19. "This edition referred to hereafter.  4.  Four Quartets. " L i t t l e Gidding," 194.  5.  Prelude. IV,  6.  Four Quartets, "East Coker," 179-80.  7.  Prelude. XIV,  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,"  297.  188.  43.  10.  "East Coker," 113.  11.  "Burnt Norton,"  12.  "East Coker," 1 2 3 .  13.  "Burnt Norton,"  14.  Ibid.,  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 .  122.  160.  168.  143.  17.  "Dry Salvages," 214.  13.  Ibid., 202.  19.  "Dry Salvages," 159.  20.  Prelude. I , 302.  21.  Ibid.,  22.  "Burnt Norton," 124.  23.  Ibid., 117.  24.  Prelude, V, 335.  25.  T.S. E l i 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.  I b i d . . XIV, 70-71.  29.  William Wordsworth, "Preface to L y r i c a l Ballads. 1802," L y r i c a l Ballads, ed. R.L. Brett and A.R. Jones (London: Methuen and Co., 1963), p.257.  30.  T.S. E l 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 i n The Prose Works of William Wordsworth, I I I , ed. W.J.B. Owen and Jane Worthington Smyser (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974), p . 4 3 .  32.  Prelude, XII, 234-53. The P a r a l l e l Text shows a variant upon t h i s version i n l i n e s 2 4 4 ^ 4 5 . I t reads, "and to that hour / The characters were fresh and v i s i b l e . ^ I can f i n d no support f o r t h i s reading i n either of the texts previously cited or i n the De Selincourt edition of the 1850 text. Therefore, I have bowed to the majority i n selecting a reading of the l i n e s .  33.  Henry Vaughan, "The World," 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 and Co., 1968), p.976.  357-400.  -  1 4 9 .  3 4 .  35.  "Dry Salvages,"  9 3 - 9 9 .  Helen Gardner, "The Music of Four Quartets," The A r t °£ E l i o t (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1 9 5 0 ) , p p . 3 o ^ 3 7 .  3 6 .  Ibid.,  37.  E l i o t , " T r a d i t i o n and the I n d i v i d u a l Talent," p . 1 0 .  3 8 .  "Burnt Norton,"  3 9 .  Ibid.,  pp.48-54.  3 1 - 3 3 .  6 2 - 6 7 .  40.  Northrop Frye, " D i a l e c t o f the T r i b e , " T.S. E l i o t (London: O l i v e r and Boyd, 1 9 6 3 ) , p . 3 3 .  41.  Ibid., p . 3 3 .  1$0  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Blake, W i l l i a m . Blake: Complete W r i t i n g s . Ed. G e o f f r e y Keynes. London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969. Drew, E l i z a b e t h . T.S. E l i o t : The Design cj; MJS P o e t r y . New York: S c r i b n e r ' s , 1949. E l i o t , T.S.  Four Q u a r t e t s .  Eliot,  The Sacred Wood.  T.S.  London:  Faber, 1959.  2nd ed. London:  E l i o t , T.S. S e l e c t e d Essays. 1917-32. Brace, 1932. F r y e , Northrop.  T.S. E l i o t .  Gardner, Helen.  The A r t of T.S. E l i o t .  E.P.  London:  Methuen, 1928.  New York:  Harcourt,  O l i v e r and Boyd, 1963. New  York:  Dutton,"T9"50T"  The Norton Anthology o f E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e . I . Ed. M.H. et a l . New York: W.W. Norton, 1968. Wordsworth, W i l l i a m . and A.R. Jones.  Abrams  L y r i c a l B a l l a d s . Ed. R.L. B r e t t London: Methuen, 1963.  Wordsworth, W i l l i a m . The P r e l u d e , o r , Growth o f a Poet's Mind. Text o f 1805. Ed. E r n e s t De S e l i n c o u r t . Rev. Helen D a r b i s h i r e . I960; r p t . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969. Wordsworth, W i l l i a m . The P r e l u d e : A P a r a l l e l Text. J.C. Maxwell. Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1971.  Ed.  Wordsworth, W i l l i a m . The Prose Works of W i l l i a m Wordsworth. III. Ed. W.J.B. Owen and Jane Worthington Smyser. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1974. Wordsworth, W i l l i a m . Jack S t i l l i n g e r .  S e l e c t e d Poems and P r e f a c e s . Ed. Boston: Houghton M i f f l i n , 1965.  

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