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'Between un-being and being' : vision and method in selected poems of John Donne and T.S. Eliot Phillips, Donna Carolyn 1970

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'BETWEEN U N - B E I N G AND B E I N G ' : V I S I O N AND METHOD I N SELECTED POEMS OF JOHN DONNE AND T . S . E L I O T b y D o n n a C a r o l y n P h i l l i p s B . A . , U n i v e r s i t y o f S a s k a t c h e w a n , 1 9 6 3 A T H E S I S SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L FULF I LMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f E n g l i s h We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1 9 7 0 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l m a k e i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e a n d s t u d y . I f u r t h e r a g r e e t h a ' t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e H e a d o f my D e p a r t m e n t o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . D e p a r t m e n t o f English  T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a D a t e March 1, 1970 Abstract Common to c e r t a i n poems of John Donne and T. S. E l i o t i s the expression of a desire f o r a uni t y of experience which w i l l involve a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of the apparently contradictory demands of f l e s h and s p i r i t . In an early poem, E l i o t aligns himself with the poetic s e n s i b i l i t y he perceives i n Donne, a s p i r i t u a l s u f f e r -ing expressed i n sensory terms i n the image of n t h e anguish of the marrow". The poetry of each poet develops the analysis of thought and f e e l i n g involved i n the search f o r unifyi n g , trans-cendent experience: i n the poems of Donne dealing with profane and divine love, the re l a t i o n s h i p s between man and woman, and man and God, are explored with wit and dramatic fervour; i n the dra-matic dialogues of the early poems of E l i o t , the poetic persona seeks s p i r i t u a l purpose i n a world apparently devoid of b e l i e f and meaning. Comparison of poetic v i s i o n and method i n Donne and E l i o t i s most v a l i d i n examination of the two long poems, Donne's Anniversaries and E l i o t * s Four Quartets. In these poems, an anatomization of the mutable, s p i r i t u a l l y dead world i s contrasted with the progress of the poet's own soul toward an understanding of divine love; d i v i n e love i s seen to demand i m i t a t i o n of the s u f f e r i n g incarnate p r i n c i p l e of v i r t u e , symbolized by Donne as the maiden Elizabeth Drury, and by E l i o t as the Incarnation of God. S i m i l a r i t y of technique i n each poem consists i n the use of a d i a l e c t i c a l method of developing themes and d e f i n i t i o n s of "death", " b i r t h " , "wisdom", "love" and "joy". The imagery used by both poets involves paradoxes basic to C h r i s t i a n theodicy: d e a t h - a s - l i f e , darkness-as-light, ignorance-as-wisdom, s u f f e r i n g -as-love. The expression of h i s b e l i e f i s seen by each poet as a holy task, i n which the drawing of a l l experience i n t o a new unity i s i m i t a t i v e of the divine u n i f y i n g order. TABLE OF CONTENTS C h a p t e r p a g e I . INTRODUCTION: 'TWO WORLDS MEET I N M A N ' . . . . 1 I I . JOHN DONNE: »CORRESPONDENCIE ONLY H I S S U B J E C T WAS ' 15 I I I . T . S . E L I O T : 'THOUGHTS OF A DRY BRA IN I N A DRY SEASON * 2 3 I V . ' THE V I S I B L E REMINDER OF I N V I S I B L E L I G H T 1 : POET AS MAKER. 39 V . THE A N N I V E R S A R I E S AND THE FOUR QUARTETS: ROAD MAPS FOR THE SOUL 6 0 V I . CONCLUSIONS . . 107 SELECTED B IBL IOGRAPHY 1 1 0 i i CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION: 'TWO WORLDS MEET IN MAN'* Donne, I suppose, was such another Who found no substitute f o r sense, To seize and c l u t c h and penetrate; Expert beyond experience, He knew the anguish of the marrow The ague of the skeleton; No contact possible to f l e s h , Allayed the fever of the bone. One of the most perceptive statements on the metaphysical s e n s i b i l i t y of John Donne i s contained i n these two stanzas of an early poem by T. S. E l i o t , "Whispers of Immortality". E l i o t remarks, here, Donne's perception of the correspondence between apparent contradictions i n the "two worlds" of man, and, f i t -t i n g l y , he expresses i t i n the form of paradox: there i s a know-ledge beyond the knowledge to be obtained by the senses, and the senses are the only medium av a i l a b l e f o r the pursuit. A fusion of f l e s h and s p i r i t e xists i n "That s u b t i l e knot which makes us 2 man", which i s a source a l t e r n a t i v e l y of pleasure and tor t u r e . Appropriately, s p i r i t u a l s u f f e r i n g i s expressed i n sensory terms, "the anguish of the marrow", "the ague of the skeleton", "the fever of the bone". In the f i n a l stanza.of t h i s poem, E l i o t aligns himself with those who pursue a p a i n f u l metaphysical speculation beyond l i b i d i n o u s "pneumatic b l i s s " to the " s k u l l beneath the skin": But our l o t crawls between dry r i b s To keep our metaphysics warm. Like Donne, E l i o t chooses to probe r e a l i t y ; but t h i s choice alone does not, of course, make these poets unique, and i t i s therefore not the only basis f o r comparing them. The quest of the holy g r a i l of r e a l i t y has been made by many poets; what provides a basis f o r comparison of Donne and E l i o t i s the techniques they employ i n transmuting t h e i r perceptions and feeli n g s i n t o a r t . C r i t i c a l emphasis on these techniques i s i n s i s t e d upon by E l i o t , as c r i t i c ; the proper aesthetic consists, he says, i n "a recog-n i t i o n of the t r u t h that not our fee l i n g s but the pattern which we make of our fe e l i n g s i s the center of value. My purpose, then, i s to examine some of the methods by whieh these poets create, or "counterfait Creation",^ to use one of Donne's rare c r i t i c a l terms. In the sense that human a c t i v i t y often parodies the divine, t h e i r concern i s to make words f l e s h , just as i t was necessary f o r the divine p r i n c i p l e to be embodied i n a pattern f o r l i v i n g and dying. In the poetry of each, we can follow a developing awareness of the meaning of divine love em-bodied i n the Incarnation, an awareness which i s p a r a l l e l to the developing a b i l i t y to express i t i n the poetry. The aim of each poet i s to mold t h i s awareness int o a pattern, a "well-wrought urn t t. Discussion of the method of each poet, the "pattern 1 1 of structure and language, w i l l reveal t h e i r common v i s i o n . The "anguish of the marrow" which E l i o t perceived i n Donne and f e l t himself to share i s derived from the s c e p t i c a l frame of mind which i s a prelude to f a i t h . In both poets, there i s a con-scious c u l t i v a t i o n of the sceptic impulse which consists i n . • . a sense of the inadequacy of human knowledge, a consequent s e n s i t i v i t y to dualisms and contradictions, a concern with paradox as expressing the complexity of t r u t h , a b e l i e f i n the wholesome e f f e c t of doubt, and a conviction that where knowledge f a l t e r s a r i g h t l i f e ~ can supply the only legitimate confidence known to man. Describing the c i r c u i t o u s route to t r u t h which s c e p t i c a l inquiry takes, Donne exhorts readers to . . . doubt wisely, i n strange way To stand i n q u i r i n g r i g h t , i s not to stray; To sleepe, or runne wrong, i s : on a huge h i l l , Cragged, and steep, Truth stands, and hee that w i l l Reach her, about must, and about must goe . . ,° S i m i l a r l y , E l i o t observed i n the scepticism of Montaigne and Pas-c a l the f i r s t requirement of b e l i e f : . . . h e /Montaigne7 succeeded i n g i v i n g expression to the scepticism of every human being. For every man who thinks and l i v e s by thought must have h i s own scepticism, that which stops at the question, that which ends i n d e n i a l , or that which leads to f a i t h and which i s some-how integrated i n t o the f a i t h which transcends i t . And Pascal, as the type of one kind of r e l i g i o u s believer, which i s highly passionate and ardent, but passionate only through a powerful and regulated i n t e l l e c t , i s i n the f i r s t sections, of h i s unfinished Apology f o r C h r i s t i -a n i t y f a c i n g u n f l i n c h i n g l y the demon of doubt which i s inseparable from the s p i r i t of b e l i e f . ' A fundamental scepticism r e s u l t s i n the a n a l y t i c a l nature of the work of both Donne and E l i o t , although the analysis takes a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t form i n each. In Donne's poetry, the imagery functions l o g i c a l l y i n a kind of anatomization of experience, f o r a new focus on ideas and experience. Dame Helen Gardner f i n d s t h i s a common feature of metaphysical wit: In a metaphysical poem the conceits are instruments of d e f i n i t i o n i n an argument or instruments to persuade. The poem has something to say which the conceit helps to forward. I t can only do t h i s i f i t i s used with an appearance of l o g i c a l rigour, the analogy being shown to hold by a process not, unlike Euclid's superimposi-t i o n of t r i a n g l e s . 8 In arguing the l o g i c a l resemblances between lovers and compasses, the marriage bonds and a f l e a , a decapitated man and the dying world, Bonne pushes beyond the received wisdom regarding r e l a -tionships to discover a new s i m p l i c i t y i n r e a l i t y . Donne's wit i s thus an i m i t a t i o n of "holy mirth", to use E l i o t ' s phrase, a congruence of l e v i t y and seriousness, idea and f e e l i n g . E l i o t probes to "the s k u l l beneath the s k i n " by meansadf a s i m i l a r perception of correspondence, but i n contrast to the l o g i c a l procedure of argument by conceit i n Donne's poetry, there i s often i n E l i o t ' s poems a juxtaposition of images i n which r e l a tionships are discovered by i n d i r e c t i o n . For example, i n The  Waste -Land, the image of the neurotic woman i n Section I I , "A game of Chess", i s superimposed on that of toothless L i l i n the public bar; the r e s u l t i s an impression of the s t e r i l e loveless r e l a t i o n s h i p s which cuts across a l l h i s t o r i c a l and s o c i a l p a r t i c u l a r s . 1 0 The a n a l y t i c a l nature of the minds of Donne and E l i o t pro duces i n the poetry a heightened self-consciousness. This s e l f -awareness r e s u l t s , paradoxically, i n increased o b j e c t i v i t y : the poet who observes i s discriminated from the poet who experiences. Thus, i n Donne's poetry, e s p e c i a l l y i n the love poetry, there i s a kind of i r o n i c detachment, a self-mocking a t t i t u d e . This i s a f eature emulated by E l i o t : . . . the more perfect the a r t i s t , the more completely-separate i n him w i l l be the man who s u f f e r s and the mind which creates; the more p e r f e c t l y w i l l the mind digest and transmute the passions which are i t s mate-r i a l s . 1 1 The s u f f e r i n g which i s held up f o r examination may not be dimin-ished; i n f a c t , i t may be r e l i v e d v i c a r i o u s l y i n the act of 1 2 describing i t , but the act of examining i t i s a measure of the poet's a b i l i t y to control and order the chaos he perceives: I thought, i f I could draw my paines, Through Rime's vexation, I should them a l l a y , Griefe brought to numbers cannot be so f i e r c e , For, he tames i t , that f e t t e r s i t i n verse, v (Donne, "The t r i p l e Foole'v O b j e c t i v i t y i n t h e i r poetry i s most often achieved by the creation of a dramatic s e t t i n g f o r the experience to be presented and analyzed. E l i o t has created an entire cast of characters, which one assumes to be various dimensions of a s i n g l e poetic persona. In t h i s tableau i s J . A l f r e d Prufrock, h e s i t a t i n g l y baring himself to the disapproval of society, f a i l i n g to achieve d i g n i t y even i n h i s imagined death: "I have seen the eternal-Foot-man hold my coat and snicker." There i s the lady who i s i r o n i c a l l y unconscious of the twisted l i l a c s t a l k i n her hand as she says "You do not know what l i f e i s , you who hold i t i n your hands" ("Portrait of a Lady"). There i s a n i m a l i s t i c Sweeney, "straddled i n the sun" ("Sweeney Erect") or " l e t t i n g h i s arms hang down to laugh" ("Sweeney Among the Nightingales"), and Gerontion, pain-f u l l y aware, of h i s s p i r i t u a l deprivation and seeking some "closer contact" with v i t a l meaning. There are the Magi, alone, f r u s -t r a t e d , f e a r f u l that t h e i r own s a c r i f i c e has been mere f o o l i s h -ness, puzzled about the purpose of t h e i r journey: nvrere we l e d a l l that way f o r B i r t h or Death?" And there i s the Fisherking, symbol of Western man, imprisoned i n h i s Waste Land, unsure of the precise terms of the s a c r i f i c e which he i s asked to make, but aware that i t i s necessary and that he has f a i l e d : "These fragments I have shored against my r u i n s . " Donne's leading character i n the drama i s most often him-s e l f , or more s p e c i f i c a l l y , various aspects of h i s poetic persona. He i s the lover urging h i s mistress to j o i n him where he l i e s i n t h e i r bed ("Elegie: Going to Bed"), or bidding the sun f i r s t to leave them i n the dark and then to f i n d i t s true centre i n t h e i r bed ("The Sunne R i s i n g " ) . Elsewhere, the lovers are walking side by side while he d e l i v e r s a philosophical monologue ("Lecture upon the Shadow"), or s i t t i n g s i l e n t l y i n a garden ("The E x t a s i e " ) . On occasion the garden of love i s inhabited by the betrayed l o v e r alone *; ("Twicknam Garden"), or there i s a scene of mutual g r i e f i n separation ("A V a l e d i c t i o n forbidding mourning"). Or there i s the imagined future scene of the lover undergoing a post-mortem anatomy ("The Dampe") or appearing to embrace h i s mistress i n t h e i r common grave ("The Relique"). In the divine poems, the actor i s Donne, the penitent b e l i e v e r , i n dialogue with God ("Holy Sonnet: Wilt thou love God, as he thee", "Holy Sonnet: Oh my blacke Soule"). In these poems,, the dramatic s e t t i n g i s often h i s own projected union with God i n death ("Hyrane to God my God, i n my sicknesse"), or the Resurrection ("Holy Sonnet: At the round earths imagined corners"). In the poetry of divine and • • • • 7 secular love a l i k e , the dramatic scene i s sketched i n the open-ing l i n e s by means of s p e c i f i c adverbs of time and place ("here", "now"), and an a r r e s t i n g conversational tone: Busie old f o o l e , unruly Sunne, Why dost thou thus, Through windowes, and through curtaines c a l l on us? ("The Sunne Rising") Marke but t h i s f l e a , and marke i n t h i s , How l i t t l e that which thou deny'st me i s ; I t suck'd me f i r s t , and now sucks thee And i n t h i s f l e a , our two bloods mingled bee. ("The Flea") At the round earths imagin'd corners, blow Your trumpets, Angells, and a r i s e , a r i s e From death, you numberlesse i n f i n i t i e s Of soules, and to your scattred bodies goe . . . ("Holy Sonnet") The e f f e c t of such dramatic staging as a backdrop to the anatomy of f e e l i n g s i s what E l i o t has c a l l e d "depersonalization", a distancing of the a r t i s t ' s personality: the poet's mind i s the vessel i n which the fusion of thought and f e e l i n g takes place, or to use E l i o t ' s analogy, "the transforming c a t a l y s t " . ^ The a b i l i t y of the poet to abstract himself from the drama, to be both partaker and observer, enables him to play with the exper-ience, to see i t from various angles, much as Hamlet holds the s k u l l of Yorick and rotates i t i n h i s hands as he explores the meaning of death. This i s a feature of the creative process i n Donne, as E l i o t has remarked: The usual course f o r Donne i s not to pursue the meaning of the ideas but to a r r e s t i t , to play c a t - l i k e with i t , ; to develop i t d i a l e c t i c a l l y , to extract every minimum of the emotion suspended i n i t . 1 * * But i t i s also a feature of E l i o t ' s method: one thinks of the self-conscious meditation of Prufrock, the r e l e n t l e s s pursuit by Gerontion of "thoughts of a dry brain i n a dry season", a l l the metamorphoses of the Waste Land figu r e as he seeks the meaning of r e s t o r a t i v e s a c r i f i c e , and f i n a l l y , the descent of the persona of the Four Quartets i n t o the "world of perpetual s o l i t u d e " of the progress of the soul. One vehicle of t h i s d i a l e c t i c a l method common to the poetry of both Donne and E l i o t i s t h e i r use of paradox. Apparent con-t r a d i c t i o n s i n the terms of analysis force one to see the exper-ience or concept from various angles (as a kind of d i a l e c t i c a l "theatre-in-the-round", as i t were). As a device of r h e t o r i c , paradox has a long and devious h i s t o r y ; i n the Renaissance, para-dox meant a statement contrary to received opinion, with the ad d i t i o n a l connotation of i n c r e d i b i l i t y , even of falseness. But paradox demands close attention i n order f o r the reader to d i s -cover that i t both l i e s , and speaks t r u t h . When Donne said of hi s " o f f i c i a l " exercises i n paradox, the Paradoxes and Problems. ". . . they were made rather to deceave time than her daughter t r u t h .. . • they are rather alarums to tru t h to arme her than enemies . . .",^ he was expressing the major function of para-dox, that of provoking, by means of a "show of deceit", an analysis of experience or objects which may lead to t r u t h . A modern d e f i n i t i o n of paradox c a l l s i t "any conclusion that at f i r s t sounds absurd but that has an argument to sustain i t . " ^ One source of the apparent absurdity or falseness of a paradox, i s i t s use of l o g i c . This involves, ultimately, the misuse of s y l l o g i s t i c l o g i c , inasmuch as the poet may push h i s metaphor or argued conceit to i t s l o g i c a l extreme i n an e f f o r t t o meld the correspondences he perceives i n objects. Often the paradox i s taken "to the point where i t s inadequacy f o r r e f l e c -t i n g r e a l i t y becomes f u l l y recognizable." This has the e f f e c t of f o r c i n g the reader to examine not only the tenets of the para-d o x i c a l argument but also i t s processes: The thinking process, examining i t s e l f f o r the 'error' which brought i t up sharp against paradox, turns back on i t s e l f to see how i t got stuck upon the paradox, and i f that paradox might have been avoided: a paradox generates the s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l a c t i v i t y . Operating at the l i m i t s of discourse, r e d i r e c t i n g thoughtful atten-t i o n to the f a u l t y or l i m i t e d structure of thought, paradoxes play back and f o r t h across terminal and cate-g o r i c a l boundaries--that i s , they play with human under-standing, that most serious of a l l human a c t i v i t i e s . " Considering the Renaissance penchant f o r paradox, we should not be surprised to f i n d paradox woven int o the e n t i r e f a b r i c of Donned poetry and prose. E l i o t ' s use of paradox, however, i s concentrated in.the l a t e r works—the plays and longer poems written a f t e r what i s generally considered to be a turning point i n E l i o t ' s work, h i s conversion to the Anglican Church i n 192?• In the two long poems of Donne and E l i o t , the Anniversaries and the Four Quar-t e t s , , the use of paradox to analyze processes of thought usually taken f o r granted i s turned to a r e l i g i o u s purpose: the C h r i s t i a n i s admonished to know his God, and he therefore must structure new methods of a r r i v i n g at t h i s knowledge. At the beginning of each of these two poems, a paradox i s stated i n v o l v i n g the mys-tery of b e i n g , t h a t i s , the r e l a t i o n s h i p of l i f e to death, and of time to e t e r n i t y . The paradox pivots on a b i f u r c a t i o n of d e f i n i -. . . . 1 0 t i o n s of b i r t h and death, time and et e r n i t y ; the process of the poem i s to examine these d e f i n i t i o n s . Because the tr u t h to be uncovered r e f e r s to f a i t h and i s therefore more d i f f i c u l t to express than any t r u t h of l o g i c , the poems involve paradox as a 2 0 f i g u r e of thought as w e l l as a f i g u r e of speech. That i s , they are expressing by means of paradox what they perceive i n s p i r i t -u a l r e a l i t y to be paradoxical s u i generis. Found as an exercise i n l o g i c and l i n g u i s t i c s , paradox i s turned by these poets to a r e a l examination of the ultimate f a i l u r e of l o g i c to describe c e r t a i n impulses of the human mind and heart. Their use of para-dox i s perhaps what distinguishes metaphysical paradox from the more p l a y f u l r h e t o r i c a l paradoxes. I t discovers "something i n -herently i n t r a c t a b l e i n being i t s e l f " ; i t springs i n general from inadequacy, from the rents i n l i n g u i s t i c and l o g i c a l c l o t h i n g ; paradox might be c a l l e d the science of gaps. 2! What connects E l i o t ' s use of paradox to Donne's consists s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the paradoxical core of the C h r i s t i a n f a i t h : From Origen to Chesterton, paradox has been the f i t t e s t f l e s h of a ggspel which was and i s "foolishness to the Greeks". Paradox i s the only mode i n which the i n t e l l e c t i s able to grasp at a l l the f a c t of the cohabitation of the f i n i t e and the i n f i n i t e . C h r i s t i a n paradox may be c a l l e d t h e . i n t e l l e c t u a l shadow of Eucharistic theology, an act of transubstantiation going on i n the verbal marrow of w i t . ^ C h r i s t i a n paradox takes i t s impulse from a God who defines himself with a t a u t o l o g y — " I am that I am"—and presents himself i n an even more amazing manifestation of paradox as the god who was born to d i e : The f i x e d s t a r at the centre of the C h r i s t i a n firmament . . . . 1 1 of symbol i s the dogma of the Incarnation. In t h i s dogma, respecting as;;it does both the d i v i n i t y of the Word and the humanity of the f l e s h , i s contained the whole p r i n c i p l e of the C h r i s t i a n aesthetic. 3 The argument of the Anniversaries and the Q u a r t e t s traces the poets 1 understanding and acceptance of t h i s paradox. The goal of each i s to probe i t s meaning, i n response to those "whispers of immortality" u n t i l they amplify i n t o an a l l e l u i a . The emphasis of discussion i n t h i s thesis w i l l be on the two major poems of Donne and E l i o t , the Anniversaries and the Four Quartets f not merely because they each represent a monument to the creative a b i l i t i e s of t h e i r respective authors, but be-cause the s i m i l a r i t i e s of theme, structure and imagery i n these p a r t i c u l a r poems form a framework f o r comparison of the work of Donne and E l i o t . C h a p t e r IV w i l l consist of an examination of the aesthetic problems confronting each poet i n h i s choice of material and the molding of t h i s material; Chapter V attempts to compare the paradoxical imagery and theme i n the progress of the soul described i n the Anniversaries and the Quartets. Inas-much as the work of each poet i s of a piece, we can see i n i t a development and refinement of values which inhere from the begin-ning to the end of the poetry; Chapters I I and I I I , therefore, w i l l trace the development of some themes and techniques i n the work of each poet i n turn. Footnotes to Chapter I 1 "Whispers of Immortality", pp. 45-6. A l l quotations from the poetry of T. S. El i o t are from the edition Collected Poems: 1909-1962. Mew.York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1963. 2 "The Extasie", pp. 130-2. A l l quotations from the poetry of John Donne are from The Complete Poetry of John Donne, ed. John T. Shawcross, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967. 3 nA Brief Introduction to the Method of Paul Valery", quoted i n T. S. E l i o t : The Dialectical Structure of His Theory of Poetry, by FeirPAi Lu, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960*7 p. 60; 4 The Sermons Of John Donne (10 vols., eds. George R. Potter and Evelyn M. Simpson, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1953-1962), (IV), p. 07. 5 Margaret L. Wiley, The Subtle Knot: Creative Scepticism i n Seventeenth Century England. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952, p. 59. 6 "Satyre III", p. 25. 7 "The Pensees of Pascal", Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1953, p. 149. 8 Helen Gardner, ed., The Metaphysical Poets, rev. ed., Har-mondsworth: Penguin, i960, p. 21. 9 "A Note on Two Odes of Cowley", Seventeenth Century Studies  Presented to Sir Herbert Grierson. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1938, pp. 239-242. 10 Eliot's own notes which accompany the poem ensure that the reader see the correspondences: "Just as the one-eyed merchant, s e l l e r of currants, melts into the Phoenician Sailor, and the la t t e r i s not wholly distinct from Ferdinand Prince of Naples, so a l l the women are one woman, and the two sexes meet i n Tiresias." p. 72. 11 "Tradition and the Individual Talent", Selected Prose, p. 26. 12 This i s certainly the case i n Donne's Devotions, for example; he wrote them i n order to "minister some holy delight", (quoted from a let t e r to Sir Robert Ker, January, 1624, i n Selected Prose chosen by Evelyn Simpson, eds. Helen Gardner and Timothy Healy, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967, p. 156) but the source of their power 1 3 i s h i s r e d i s c o v e r y o f t h e a g o n y o f t h e s i c k n e s s , p h y s i c a l a n d s p i r i t u a l , w h i c h h e h a s e n d u r e d a n d s u r v i v e d a n d i s now t e l l i n g . 1 3 " T r a d i t i o n a n d t h e I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t " , p . 2 6 . 1 4 " D o n n e i n O u r T i m e " . A G a r l a n d f o r J o h n D o n n e , e d . T . S p e n -c e r , C a m b r i d g e : H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 3 1 , PP» 1 2 - 1 3 . 15 Q u o t e d f r o m a l e t t e r t o a f r i e n d , p r o b a b l y S i r H e n r y W o t t o n , i n 1 6 0 0 , i n S e l e c t e d P r o s e , p . 1 1 1 . D o n n e ' s P a r a d o x e s c o n t a i n t h e i r s h a r e o f p a r a d o x i c a l p r a i s e o f t h i n g s u n p r a i s e w o r t h y , e q u i v o -c a t i o n , p u n s a n d l i m p i d w i t ; t h e y a r e t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l e x e r c i s e s e x p e c t e d o f a c o u r t w i t o f t h e 1 5 9 0 * s . C o n v e n t i o n a l e n o u g h , t h e y C o n t a i n m i l d b a w d r y ( a n d e v e n some m i s o g y n y i f o ne i s d i s p o s e d t o f i n d i t ) : "Women a r e l i k e F l i e s f w h i c h f e e d among u s a t o u r T a b l e , o r F l e a s , s u c k i n g o u r v e r y b l o o d , who l e a v e n o t o u r m o s t r e t i r e d p l a c e s f r e e f r o m t h e i r f a m i l i a r i t y , y e t f o r a l l t h e i r f e l l o w -s h i p w i l l t h e y n e v e r b e e t a m e d , n o r commanded b y u s . . . . E v e r y Woman i s a S c i e n c e , f o r h e e t h a t p l o d s u p o n a Woman a l l h i s l i f e l o n g , s h a l l a t l e n g t h f i n d h i m s e l f e s h o r t o f t h e k n o w -l e d g e o f h e r . . . " ' A D e f e n c e o f Womens I n c o n s t a n c y 1 ( p p . 5 - 7 , i n S e l e c t e d P r o s e ) . T h e r e a r e a l s o p o o r p u n s , f o r e x a m p l e , i n ' T h a t g o o d i s m o r e c o m -mon t h a n e v i l l ' : " B u t I r e m e m b e r n o t h i n g t h a t i s t h e r e f o r e i l l , b e c a u s e i t i s common, b u t Women, o f whom a l s o ; T h e y t h a t a r e m o s t common. a r e t h e b e s t o f t h a t o c c u p a t i o n t h e y p r o f e s s e " ( p . 1 0 ) ; a n d some y o u t h f u l c y n i c i s m : " A n d h e n c e I t h i n k e p r o c e e d s t h a t w h i c h i n t h e s e l a t e f o r m a l l t i m e s I h a v e much n o t e d ; t h a t now w h e n o u r s u p e r s t i t i o u s  c i v i l i t y o f m a n n e r s i s become a m u t u a l l t i c k l i n g f l a t t e r y o f o n e a n o t h e r , a l m o s t e v e r y man a f f e c t e t h an^humour o f . j e s t i n g , a n d i s c o n t e n t t o be d e j e c t , a n d t o d e f o r m e h i m s e l f e , y e a b e c ome f o o l e t o n o o t h e r e n d t h a t I c a n s p i e , b u t t o g i v e h i s w i s e C o m p a n i o n o c c a s i o n t o l a u g h . . . " . f r o m ' T h a t a W i s e Man i s knowne b y raiach l a u g h i n g * ( p . 1 7 ) . Among t h e m , t o o , i s a l e s s f r i v o l o u s p a r a d o x , t o w h i c h Donne wa s t o r e t u r n a g a i n a n d a g a i n , ' T h a t a l l t h i n g s k i l l t h e m s e l v e s ' : " O r how s h a l l Man b e e f r e e f r o m t h i s , s i n c e t h e f i r s t Man t a u g h t u s t h i s , e x c e p t we c a n n o t k i l l o u r s e l v e s , b e c a u s e h e k i l l » d u s a l l " ( p . 1 1 ) . D o n n e p a s s e d much o f h i s l i f e m e d i t a t i n g t h e i m m e d i a c y o f d e a t h . The mock e n c o m i u m , o r f o r m a l d e f e n c e o f t h i n g s u n p r a i s e w o r t h y , was r e v i v e d f r o m c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e i n R e n a i s s a n c e h u m a n i s t c r e a t i o n s o f " . . . d e f e n c e s o f t h e a n t , t h e f l e a , t h e f l y , t h e a s s , t h e f o o l , a n d f o l l y ; o f t h e p o x , o f b a s t a r d y , o f d e b t , o f i m -p r i s o n m e n t , o f t y r a n n y ; o f h a i r , o f b a l d n e s s , o f d r u n k e n n e s s , o f i n c o n t i n e n c e . " . 1 4 ( R o s a l i e C o l i e , P a r a d o x i a E p i d e m i c a : The R e n a i s s a n c e T r a d i t i o n o f P a r a d o x . P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 6 , p . 4 ) . L e s s t r i v i a l e x a m p l e s o f t h e g e n r e e x i s t i n ; o r t h o d o x C h r i s t i a n s e r m o n s p r a i s i n g d e a t h , s u c h a s Thomas B e c o n ' s P r a y s e o f D e a t h . o r P h i l -i p p e d e M o r n a y ' s The D e f e n c e o f D e a t h ( s e e H e n r y K n i g h t M i l l e r , " T h e P a r a d o x i c a l E n c o m i u m w i t h S p e c i a l R e f e r e n c e t o i t s V o g u e i n E n g l a n d . 1 6 0 0 - 1 3 0 0 " . M o d e r n P h i l o l o g y L I I I : 3 ( F e b . 1 9 5 6 ) , p . 154) . 1 6 A . E . M a l l o c h , " T h e T e c h n i q u e s a n d F u n c t i o n o f t h e R e n a i s s a n c e P a r a d o x " , S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y L I I I ( J a n . 1 9 5 6 ) , p . 1 9 2 . 17 W. V . Q u i n e , " P a r a d o x " , S c i e n t i f i c A m e r i c a n . 2 0 6 : 4 ( A p r i l , 1 9 6 2 ) , p . 8 4 . ' 1 8 M i c h a e l M c C a n l e s , " P a r a d o x i n D o n n e " , S t u d i e s i n t h e R e n a i s -s a n c e X I I I ( 1 9 6 6 ) p . 2 7 7 . " 1 9 G o l i e , p . 7 . A n e x a m p l e o f t h e e q u i v o c a t i o n o f p a r a d o x i s t h e u b i q u i t o u s . L i a r p a r a d o x : " E p i m e n i d e s t h e C r e t a n s a i d ' A l l C r e t a n s a r e l i a r s ' . " I f h e i s t e l l i n g t h e t r u t h t h e n h i s s t a t e -m e n t i s f a l s e a n d s o h e i s l y i n g ; i f h e i s l y i n g t h e n h i s s t a t e -men t i s f a l s e a n d s o h e i s n o t l y i n g . T h e r e c a n be n o r e s o l u t i o n o f t h e p a r a d o x , o f c o u r s e ; i t i s c o m p l e t e l y c i r c u l a r . B u t i t f o r c e s a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f i t s s t r u c t u r e , a n d i n t h a t i t i s n o t t r i v i a l . 2 0 I b i d . , p . 5 0 3 . 2 1 Hugh K e n n e r , P a r a d o x i n C h e s t e r t o n . New Y o r k : S h e e d a n d W a r d , 1 9 4 7 , p . 1 7 . 22 M a l c o l m M a c k e n z i e R o s s , P o e t r y a n d Dogma: The T r a n s f i g u r a -t i o n o f E u c h a r i s t i c S y m b o l s i n S e v e n t e e n t h C e n t u r y E n g l i s h P o e t r y . New B r u n s w i c k , N . J . : R u t g e r s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s ; 1 9 5 4 , p . 8 1 . 23 I b i d . , p p . 9 - 1 0 . CHAPTER I I JOHN DONNE: ' CORRESPONDENCE ONLY HIS SUBJECT WAS' Donne's paradoxical mind, h i s n r i d l i n g disposition",^" w e l l f i t t e d him f o r the s c e p t i c a l approach to b e l i e f . As a theo-l o g i a n (a r o l e he assumed long before h i s formal ordination i n 1 6 1 5 ) , he worked within the framework of orthodox C h r i s t i a n i t y but even here he took no res t from continual 'expostulation* with God as to His nature and motives. In h i s f i n a l sermon, "Deaths Duell, or, a Consolation to the Soule, against the dying L i f e , and l i v i n g Death of the Body", he presents f o r the l a s t time the arguments f o r death as a means to new l i f e by means of heavenly grace. The r e s o l u t i o n a r r i v e d at i n t h i s f i n a l statement i s anticipated by the same pattern of argument and synthesis i n the Anniversary poems, but i n other poems as w e l l , d e s c r i p t i v e of love sacred and profane, he explored a l l the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of un i f y i n g experience. Analysis of one facet of ekstasis i s the concern of the Songs and Sonets; the " l i t t l e death" of sexual union r e s u l t s i n the same paradox as that offered by divine love: "To enter i n these bonds, i s to be f r e e . " ("Elegie: Going to Bed"). 2 In these poems of profane love, often expressed i n language descrip-t i v e of things d i v i n e , the mutability of the lovers i s simulta-neously described and denied. Love i s as elusive as shadow, • • * • X 6 Love i s a growing, or f u l l constant l i g h t ; And h i s f i r s t minute,, a f t e r noone, i s night. ("Lecture upon, the Shadow", pp. # 6 - 7 ) , and so i n order f o r i t s i l l u s i o n to be made r e a l , time and space are manipulated by the lovers.^ The r e f l e c t i o n of each i n the other's eyes creates a world "Without sharpe North, without d e c l i n i n g West'*, that i s , without the coldness of dead love, or of death i t s e l f . Love "makes one l i t t l e roome, an everywhere", and transcends time: Love, a l l a l i k e , no season knowes, nor clyme, Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time. ("The Sunne Rising", p. 93) But faced with the palpable evidence of the dying l i f e , the poet must present more s p e c i f i c evidence of the ways i n which love transcends time.. In "The,Canonization", beginning with an ad-mission of mutability, i n h i s " f i v e gray haires", "palsy" and "gout", the poet dismisses the representative of the outside world: "For Gods sake hold your tongue, and l e t me love". His love exists i n a microcosm which does not a f f e c t the macrocosm: When did the heats which my veines f i l l Adde one more to the plaguie B i l l ? Only the lovers.themselves are consumed by the heat of t h e i r pas-s i o n . ^ But f l e s h l y union e f f e c t s a transcendent union, and so the accusation of l u s t by the unseen c r i t i c i s parried i n a series of conceits i n the t i g h t l y packed t h i r d stanza, which almost defy paraphrase. These conceits are, as Dame Helen Gardner says, "instruments of d e f i n i t i o n i n an argument or instruments to per-5 ^ suade." The lovers here may be " f l i e s " but they are a s p e c i a l 1 7 kind, the taper f l y , or moth which f l i e s to i t s death i n a candle flame.''' The jump to the. next conceit i s made so r a p i d l y there i s hardly time to make the l o g i c a l a s sociation: "We*are Tapers too, and at our owne cost d i e " . The candle i s i t s e l f consumed i n giv-ing l i g h t . T h e r e i s even l e s s l o g i c a l connection i n the movement to the next conceit, that of the lovers as the "Eagle and the dove", but what i s probably meant i s something l i k e the necessary conjunction i n love of active and passive, hunter and hunted, the flaming wick and the wax. The two images j o i n i n the image of the phoenix, who consumed i t s e l f i n f i r e and rose anew from the ashes. That two d i s c r e t e e n t i t i e s can fuse i n t o one, and i n t h e i r "death" r i s e phoenix-like argues the miracle ofHove.. There i s a further paradox, since out of nothing, love, l i k e the non-existent phoenix, i s created, and out of two sexes "one n e u t r a l l thing" i s made. In love two "nothings" are made a something, and i n e c s t a t i c union, two selves are o b l i t e r a t e d and l i f t e d out of time. Furthermore, i f the ashes from which the putative phoenix r i s e s prove to be only those of a dead love, or even of dead lov e r s , they w i l l s t i l l gain immortality i n the "well-wrought urn" of poetry: the argument of the fourth stanza draws attention to the poem's own devices. Here the language of divine love i s made e x p l i c i t : because they scorned that world of the f i r s t two stanzas,, the lovers do not merit a worldly funeral with "tombs and Hearse" but ( r e f e r r i n g back to the phoenix image) t h e i r ashes can be as w e l l contained i n the love poem, a hymn proclaiming t h e i r transcendency as saints, of love. Their story i n the poem • • •.IS w i l l then be exalted as a pattern of love, as the medieval s a i n t s 1 legends were patterns f o r l i f e . The poem then becomes i t s own symbol; i t i s am instance of the doctrine which i t asserts; i t is^both the a s sertion and the r e a l i z a t i o n of the asser t i o n . Religious imagery i n another well-known poem attempts to argue the correspondence between human and divine Love. In "A V a l e d i c t i o n forbidding mourning", the simile of the ent i r e f i r s t stanza compares the parting of lovers to death, but the conven-t i o n a l image gives more,complex support to the argument of the poem since the death described i s of a "virtuous man", and the response to i t i s ambivalent. The dying man seems resigned and even eager f o r heavenly b l i s s ("and whisper to t h e i r soules, to goe"); h i s friends are sad and reluctant to s p e c i f y the exact moment of death. The i m p l i c i t contrast here between a r e l i g i o u s man hopeful of union with God and a man f o r whom death i s merely an end i s l o g i c a l l y aligned with the contrast between the s p i r i t -u a l a f f i n i t y of lovers and the simply p h y s i c a l . In the second stanza, the poet suspends t h e i r r i g h t to the signs of disturbances i n the universe which usually attend the misfortunes of the great, the "tear-floods" and "sigh-tempests". The t h i r d stanza contrasts the phenomena of the physical world, mundane earthquakes, with disturbances in. the heavens which,though more important, do l e s s ultimate harm, since they are guided by God fs beneficence; the contrast i s extended l o g i c a l l y i n the fourth and f i f t h stanzas to p hysical love, which cannot bear absence, and t h e i r more per-f e c t love. Like the virtuous dying man, who i n t u i t s , through 1 9 f a i t h , the promise of God's grace, they are "inter-assured of the mind". The image of the so u l s . u n i f i e d as beaten gold i s expanded from stanza 5 ("But we by*a love-so much refin'd") into a j u s t i f i -c a t ion of the separation, as the separationJ of r e l i g i o u s persons i n death i s j u s t i f i e d : they endure not yet A breach, but an expansion, Like gold to ayery thinnesse beate. The l o g i c a l a s s ociation of the gold, perfect substance i n alchemy, i s made with the compass image, i n the next stanza, by means of the alchemical symbol f o r gold: The circumscribed c i r c l e with the compass i n i t s c e n t r e , 0 was the symbol f o r gold,galchemically the only metal that was i n d e s t r u c t i b l e . " In addition to the l o g i c a l implications i n the compass image of the sexual love between the love r s : I t leanes, and hearkens a f t e r i t , And growes erect, as that comes home, and the aspect of the i n d i v i s i b l e p a i r common to the compass and the married couple, there are r e l i g i o u s implications i n the con-c e i t which connect i t . l o g i c a l l y with that of the virtuous dying man with which the poem begins (making the poem i t s e l f c i r c u l a r i n s t r u c t u r e ) : the c i r c l e which the compass describes was a con-ventional symbol both f o r perfection and f o r e t e r n i t y . The r e -union of lovers i s thus likened to the union of resurrected souls. There i s an underlying awareness i n the Songs and Sonets. however, that the e c s t a t i c union of lovers i s , a f t e r a l l , merely a parody of divine union. Overwhelming passion i s being described but the wit of the poet constantly plays over the subject matter . . . . 2 0 t o e f f e c t that detachment observed in^great poetry by E l i o t . In "The Legacie" Donne plays with the concept of the lo v e r s ' death and immortality: "I dye/As often as from thee I goe" he says, but l o g i c compels the recognition that he i s not dead i f he l i v e s to write a poem. In re s t o r i n g himself to her he w i l l be, then, "Mine owne executor and Legacie". He sidesteps l o g i c by inventing a second f i g u r e to act himself i n the drama while the poet obser-ves : I heard mee say, T e l l her anon That my s e l f e , that i s you, not I, Did k i l l me . . . He cannot leave h i s heart with her i n h i s absence, and so It k i l l ' d mee'agalne that I who s t i l l was true, In l i f e , i n my l a s t W i l l should cozen you. Even the f i c k l e heart he finds i n himself cannot be given her be-cause she has i t already. That the wit here i s e n t i r e l y s e l f -conscious i s evident by the devices of self-reference and the I-me d i v i s i o n ; i t i s as i f Donne anticipated the dry r e t o r t of a Rosalind: "Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not f o r love." It i s t h i s consciousness, the "anguish of the marrow" as E l i o t phrases i t , that more often than not underlies the love poems. I f lovers cannot achieve immortality f o r any more than an ec s t a t i c timeless moment, they can be joined in«the grave, as i n the w i t t i l y macabre but. b e a u t i f u l image of "The Relique": When my grave i s broke up againe Some second ghest to entertaine, (For graves have l e a r n f d that woman-head To be to more then one a Bed) • • • • 21 And he that digs i t , spies A bracelet of bright haire about the bone, W i l l he not let'us alone, And thinke .that there a l o v i n g couple l i e s . . . Occasionally the ecstasy of lovers i s possible and by i t they gain self-knowledge and a shadow of s p i r i t u a l ecstasy: This Extasie doth unperplex (We said) and t e l l us what we love, Wee see by t h i s , i t was not sexe, Wee see, we saw not what d i d move, but i t i s dependent on the union of f l e s h l y bodies: We owe them thankes, because they thus, Did us, to us, at f i r s t convay, Yeelded t h e i r forces, sense, to us, Nor are drosse to us, but a l l a y . ("The Extasie", pp. 130-132) This fusion of f l e s h and s p i r i t i s the " s u b t i l e knot, which makes us man". Just as the death of the body i s necessary f o r a r e b i r t h i n r e l i g i o u s terms, as we s h a l l see i n the discussion of the Anni-versary poems, the "death" of lovers e f f e c t s e c s t a s i s . But the awareness that i t i s imperfect knowledge creates i n Donne even f u r -ther tension. In "A nocturnall upon S. Lucies day, Being the shortest day", Donne speaks of a d i f f e r e n t kind of l o v e r s ' resurrection. The poem's occasion i s the death of a beloved person, probably Donne's wife, Anne, on August 15, 1617, i n g i v i n g b i r t h to t h e i r twelfth child, 1® and Donne apparently wrote i t at midnight of Saint Lucy's day of the same year: " T i s the yeares midnight, and i t i s the dayes . . ." I t i s the dark time of the year when the l i g h t of the world has apparently been annihilated: The Sunne i s spent, and now h i s f l a s k s Send f o r t h l i g h t squibs, no constant rays. • • • • 2 2 The sporadic l i g h t of the stars i s an emblem of the f l e e t i n g q u a l i t y of l i f e . The world i s dying, and dead, and yet by com-parison, the poet i s more than dead; he i s an epitaph, a warning to l o v e r s , ^ as the expansion i n the second stanza c l a r i f i e s . The canonized lovers of "The Canonization" were to become the object of study f o r other lovers; here the remaining h a l f of the couple proves a much grimmer object lesson, that of rank mortal-i t y . Out of nothing, love effected . . . new Alchimie. . . . A quintessence even from nothingnesse. With one ingredient of the d i s t i l l a t i o n gone, the mixture i s de-stroyed , re-begot Of absence, darkness, death; things which are not. More than that, the alchemical experiment moves i n reverse, i n an "uncreation", a "reduction of creation to i t s components and, 12 f i n a l l y , to nothing once more." The problem of nothing i n the Renaissance was not only an i n t e l l e c t u a l exercise i n paradox; discussions of the void usually were brought round to discussions of the i n f i n i t e , but Even f o r l o g i c i a n s and r h e t o r i c i a n s , the twinned ideas of i n f i n i t y and nothing are t e c h n i c a l l y dangerous; since they are so wild, at the loose edge of conceptualization and of discourse, n u l l i f y i n g - - l i t e r a l l y — i d e a s of order and ordination, n u l l i f y i n g l o g i c a l and r h e t o r i c a l formulations. C e r t a i n l y the two notions r e s i s t domestication within the mind: they are also psychologically destructive, threaten-ing the f a m i l i a r boundaries of human experience and of i n t e l l e c t u a l e f f o r t s to get the better of that r e c a l c i t r a n t experience.13 But Bonne knew what Pascal only l a t e r discovered to e x i s t as the f a c t of the vacuum:^ since h i s wife's death he has become the • • • • 23 v o i d . Before her death, the lovers had only played at a n n i h i l a -t i o n , sometimes i n the deluge of t h e i r tears, Oft a f l o o d Have wee two wept, and so Drownd the whole world, us two, and sometimes by t h e i r d i s t r a c t i o n s or separations, Oft d i d we grow To be two Ghaosses, when we did show Care to ought else; and often absences Withdrew our soules, and made us carcasses. This a n n i h i l a t i o n i s refined and d i s t i l l e d , by her death, i n t o h i s transformation: But I am by her death, (which word wrongs her) 0f the f i r s t nothing, the E l i x e r grown. He i s not even the body of nothing, a shadow, because hi s l i g h t , h i s "Sunne" has been extinguished. The reader i s given s l i g h t warning of the sudden turn the poem takes i n the f i n a l stanza: what we have been led to think of as a t o t a l l y n i h i l i s t i c v i s i o n of deprivation turns into a f e s t i v e hymn: " . . . she enjoyes her long nights f e s t i v a l l . " 1 * * Now the meaning of the dramatic s e t t i n g of the poem becomes c l e a r : Saint Lucy's night marks the point at which l i g h t begins to increase i n the new y e a r . 1 ^ The f i n a l four l i n e s , out of a t o t a l of f o r t y - f i v e , give promise of a d i f f e r e n t kind of phoenix-rising through h i s love f o r h i s wife: Let mee prepare towards her, and l e t mee c a l l This houre her V i g i l l , and her Eve, since t h i s Both the yeares, and the dayes deep midnight i s . Real death, then, rather than the l o v e r s 1 metaphorical death, i s the key to knowledge beyond the senses, and i t i s t h i s which now must be studied. • •«.24 The pattern f o r death and new l i f e i s C h r i s t , but contem-p l a t i o n of the divine s a c r i f i c e i s unbearable: What a death were i t then to see God dye? It made h i s owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke, It made h i s footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke. ("Goodfriday, 1613. Riding Westward*, pp.366-8) In turning h i s face away from t h i s imagined scene toward the west (death), the poet bares h i s back f o r r e s t o r a t i v e c o r r e c t i o n : 0 thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee, Burne o f f my r u s t s , and my deformity. . . and when the divine image i s restored i n him, he finds that west (death) has become east (new l i f e ) . The image of the l i n e which returns to i t s f i r s t point as a c i r c l e recurs more v i v i d l y i n a l a t e r poem, nHymne to God my God, i n my sicknesse" (pp. 390-392): I joy, that i n these s t r a i t s , I see my West; For, though the i r e currants y i e l d returne to none, What s h a l l my West hurt me? As West and East In a l l f l a t t Maps (and I am one) are one, So death doth touch the Resurrection. 1' Donne celebrates h i s own death more e x p l i c i t l y i n the Holy Sonnets: he yearns f o r the time when . . .gluttonous death, w i l l i n s t a n t l y unjoynt My body, 1and soule, . . . Then, as my soule, to'heaven her f i r s t seate, takes f l i g h t • . . ("Holy Sonnet: This i s my playe's - l a s t scene", p. 340) and even death would be annihilated: Death be not proud, though some have c a l l e d thee Mighty and dreadf u l l , f o r thou a r t not soe, For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou k i l l me. ("Holy Sonnet", p. 342) Donne was not always so exultant about death, however; more often than not. the s c e p t i c a l humanist and lover struggled • • »»25 with the devout believer and p r i e s t to produce an ambivalence toward the mystery of death: Oh my blacke Soule! now thou a r t summoned By sicknesse, deaths herald, and champion; Thou a r t l i k e a pil g r i m , which abroad hath done Treason, and durst not turne to whence hee'is f l e d , Or l i k e a t h i e f e , which t i l l deaths doome be read, Wishethv himselfe delivered from prison; But damn'd and hal'd to execution, Wisheth that s t i l l he might be'imprisoned. ("Holy Sonnet", p. 339) This same ambivalence toward death forms the "perplexed doubt" with which the meditation on death i n the Anniversary poems begins. Here again, a l l the terms of the d e f i n i t i o n are to be re-examined and resolved i n a consolation to the soul against the dying l i f e and l i v i n g death of the body, i n the union of divine love F o o t n o t e s t o C h a p t e r I I 1 The p h r a s e i s D o n n e ' s , i n r e f e r e n c e t o h i m s e l f , i n a l e t t e r t o S i r H e n r y W o t t o n i n 1600, q u o t e d i n S e l e c t e d P r o s e , c h o s e n b y E v e l y n S i m p s o n , e d . H e l e n G a r d n e r a n d T i m o t h y H e a l y , O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1967, p . 111. 2 " E l e g i e : G o i n g t o B e d " , p p . 57-8. A l l q u o t a t i o n s f r o m D o n n e ' s p o e t r y a r e f r o m t h e e d i t i o n b y J o h n T . S h a w c r o s s , The  C o m p l e t e P o e t r y o f J o h n D o n n e . G a r d e n C i t y , N . Y . : D o u b l e d a y , 1967. 3 C f . M a r v e l l ' s " T o H i s Coy M i s t r e s s " : . . . And n o w , l i k e a m ' r o u s b i r d s o f p r e y , R a t h e r a t o n c e o u r T i m e d e v o u r , T h a n l a n g u i s h i n h i s s l o w - c h a p t p o w ' r , L e t u s r o l l a l l o u r S t r e n g t h , a n d a l l O u r S w e e t n e s s , u p i n t o one B a l l : A nd t e a r o u r P l e a s u r e s w i t h r o u g h s t r i f e , T h r o u g h t h e I r o n g a t e s o f L i f e . T h u s , t h o u g h we c a n n o t make o u r S u n S t a n d s t i l l , y e t we w i l l make h i m r u n . The M e t a p h y s i c a l P o e t s , e d . H e l e n G a r d n e r , e d . , P e n g u i n , r e v . e d . , 1 9 6 6 , p p . 250-252. The l o v e r s i n t h i s poem c o n t r o l t i m e i n a s m u c h a s t h e y a v o i d h i s r a v a g e s b y s e i z i n g l o v e b e f o r e o m n i p r e s e n t d e a t h o v e r t a k e s t h e m b u t t h e y g a i n c o n -t r o l a t t h e i r own c o s t ; t h e i r i n t e n s e p a s s i o n w i l l s p e e d t h e p r o c e s s o f t i m e . T hey b o t h c o n q u e r , a n d a r e c o n q u e r e d b y , t i m e . 4 S e x i s r e f e r r e d t o a s a " l i t t l e d e a t h " i n R e n a i s s a n c e p o e t r y b e c a u s e i n t h e s i g l i s o f t h e l o v e r s , v i t a l b r e a t h i s l o s t , t h u s s h o r t e n i n g t h e i r l i v e s . A n o t h e r p oem , " T h e b r o k e n h e a r t " , e m p h a s i z e s t h i s a s p e c t o f l o v e a s a g a l l o p i n g c o n s u m p t i o n : He i s s t a r k e m a d , who e v e r s a y e s , T h a t h e h a t h b e e n e i n l o v e a n h o u r e , Y e t n o t t h a t l o v e s o s o o n e d e c a y e s , B u t t h a t i t c a n t e n n e i n l e s s e s p a c e d e v o u r ; Who w i l l b e l e e v e m e e , i f I s w e a r e T h a t I h a v e h a d t h e p l a g u e a y e a r e ? Who w o u l d n o t l a u g h a t mee , i f I s h o u l d s a y , I s aw a f l a s k e o f p o w d e r b u r n e a d a y ? . . . ( p . - g f ) 5 The M e t a p h y s i c a l P o e t s . p . 21. 6 The f l y wa s a common s y m b o l o f u n b r i d l e d s e x u a l p a s s i o n ; c f . L e a r : The w r e n g o e s t o ' t , a n d t h e s m a l l g i l d e d f l y D o e s l e c h e r i n my s i g h t . L e t c o p u l a t i o n t h r i v e . . . ( I V , v i ) . . . 2 6 ..27 7 Shawcross, i n a footnote on p. 9 7 , points t h i s out and c r e d i t s i t to A. B. Chambers i n an a r t i c l e i n JEGP LXV ( 1 9 6 6 ) . S Cleanth Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn: Studies i n the Struc-ture of Poetry. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1 9 4 7 , p. 1 7 . 9 Shawcross, p. 4 0 0 . 1 0 I b i d . . pp. xv, 4 0 2 . 1 1 Many epitaphs on English tombstones convey a warning; I have seen many variatio n s on t h i s theme: Remember me as you pass by, As you are now so once was I. As I am now soon you w i l l be. Prepare f o r death to follow me. 1 2 Rosalie L. C o l i e , Paradoxia Epidemica: The Renaissance  T r a d i t i o n of Paradox. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1 9 6 6 , p. 1 1 7 . 1 3 Ibid., p. 2 2 2 . 1 4 See Chapter £ i n C o l i e , nLe P a r i : A l l or Nothing", which i s a discussion of paradox i n Pascal. 1 5 In the Devotions Donne celebrates " t h i s great f e s t i v a l , my d i s s o l u t i o n " . "Expostulation XIV", p. 9 4 . (Devotions Upon Emer-gent Occasions Together With Death's Duel. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1 9 5 9 ) . 1 6 Shawcross suggests that the theme of resurrection i n the poem was prompted by the f a c t that Anne died on the day of the Feast of the Assumption, the reception of the V i r g i n Mary int o Heaven. 1 7 Cf. Sermon, "Preached upon the P e n i t e n t i a l Psalms, 1 6 2 3 " : "In a f l a t Map, there goes no more, but to make West East, though they be distant i n an extremity, but to paste that f l a t Map upon a round body, and then West and East are a l l one. In a f l a t soule, i n a dejected conscience, i n a troubled s p i r i t , there goes no more to the making of that trouble,peace, then to apply that trouble to the body of the Merits, to the body of the Gospel of C h r i s t Jesus, and con-forme thee to him, and thy West i s East, thy Trouble of s p i r i t i s T r a n q u i l l i t y of s p i r i t . " Sermons. VI, 5 9 . CHAPTER I I I T. S. ELIOT: ' THOUGHTS OF A DRY BRAIN IN A DRY SEASON' The advantage of the poet, E l i o t says, i s "to be able to see beneath both beauty and ugliness; to see the boredom, and the horror, and the glory."^ Helen Gardner i s not putting too much weight on the phrase, "the boredom, and the horror, and the glory!!, I f e e l , when she c a l l s i t a "summary of the develop-2 ment of Mr. E l i o t ' s v i s i o n of the 0world." Certainly the early poems express an overriding sense of time as an unbearable burden, i n a world which i s a prison: For I have known them a l l already, known them a l l -Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my l i f e with coffee spoons. The tedium gives way to t e r r o r i n "Gerontion", where apprehension of the s p i r i t u a l world reveals only the pain i t wields. The persona sees only "Ch r i s t the t i g e r " ; he cannot see the hypostasis of God as love. Only i n the f i n a l poems i s there a r e j o i c i n g i n the glory, and even there E l i o t expresses the necessity of s u f f e r i n g and of d i s c i p l i n e : Because I cannot hope to turn again Consequently I rejoice,, having to construct something Upon which to r e j o i c e . ' I t i s necessary to go by way of doubt and pain to reach t r u t h , as on Donne's craggy h i l l . Everywhere i n the early poems of E l i o t i s the i m p l i c i t expression of the paradox from Hera-• • • • 29 k l e i t o s which prefixes Burnt Norton; n68oS K{TUpfa KU the way up and the way down are the.same*, and which was expressed s i m i l a r l y by Donne: "Therefore that he may r a i s e the Lord s t r i k e s down."^ Faced by the "thousand sordid images" of h i s soul i n the "Preludes", the poetic persona s t i l l manages to propose the existence of some incarnate p r i n c i p l e of regenerative s a c r i f i c e : I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, and c l i n g : The notion of some i n f i n i t e l y gentle I n f i n i t e l y s u f f e r i n g thing. But i t i s a f l e e t i n g v i s i o n o b l i t e r a t e d by the more palpable sight of "worlds /that/ revolve l i k e ancient women/Gathering f u e l i n vacant l o t s " . Suffering i n "Gerontion" consists i n the old man's aware-ness that h i s l i f e i s a shadow, a dream from which he can awaken, as does Prufrock, to a drowning. The advice of the Duke i n Measure f o r Measure (from which speech i s taken the quotation p r e f i x i n g the poem) to be "absolute f o r death" o f f e r s a consola-t i o n to Claudio which i s unavailable to d e s p i r i t u a l i z e d Western man. Gerontion f e e l s , as Donne did i n the "Nocturnall" poem, that he speaks from an immeasurable void, I am an old man, ~ A d u l l head among windy spaces, but there i s no sudden r e s o l u t i o n of the s u f f e r i n g as there was f o r Donne i n that poem. Modern man requires signs, not as a confirmation of f a i t h , but as an inducement: "Signs are taken f o r wonders. 'We would see a sign!'" Yet he misinterprets the . . . .3© symbols of C h r i s t i a n myth. They present only a mysterious threat: In the juvescence of the year Came Christ the t i g e r . The symbols of the springtime death and resur r e c t i o n of a god represent decay rather than growth. Gerontion f e e l s , as Job f e l t , only the absence, the deprivation of God: Vacant shuttles Weave the wind.' But inasmuch as he has brought himself to the recognition of i t s p o s s i b i l i t y he i s immeasurably cl o s e r than E l i o t ' s e a r l i e r poetic persona, such as Prufrock, to a r e v e l a t i o n of s p i r i t u a l r e a l i t y . He i s at l e a s t prepared to exhort himself to face an a l t e r n a t i v e to h i s nightmare l i f e . In the long passage beginning "After such knowledge, what forgiveness?", he presents himself with the a l t e r n a t i v e s . The passage i n i t s r e p e t i t i o n of "Think now" i s s i m i l a r to the long "think" passage i n Donne's second Anniversary i n which he i n v i t e s h i s soul to meditate the d e t a i l s of a v i r -tuous death. There i s l e s s assurance f o r Gerontion; E l i o t ' s meditation i s more abstract, more vague. Except f o r the f i r s t image which i s v i s u a l , Think now History has.many cunning passages, contrived corridors, the meditation proceeds by a presentation of concepts rather than of " v i s u a l aids" as i n Donne's poem. Gerontion t e l l s himself that h i s t o r y reveals the pattern of myth when man i s l e a s t ready to receive i t , and reveals i t i n such a way that the pattern can-not be made out: ....31 She gives when our attention i s di s t r a c t e d And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions That the givi n g famishes the craving. Or perhaps the pattern i s i r r e l e v a n t or untimely: Gives too l a t e What's not believed i n , or s t i l l believed, In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon Into weak hands, what's thought can be dispensed with T i l l the r e f u s a l propagates a fear. The blame f o r h i s confusion and doubt he places on hi s t o r y , the sum of human experience: he i s the 'product of his environment', as psychologists, say. But he i s dimly aware of a f a i l u r e innate i n man, that h i s s u f f e r i n g i s caused by the o r i g i n a l f a l l : "These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree." The paradox of the 'fortunate f a l l ' eludes him. He only f e e l s the immediate e f f e c t s of a f a l l ; the new testament of redemption brought by Ch r i s t holds no promise of mercy: The t i g e r springs i n the near year. Us he devours. But h i s meditation has had the e f f e c t of cl a r i f y i n g f t h i s r e l a t i o n -ship with God so that,unlike Prufrock, Gerontion can at lea s t propose the 'overwhelming question'. Man has f a l l e n away from God, i n i t i a l l y because of fear and then because even h i s unholy t e r r o r of the unknown was eradicated by Baconian r a t i o n a l inquiry: I that was near your heart was removed therefrom To lose beauty i n t e r r o r , t e r r o r i n i n q u i s i t i o n . The "passion", i n the sense of s u f f e r i n g , which man has l o s t , holds the key to h i s salvation, and man i s closer to God's grace merely by asking: I have l o s t my sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch: 0 How should I use them f o r your closer touch? ••••32 The poem closes with a return to i t s i n i t i a l focus on the " f r a c -tured atoms" of human existence, with Gerontion as he was before, "waiting f o r r a i n " . The paradox of d e a t h - i n - l i f e and l i f e - i n - d e a t h i s revealed more f u l l y i n The Waste Land. Death can be either a release from the i n t o l e r a b l e n u l l i t y which i s one kind of s u f f e r i n g , or i t can be a release to something, which i s only f a i n t l y outlined, only f e l t by i t s absence. Man knows only "broken images", stones which give f o r t h no water; i n proposing the existence of redeem-ing water the poetic, persona i s now nearer salvation but he can-not know that. The senses he begged to know the use of i n "Geron-t i o n " s t i l l f a i l him: — Y e t when we came back, l a t e , from the hyacinth garden, Your arms f u l l , and your h a i r wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes f a i l e d . He must go on f i s h i n g i n the f i l t h y canal of his nightmare land-scape. F r u i t l e s s human s u f f e r i n g i s replayed again and again l i k e the t y p i s t ' s gramophone record: (And I Teresias have foresuffered a l l Enacted on t h i s same divan or bed . . . Again there i s a r e v e l a t i o n of Christ but i t i s mistaken, as i t was i n "Gerontion", f o r mere threat or delusion. The hooded f i g u r e which walks beside man i s confused with the "hooded hordes" of the Waste Land inhabitants streaming over the bridges which cross t h e i r f i l t h y r i v e r , . . . swarming Oyer endless p l a i n s , stumbling i n cracked earth. The message the thunder speaks i s heard but not understood, i n ....33 i t s o f f e r of a 'peace which passeth understanding'. I t consists of "Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata", that i s , surrender, mercy, and c o n t r o l i n the union of surrender and mercy. I t i s l i k e the v a l e d i c t i o n of the " f a m i l i a r compound ghost" at the end of L i t t l e  Gidding. "you must move i n measure, l i k e a dancer" (LG, I I , p. 205), and i t contains the same paradox of the s u f f e r i n g love of God which demands an i m i t a t i o n of the s u f f e r i n g . In The Waste  Land, man i s not given the means to achieve the goal: the thun-der's message i s interpreted to us by three symbolic moments: a moment of surrender, a moment of release, and a moment of mys-te r i o u s well-being. In the f i r s t , there i s an act of the w i l l , accepting, not refusing, abandoning i t s resistance. In the second, a l i b e r a t i n g act i s performed from with-out; the prisoner knows himself f r e e . In the t h i r d , there i s a union of powers from without and acceptance from within; with e f f o r t l e s s ease the heart responds to c o n t r o l l i n g hands. These three moments are a l l we are given to hold to: we return to the^arid p l a i n and the s i n g l e f i g u r e on the shore f i s h i n g . Only i n "Ash Wednesday" does the persona a r r i v e at a reve-l a t i o n of what must be done i n order to f i n d peace. Right action here consists of fusing one's w i l l with the w i l l of God. It must be expressed as paradox: Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to s i t s t i l l . ^ The key to caring and not caring i s that detachment c u l t i v a t e d again i n the Quartets: i t allows man to observe his physical d i s i n t e g r a t i o n with equanimity, as did E z e k i e l i n the v a l l e y of the scattered bones.^ The poet's detachment allows him a measure of wit i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of i t : • • . . 34 Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree In the cool of the day, having fed to s a t i e t y On my legs my heart my l i v e r and that which had been contained In the hollow round of my s k u l l . His willingness to allow t h i s , to "p r o f f e r my deeds to o b l i v i o n " , i s the answer to the question Gerontion asked regarding the use of h i s s u f f e r i n g senses, "How should I use them f o r your c l o s e r contact?"; I t i s t h i s which recovers ISy guts the str i n g s of my eyes and the i n d i g e s t i b l e portions Which the leopards r e j e c t . The s c a t t e r i n g of the bones paradoxically e f f e c t s union with divine w i l l : Under ajuftjLper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining We are glad to be scattered, we d i d l i t t l e good to each other, Under a tree i n the cool of the day, with the blessing of sand, Forgetting themselves and each other, united In the quiet of the desert. This i s the land which ye Sh a l l divide by l o t . And neither d i v i s i o n nor unity Matters. This i s the land. We have our inheritance. L i f e i s thus a "dreamcrossed t w i l i g h t between b i r t h and dying"; death i s "the time of tension between dying and b i r t h " . The message of the Thunder i s now understood, but the lesson i s to be learned again and again. The f i n a l s u p p lication of the poem brings no re s o l u t i o n , only a recognition of what must be learned with God's mercy: Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to s i t s t i l l Even among these rocks, Our peace i n His w i l l And even among these rocks S i s t e r , mother And s p i r i t of the r i v e r , s p i r i t of the sea, Suffer me not to be separated And l e t my cry come unto Thee. Thus, the paradoxical necessity of s u f f e r i n g i s devel oped i n E l i o t ' s poetry.^" The process of discovering t h i s necessity begins again, the. Four Quartets as i f f o r the f i r s t time, but t h i s time the glory of existence i s seen to shine through the boredom and the horror. F o o t n o t e s t o C h a p t e r I I I 1 " A r n o l d " , S e l e c t e d P r o s e . e d . J o h n H a y w a r d , H a r m o n d s w o r t h : P e n g u i n , 1 9 5 3 , p . 1 6 6 . _ 2 H e l e n G a r d n e r , The A r t o f T . S . E l i o t . New T o r k : E . P . B u t t o n , 1 9 5 9 , ( f i r s t p u b l . 195©), p . 79. 3 " A s h W e d n e s d a y I " , C o l l e c t e d Poems 1 9 0 9 - 1 9 6 2 . New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e a n d W o r l d , 1 9 6 3 , p . 85. 4 "Hymn t o God my G o d , i n my s i c k n e s s e " , The C o m p l e t e P o e t r y  o f J o h n B o n n e . e d . J o h n T . S h a w c r o s s , G a r d e n C i t y : D o u b l e d a y , 1967, p p . 390-392. 5 p p . 29-31, C o l l e c t e d P o e m s . 6 The a l l u s i o n i s t o M a t t h e w 12:38-39. " T h e n c e r t a i n o f t h e s c r i b e s a n d o f t h e P h a r i s e e s a n s w e r e d , s a y i n g , M a s t e r , we w o u l d s e e a s i g n f r o m t h e e . / B u t h e a n s w e r e d a n d s a i d u n t o t h e m , A n e v i l a n d a d u l t e r o u s g e n e r a t i o n s e e k e t h a f t e r a s i g n . . . " 7 The i m a g e i s a f u s i o n o f t w o i n J o b 7:6,7: "My d a y s a r e s w i f t e r t h a n a w e a v e r ' s s h u t t l e , a n d a r e s p e n t w i t h o u t h o p e . 0 r e m e m b e r t h a t my l i f e i s w i n d : m i n e e y e s h a l l n o mo re s e e g o o d . " 8 H e l e n G a r d n e r , The A r t o f T . S . E l i o t . p . 96. 9 C o l l e c t e d P o e m s . p p . 85-95. 10 C h a p t e r §7: " T h e h a n d o f t h e L o r d was u p o n me , a n d c a r r i e d me o u t i n t h e s p i r i t o f t h e L o r d , a n d s e t me down i n t h e m i d s t o f t h e v a l l e y w h i c h wa s f u l l o f b o n e s , / And c a u s e d me t o p a s s b y t h e m r o u n d a b o u t : a n d , b e h o l d , t h e r e w e r e v e r y many i n t h e o p e n v a l l e y : a n d , l o , t h e y w e r e v e r y d r y . / And h e s a i d u n t o me , S o n o f m a n , c a n t h e s e b o n e s l i v e ? A n d I a n s w e r e d , 0 L o r d G o d , t h o u k n o w e s t . . . " 11 The same p a r a d o x i s r e s t a t e d i n t h e p l a y s . I n M u r d e r i n t h e  C a t h e d r a l B e c k e t k nows t h a t t h e w i l l i n g s u f f e r i n g o f man i n p a -t i e n c e i s t h e a c t i o n r e q u i r e d b y d i v i n e l o v e . The c h o r u s o f women , l i k e G e r o n t i o n a n d t h e F i s h e r K i n g , e x p r e s s t h e h o r r o r o f " l i v i n g a n d p a r t l y l i v i n g " b u t t h e y c a n m o r e r e a d i l y a c c e p t i t t h a n c a n t h e p e r s o n a o f t h e e a r l y p o e t r y : T h o m a s : They know a n d d o n o t k n o w , w h a t i t i s t o a c t o r s u f f e r , T h e y know a n d d o n o t k n o w , t h a t a c t i o n i s s u f f e r i n g , And s u f f e r i n g i s a c t i o n . N e i t h e r d o e s t h e a g e n t s u f f e r N o r t h e p a t i e n t a c t . B u t b o t h a r e f i x e d I n a n e t e r n a l a c t i o n , a n e t e r n a l p a t i e n c e To w h i c h a l l m u s t c o n s e n t t h a t i t may b e w i l l e d .36 3 7 And which a l l must s u f f e r that they may w i l l i t , That the pattern may subsist, f o r the pattern i s the action And the s u f f e r i n g , that the wheel may turn and s t i l l Be forever s t i l l . (p. 3 2 , i n t r o . and notes N e v i l l C o g h i l l , London: Faber, 1 9 3 5 ) The pattern f o r t h i s s u f f e r i n g i s i n the l i f e and death of Christ and a l l h i s martyrs; man's response to the paradox i s necessarily paradoxical,: c f . Archbishop of Canterbury's Christmas morning sermon, 1 1 7 0 , i n the "Interlude" of the play: ". . . a t t h i s same time of a l l the year that we celebrate at once the B i r t h of Our Lord and His Passion and Death upon the Cross, Beloved, as the World sees, t h i s i s to behave i n a strange fashion. For who i n the World w i l l both mourn and r e j o i c e at once and f o r the same reason? For ei t h e r joy w i l l be overborne by mourning, or mourning w i l l be cast out by joy; so i t i s only i n these our C h r i s t i a n mysteries that we can r e j o i c e and mourn at once f o r the same reason." (p. 5 5 ) A martyr i s defined by Becket i n t h i s Christmas sermon as one who has succeeded i n f i t t i n g h i s w i l l to the w i l l of God (p. 5 7 ) ; t h i s does not necessitate the shedding of blood merely, but the acceptance of a p a i n f u l knowledge, "the awful r e a l i t y of the supernatural". (Gardner. The Art of T. S. E l i o t . p. 1 3 3 ) For most the knowledge i s not to be borne, f o r man cannot bear too much r e a l i t y : We do not wish anything to happen. Seven years we have l i v e d q u i e t l y . Succeeded i n avoiding notice, L i v i n g and p a r t l y l i v i n g . . . (p. 2 9 ) Mary, i n The Family Reunion (London: Faber, 1 9 3 9 ) i s also witness to the paradox of s u f f e r i n g : Pain i s the opposite of joy But joy i s a kind of pain I believe the moment of b i r t h Is when we have knowledge of death I believe the season of b i r t h Is the season of s a c r i f i c e . . . (p. 56) As she speaks, Harry's g u i l t i s revealed to him i n the shadowy forms at the window. I t i s a knowledge . . . deeper than a l l sense, Deeper than the sense of smell, but l i k e the smell In that i t i s indescribable, a sweet and b i t t e r smell From another world. (p. 5 7 / »•».38 Agatha expresses this "moment of illumination" in sensuous imagery as well: -There are hours when there seem to be no past or future, Only a present moment of pointed light When you want to burn, When you stretch out your hand To the flames, (p. 96) Knowledge to make one "expert beyond experience" is only describable in terms of sense experience. CHAPTER IV 'THE VISIBLE REMINDER OF INVISIBLE LIGHT': POET AS MAKER One thread of the complex tap e s t r i e s which make up Donne's Anniversaries and E l i o t ' s Four Quartets must be examined apart from the themes and imagery. This i s the part of each poem i n which attention i s drawn to the devices of the poem i t s e l f , and the reader i s made as aware of the form of the poem as he i s of the content. Although i t i s true that the form of the poem i s i t s content to a c e r t a i n extent, i t i s necessary, I f e e l , t o t r y to separate the skeleton from the f l e s h i n order to better understand the whole. The purpose of t h i s chapter, then, i s to examine the poesis of each work, how the poem means, as d i s t i n c t from what; but f i r s t we must consider those parts of each poem i n which the poet draws attention e x p l i c i t l y to h i s r o l e as creator. Underlying both poems i s the knowledge that the poet i s expressing what i s i n f a c t inexpressible, transcendent knowledge. Yet i t must be voiced: Nor could incomprehensiblenesse deterre Me, from thus t r y i n g to emprison her. (AW A69-470J1 Here, Donne loads the word "incomprehensiblenesse" with a weight of meaning. The L a t i n root. prehendere. "to grasp", gives Donne's word the sense of something man's mind cannot grasp, cannot encompass. This sense of something which cannot be con-tainecl by man's mind implies a knowledge which can be and i s contained i n divine knowledge. The word, as Donne uses i t , has the connotation of a l l that knowledge of which God as Logos i s comprised and which man cannot f u l l y comprehend. The con-cept of the Logos i s a paradox c e n t r a l to C h r i s t i a n thought, the container and the thing contained, co-existent and the same: "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God" (John 1 : 1 ) . I t i s an;:idea beyond man's f a t h -oming : . . . the logos doctrine, that d e i t y i s i t s own idea as w e l l as a l l other possible ideas involved i n the idea of divine t o t a l i t y , perceives knowledge as from inside the mind of God. . . . The logos idea i s a very confus-i n g o n e — i t allows f o r both unity and i n f i n i t e v a r i e t y and r e l a t e s , by a kind of immanence theory, a l l things to one s u r r e a l essence, the logos i t s e l f . The logos i s the idea of a l l ideas, an idea i n i t s essence para-do x i c a l , r e f l e x i v e , at once active and passive, s u f f i -cient to i t s e l f and creative of other modes. In approaching the meaning of d i v i n i t y , man i s fettered by imperfect understanding and imperfect material with which to e x p r e s s e s incomprehension. Perfection must be conveyed through an imperfect medium, words; because of the connotative nature of language, meaning i s never f i x e d : Words s t r a i n , Crack and sometimes, break, under the burden, Under the tension, s l i p , s l i d e , perish, Decay with imprecision, w i l l not stay i n place, W i l l not stay s t i l l . (BN V, p. ISO) Like the cosmos, language i s i n continual f l u x ; words be-come loaded with some meanings and cast o f f others. At the same time, the poet must, contend-with stereotyped response to l a n -i • • • • 4 1 g u a g e , w h i c h h e m u s t b r e a k d o w n , a n n i h i l a t e , a n d t h e n r e c r e a t e . He m u s t m a s t e r a n d c o n t r o l h i s m e d i u m , w h i c h , l i k e t h e s o u l i n i t s d i v i n e d a n c e , m u s t b e " s t i l l a n d s t i l l m o v i n g " (EC V , p . 1 8 9 ) . He m u s t b e p r o f o u n d l y c r i t i c a l a t e v e r y s t a g e o f t h e c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s . I n E a s t G o k e r I I , f o l l o w i n g t h e a p o c a l y p t i c i m a g e r y d e t a i l i n g t h e c o r r e s p o n d e n c e b e t w e e n c o s m i c a n d mundane c h a o s a n d a b e r r a t i o n w h i c h m a r k t h e p r e l u d e b e f o r e t h e w o r l d i s b r o u g h t t o " t h a t d e s t r u c t i v e f i r e / W h i c h b u r n s b e f o r e t h e i c e - c a p r e i g n s " , E l i o t t h e c r i t i c t a k e s a l o o k o v e r t h e s h o u l d e r o f E l i o t t h e p o e t a n d commen t s i r o n i c a l l y : T h a t wa s a way o f p u t t i n g i t — n o t v e r y s a t i s f a c t o r y : A p e r i p h r a s t i c s t u d y i n a w o r n - o u t p o e t i c a l f a s h i o n , L e a v i n g one s t i l l w i t h t h e i n t o l e r a b l e w r e s t l e W i t h w o r d s a n d m e a n i n g s . T h i s i s a n e x a m p l e o f t h e t o u g h - m i n d e d n e s s o f t h e p o e t : i n h i s a t t e m p t t o c u t t h r o u g h a l l a p p a r e n t d i f f u s e n e s s o f e x p e r i e n c e t o p r o v e t h e u n d e r l y i n g u n i t y , h i s own c r e a t i o n m u s t u n d e r g o a n a l y s i s . He m u s t be o b j e c t i v e e n o u g h t o s e e a n d p o i n t o u t w h e r e h e h a s f a i l e d t o m e a s u r e u p t o h i s own s t a n d a r d : So h e r e I am, i n t h e m i d d l e w a y , h a v i n g h a d t w e n t y y e a r s -T w e n t y y e a r s l a r g e l y w a s t e d , t h e y e a r s o f l 1 e n t r e d e u x g u e r r e s - -T r y i n g t o l e a r n t o u s e w o r d s , a n d e v e r y a t t e m p t I s a w h o l l y new s t a r t , a n d a d i f f e r e n t k i n d o f f a i l u r e B e c a u s e one h a s o n l y l e a r n t t o g e t t h e b e t t e r o f w o r d s F o r t h e t h i n g one no l o n g e r h a s t o s a y , o r t h e way i n w h i c h One i s no l o n g e r d i s p o s e d t o s a y i t . A n d s o e a c h v e n t u r e I s a new b e g i n n i n g , a r a i d o n t h e i n a r t i c u l a t e W i t h s h a b b y e q u i p m e n t a l w a y s d e t e r i o r a t i n g I n t h e g e n e r a l mes s o f i m p r e c i s i o n o f f e e l i n g , U n d i s c i p l i n e d s q u a d s o f e m o t i o n . (EV V p p . 1 8 8 - 1 8 9 ) T h i s c r i t i c a l f a c u l t y n e c e s s i t a t e s t h e k i n d o f d e t a c h m e n t a d v o c a t e d b y E l i o t , i n t h e p a s s a g e q u o t e d i n C h a p t e r I , i n " T r a -• • • . 4 2 d i t i o n and the Individual Talent": . . . the more perfect the a r t i s t , the more completely separate i n him w i l l be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more p e r f e c t l y w i l l the mind digest.and transmute the passions which are i t s mate-r i a l s . 3 He cannot even hold the i l l u s i o n that h i s a r t i s t i c exper-ience i s a new one: And what there i s to conquer By strength and submission, has already been discovered Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope To emulate— (EC V, p. 1 8 9 ) The poet expresses i n each new age, or reasserts, what has been expressed by others before him. Donne recognized t h i s when he undertook the "great O f f i c e " of Moses i n h i s Anniversaries: Vouchsafe to c a l l to minde, that God d i d make A l a s t , and l a s t i n g s t peece, a song. He spake To Moses to d e l i v e r unto a l l , That song: because hee knew they would l e t f a l l The law, the Prophets, and the History, But keepe the song s t i l l i n t h e i r memory. Such an opinion ( i n due measure) made Me t h i s great O f f i c e boldly to invade. (AW 4 6 1 - 4 6 8 ) Past writers thus serve as models: Someone said: 'The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.* Pre-c i s e l y , and they are that which we know.4 In the sense that human a c t i v i t y often parodies divine a c t i v i t y , the poet can be said to create ex n i h i l o , but the C h r i s t i a n poet e s p e c i a l l y recognizes that h i s creation i s i t s e l f s t i l l a nothing i n comparison with God's: How weak a thing i s Poetry? (and yet Poetry i s counter-f a i t Creation, and makes things that are not, as though they were) How infirme, how impotent are a l l assistances, i f they be put to expresse t h i s E t e r n i t y . 5 ....43 Immediately following the passage quoted above from Burnt Norton V on the mutable nature of words, E l i o t contrasts the image of the perfect immutable divine idea of God, C h r i s t as logos. Word, who was also a s s a i l e d by the temptation to change h i s purpose: The Word i n the desert Is most attacked by voices of temptation, The crying shadow i n the funeral dance, The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera. What the a r t i s t must aim f o r i n h i s work i s a pattern which w i l l be, l i k e the incarnate divine p r i n c i p l e , Caught i n the form of l i m i t a t i o n Between un-being and being. The "ineomprehensiblenesse" of what he must do requires the use of images and symbols. In seeing correspondences between a l l things and a l l concepts, the metaphysical poet brings them together i n a para-d o x i c a l marriage of opposites: the divine union of a l l creation i s adumbrated i n the poet's perception of associations i n the mundane. The task of the poet i s to bring h i s imagery, drawn from common l i f e , to the " f i r s t i n t e n s i t y " , ^ i n E l i o t ' s phrase. Thus t h i s imagery i s stripped of a l l but the associations the poet intends; i t i s i d e a l i z e d into a symbol, or bare outline of the image: A symbol . . . i s a point at which pure form and con-centrated meaning s t r i v e to come to terms. So that the more the poet r e l i e s on symbolism, the more formal as well as meaningful does h i s expression become. Donne's "carkas verses" are elevated by the motivating symbol of Elizabeth Drury: she i s the song to be played upon •••.44 the organ of his elegy ("Funeral Elegy", 28), and i n turn, by h i s example,the good play her on earth ("Funeral Elegy", 106). In h i s s e l e c t i o n of a pattern of symbols, the poet often r i s k s being misunderstood. As William Drummond reports, Ben Jonson thought •That Bone's Anniversarie was profane and f u l l of blas-phemies: that he t o l d Mr. Done, i f i t had been written of the V i r g i n Marie i t had been something; to which he answered that he described the Idea of a Woman, and not as she was.' e Some others att r i b u t e d to hypocrisy the " f i r s t i n t e n s i t y " Donne achieved i n the poem, since he had not known the g i r l , Elizabeth. In a l e t t e r Donne lamented the obtuseness of some readers, and accepted the blame f o r having "descended to p r i n t any thing i n verse": . . . my purpose was to say as well as I could: f o r since I never saw the Gentlewoman, I cannot be understood to have bound myself to have spoken just truths, but I would not be thought to have gone about to praise her, or any other i n rime; except I took such a person, as might be capable of a l l that I could say. I f any of those ladies think that Mistress Drewry was not so, l e t that Lady make he r s e l f f i t f o r a l l those praises i n the book and they s h a l l be h e r s . y He should be forgiven the exasperation of h i s f i n a l remark: he would have been more dismayed at some modern responses to the poem. Marius Bewley regards i t as Donne's private joke cele-brating his apostasy from the Roman Catholic Church: the sym-b o l i z i n g of the Anglican Church i n Elizabeth, Bewley regards a "grotesque apotheosis of the dead g i r l . " " ^ Donne's i d e a l i z a t i o n of h i s symbol i s also misconstrued, but more s e n s i t i v e l y and sympathetically, by 0. B. Hardison as ••..45 a "formal epedeictic type" i n which praise of Elizabeth h e r s e l f i s the motive: Elizabeth i s Donne's ch i e f concern throughout both poems, and the praise of God i s a secondary theme, almost a by-product of the f a c t that praise., of any created object i s i n d i r e c t praise of i t s Creator. 1 Hardison seems to ignore the f a c t that Elizabeth i s never men-no tioned by name i n the poem apart from the t i t l e s . Even i f we accept the proposition that the name i s not used f o r the same reason that God's name was not used by the Jews of the Old Testa-ment, that i s , because of the magic power of n a m e s , t h i s does not account f o r the force both of Donne's horror and of his exultation i n describing the death. The symbol must carry more weight than t h i s . Of f a r more p l a u s i b i l i t y i s Frank Manley's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the symbol as the innate wisdom of God, l o s t i n man through the F a l l . This accounts f o r the paradox i n the f i r s t Anniver-sary of the world's ambivalent response to the death. Through the death imposed on man with h i s f a l l away from divine wisdom, man may return to that wisdom: death i s both a r e s u l t of man's loss and a means to his gain. In the second Anniversary the poet has gained an i n d i c a t i o n of how man's return to grace may be e f f e c t e d — b y means of the Augustinian p o s s i b i l i t a t e m boni, "the innate uprightness of the soul which i s restored by grace": In the second /Anniversary7 . . . he has found his d i r e c t i o n ; through the r e a l i z a t i o n of his soul's loss he has gained the wisdom that orients him toward God, and the entire poem surges upward toward eternal l i f e . 1 * * This ambiguity toward death, then, accounts f o r the para-. . . . 4 6 d o x i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f t h e t w o A n n i v e r s a r y p o e m s . T h e y b u i l d t o w a r d t h e c l i m a x w i t h a j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f c o n t r a s t i n g m e a n i n g s o f d e a t h a n d o f w i s d o m . The r e a d e r m u s t k e e p i n m i n d , a s h e r e a d s t h e w h o l e , t w o f r a m e s o f r e f e r e n c e ( j u s t a s h e d o e s when; h e r e a d s t h e l o g i c a l p a r a d o x c o n t a i n e d i n a s i n g l e s e n t e n c e , a s f o r e x a m p l e , i n P a u l ' s d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s s u f f e r i n g , "When I am w e a k , t h e n I am s t r o n g " , 2 C o r . 1 2 : 1 0 ) . " D e a t h " i s b o t h t h e d e a t h o f t h e b o d y a n d t h e d e a t h o f s i n i n m a n ; " w i s d o m " i s b o t h w o r l d l y s c i e n t i a a n d o t h e r w o r l d l y s a p i e n t i a . ^ The s t r u c t u r e o f t h e p o e m s , t h e n , i s p a t t e r n e d o n t h e d i s c o v e r y o f t h e s e d e f i n i t i o n s w h i c h a r e s e e n i n f a i n t o u t l i n e i n t h e o p e n i n g l i n e s . T h i s a c c o u n t s f o r t h e c i r c u l a r i t y o f t h e poem, i n w h i c h t h e e n d i s p r e f i g u r e d i n t h e b e g i n n i n g a n d new b e g i n n i n g s a r e i n t i m a t e d i n t h e e n d . The p r o c e s s o f t h e a r g u m e n t o f t h e poem i s p a r a d o x i c a l : " t h r o u g h t h e u s e o f r e a s o n i t e x p l o r e s t h e l i m i t s o f r e a s o n " . The c o n t r a s t i n g p a t t e r n s o f t h e poem c a n be s c h e m a t i z e d t h u s : A n a t o m y : l i n e s , 1 - 6 2 — t h e w o r l d h a s s u f f e r e d a d e a t h , t o w h i c h i t r e s p o n d s w i t h a m b i v a l e n c e ; t h e w o r l d wa s d e f i n e d b y w h a t h a s b e e n l o s t a n d t h e r e f o r e n o l o n g e r l i v e s i t s e l f 6 3 - 9 0 — y e t i t d o e s e x i s t i n t h e new w o r l d b o r n o f t h i s p e r p l e x i n g d e a t h ; m a n ' s l o s t w i s d o m ( v i r t u e ) r e m a i n s i n i t s g h o s t , t h e i d e a l f o r m t o be p r a c t i c e d b y m a n . 9 1 - 1 4 4 — man wa s b o r n t o d i e , e a c h g e n e r a -t i o n i s a d e g e n e r a t i o n down t o n o t h i n g ; 1 4 5 - 1 4 6 — y e t o n l y t h u s , b y d e a t h , w i l l m a n ' s s t a t u r e i n c r e a s e ( d e a t h , t h e r e f o r e , m u s t h a v e o t h e r m e a n i n g s , t o be e x p l o r e d f u r t h e r i n t h e A n a t o m y ) . .47 l i n e s 147-186 — man t r i e s to e f f e c t the wrong kind of a n n i h i l a t i o n , because he has l o s t h i s heart, the innate v i r t u e 187-190 — but he can make a "better grouthe" 191-238 — the f a l l was simultaneous with creation; the magnetic force to restore man to God exists but was l o s t to t h i s old world 239-246 — reminder to man to dis s o c i a t e him-s e l f , by means of the anatomy, from t h i s l o s s 247-324 — there i s disproportion because heavenly wisdom i s l o s t 325-338 — the object of the anatomy i s to s t r i v e f o r a matching to heavenly proportion 339-356 — a l l perfection of colour has been l o s t 357-358 — man's soul bears the colour of penitence; there i s hope f o r man, therefore 359-376 — there i s perfection of colour to be studied i n the symbol of vir t u e 377-398 — loss of correspondence between heaven and earth 399-434 — correspondence to be sought e l s e -where i n the i d e a l 435-end — purpose of the poem to provide a bridge between the dead world and the new world; verse has a middle nature which can hold the opposing terms of existence together. Progres: l i n e s 1 - 22 — world now i s seen to be moving toward death, with ambivalence 23 - 48 — by contrast the poet w i l l s t r i v e f o r l i f e (new l i f e ) and his poems are an expression of t h i s aim 49 - 84 — thus the wisdom of the old world i s no longer u s e f u l ; death i s cele-brated because i t has di d a c t i c value 85-120 — the soul must therefore study i t s own body's death • • .48 l i n e s 121-146 — the perfection possible i s symbols ized by the perfection<rof a l l -encompassing divine wisdom 147-156 — man must earnVheavenly wisdom by i m i t a t i n g i t himself i n a good death 157-178 — meditation of perfect death resumed 179-219 — release to union by d i s i n t e g r a t i o n i n death 220-250 — divine wisdom 251-293 — ignorance of soul imprisoned i n f l e s h 294-382 — wisdom of the soul i n the watch-tower of the mind, the pattern of which i s a prelude to the essen-t i a l joy, toward which the soul must aspire 383-434 — contrast of the i l l u s o r y joys of the old world 435-472 — soul can work up to p i t c h of e s s e n t i a l joy by means of imagin-a t i o n i n the poem; by i m i t a t i n g i d e a l form of wisdom, some joy i s therefore possible on earth 473-486 — danger of pride i n earthly joy 487-510 — paradox of increasing perfection i n heaven 511-end — the pattern f o r l i f e and death r e a l i z e d i n the poem i t s e l f ; the discovery of the poem's purpose i s the poem i t s e l f . By the end of the poem, the dirge has turned into an a l l e l u i a i n which divine wisdom i s both the end of the explora-t i o n and the means, "both the object, and the wit" (PS, 442). As means, divine wisdom i s invoked by Donne to act as h i s Muse, the male p r i n c i p l e , j o i n i n g with the poet as womb to bring f o r t h the child-poem: . . . be unto my Muse A Father since her chast Ambition i s , Yearely to bring f o r t h such a c h i l d as t h i s , These Hymes may worke on future wits, and so May great Grand-Children of thy praises grow. (PS, 34-38) Donne i s thus the d i r e c t mouthpiece of God, the Trumpet pro-claiming the Word embodied i n h i s symbol, the ecstasis of s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h . He has become, by means of divine w i l l , the poem, both the song and the choir (AW, 10): nor wouldst thou be content, To take t h i s , f o r my second yeeres true Rent, Did t h i s Coine beare any'other stampe, then h i s , That gave thee power to doe, me, to say t h i s , Since h i s w i l l i s , that to p o s t e r i t i e , Thou shouldest f o r l i f e , and death a patterne bee, And that the world should notice have of t h i s , The purpose, and th'Autority i s h i s ; Thou a r t the Proclamation; and I ame 1 7 The Trumpet, at whose voice the people came. ' (PS, 519-528) In a s i m i l a r way the meaning of E l i o t ' s poem consists i n i t s form, the images, symbols and contrasting parts which make up the whole. The f i r s t object of attention i s the poet's language. As we saw at the beginning of t h i s chapter i n d i s -cussion of Donne, words have an i n t r a c t a b l e nature and the poet must control, i n order not to be controlled by, h i s medium: The task of the poet, i n making people comprehend the incomprehensible, demands immense resources of l a n -guage; and i n developing language, enriching the mean-i n g of words and showing how much words can do, he i s making possible a much greater range of emotion and perception f o r other men, because he gives them the speech i n which more can be expressed. 1 8 The object of the poet i s to l e a r n how "To p u r i f y the d i a l e c t of the t r i b e " (LG I I , p. 204). A measure of h i s success with words, paradoxically, i s hi s a b i l i t y to convey meaning at a subverbal l e v e l : " I t i s a t e s t . . . that genuine poetry can communicate before i t i s 19 understood." The words i n a poem have an a f f e c t i v e as well as an i n t e l l e c t u a l meaning; that i s , "the t o t a l meaning structure cannot be completely described i n cognitive terms." How t h i s a f f e c t i v e meaning i s achieved i s by means of what E l i o t c a l l e d an "objective c o r r e l a t i v e " i n the imagery, a term which i s now part of contemporary c r i t i c a l jargon. It i s "the only way of expressing emotion i n the form of a r t , " which E l i o t defines as . . . a set of objects, a si t u a t i o n , a chain of events which s h a l l be the formula of that p a r t i c u l a r emotion; such that when the external f a c t s , which must terminate i n sensory experience, are given, the emotion i s immed-i a t e l y evoked. ^ It i s expressed more c l e a r l y , I think, by Smidt, who de-fi n e s "objective c o r r e l a t i v e " as, an objective observation i n terms of a subjective exper-ience, and a general t r u t h i n terms of a subjective t r u t h . The idea or emotion i s made concrete, but i n another context than that of the poet's o r i g i n a l exper-ience. ^ One thinks, f o r an example i n E l i o t ' s work, of the pattern of images i n The Waste Land which convey an experience of sudden i l l u m i n a t i o n : 'You gave me hyacinths f i r s t a year ago; 'They c a l l e d me the hyacinth g i r l . ' -Yet when we came back, l a t e , from the&hyacinth garden, Your arms f u l l , and your h a i r wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes f a i l e d , I was neither L i v i n g nor dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of l i g h t , the s i l e n c e . A s e n s i t i v e reader of The Waste Land, aware of a l l the implica-t i o n s of t h i s experience i n i t s context i n - t h i s passage, i s a l e r t to the appearance of these images elsewhere i n the poetry, ....51 where they have the same objective v a l i d i t y although the c i r -cumstances are d i f f e r e n t . Thus, i n the Quartets, the recur-r i n g images r e l a t i n g to t h i s garden experience, the flowers, the figure who intends some communication, the f a i l u r e of the senses, the moment of ecstasis between l i f e and death, the l i g h t and s i l e n c e , take on a meaning made r i c h e r by a reading of the e a r l i e r poem. More important f o r an understanding of E l i o t i s to see the way i n which he forms words into patterns. As i n other metaphysical^poetry, a new, fusion of parts into wholes, images in t o image patterns, i s achieved by means of the conceit, which i s . . . an i n t e g r a l element of the metaphysical s t y l e since i t i s the most compelling means of making the desired union of emotion and thought by bringing to-gether widely divergent material i n a single image. Instead of being ornamental, i t i s wholly fu n c t i o n a l : only by i t s use does the poet f e e l that he can express the precise curve of h i s meaning.<2.3 For an example, take the image of the Chinese j a r whose perfec-t i o n of form E l i o t must emulate i n his poetry: Only by the form, the pattern, Can words or music reach The s t i l l n e s s as a Chinese j a r s t i l l Moves perpetually i n i t s s t i l l n e s s . (BN V, p. 180) The force of the conceit i s contained i n our awareness of the very d i f f e r e n t problems encountered by the maker of poems and the maker of j a r s : the jarmaker's object i s to transcend the l i f e l e s s n e s s of h i s material and imitate movement; the poet's aim i s to overcome the necessary movement of h i s words, through • » * • 5 2 space on the page and through time as they are read, and to achieve the impression of s t a s i s . But the two objects are not so incomparable: by means of pattern each a r t i s t achieves h i s ends. Just as the jarmaker makes the lump of clay move i n the form and pattern of the j a r , the poet molds images into an accretion of meaning. An analysis of the parts of the structure of the Quartets reveals the perfect balance of oppositions, obtained on the s p i r i t u a l l e v e l i n the Incarnation, and on the aesthetic l e v e l i n the fusion of form and content. In E l i o t ' s poem, the anal-y s i s of structure i s made easier by the d i v i s i o n of each Quartet i n t o f i v e movements, and of each movement i n t o stanzas of vary-ing l i n e length and a l t e r n a t i n g l y r i c and di s c u r s i v e language. Nevertheless, the whole structure defies the kind of r i g i d schematization made by some c r i t i c s , although these are cer-t a i n l y h e l p f u l . 2 ^ " Within each movement, I see a juxtaposition of the double terms of the argument, i n the developing aware-ness of new knowledge based on an examination and r e j e c t i o n of past experience. The structure of the whole poem balances, as i n the Anniversaries. contrary experience and ideas throughout: Burnt Norton: I —-man i s imprisoned i n unredeemable time — the experience of the rose garden, not yet understood, promises a possible redemption of time II — the w h i r l i n g f l u x of the cosmos, seen i n correspondences of microcosm and macrocosm — a d i f f e r e n t kind of movement i n pat-tern, which i s s t i l l n e s s , and must be understood through experience i n time ....53 I I I — the unreal c i t y of the "place of d i s -a f f e c t i o n " — the necessity of a r e a l darkness IV — the world of death — the possible world of r e b i r t h V — the imperfection of the medium — the perfection of the Word, the b a l -ance ^Between un-being and being' East Goker: I — the beginning of l i f e prefigures the end i n death — the j o i n i n g of f l e s h i s necessary II -- chaos i n the cosmos; knowledge i s f i x e d i n the wrong kind of pattern 7 — the only wisdom i s i n humility, i n professing ignorance III — darkness of death — darkness of God which i s l i g h t IV — pain and disease, death — health, r e b i r t h V — i n a r t i c u l a t i o n of poet, i n a b i l i t y to make fusion — u n i f y i n g divine love transcends a l l consideration - human time - universal time - dreary round of man's l i f e - Annunciation promises new l i f e - necessity of accepting time, of not thinking of the " f r u i t of action" - future exists i n every action - prayer f o r those whose l i v e s have ended i n the sea - the angelus promises hope and new beginnings - wrong knowledge — necessity of self-surrender to under-stand the Incarnation, i . e . r i g h t knowledge L i t t l e Gidding I — the s e t t i n g f o r another experience of i l l u m i n a t i o n — understanding of the experience cannot be preconceived, the purpose w i l l be "altered i n f u l f i l l m e n t " II — destruction of meaning of past ex-perience — p o s s i b i l i t y of r e s t o r i n g i n r e f i n i n g f i r e Dry Salvages I -II -I I I -IV -V -. . . . 54 I I I necessity of detachment but s i n of f l e s h necessary IV V perfection of soul i n dance ) In L i t t l e Gidding the images and themes of the f i r s t three Quartets are ingathered and patterned i n a new context; i n a very r e a l sense the poem i s c i r c u l a r , f o r i t returns at i t s end to the beginning and yet a l l that l i e s between has changed the context of the end. By the f i n a l movement of L i t t l e  Gidding. E l i o t has a c l e a r e r v i s i o n of the "condition of com-plete s i m p l i c i t y " which w i l l bring him, as a man, into the rose garden again and f o r the f i r s t time. But more important, f o r us as readers at l e a s t , he has been brought as a poet to a new beginning i n which, though i r o n i c a l l y i t meant an end to his poetry, he has at l a s t r e a l i z e d what he meant to say: The word neither d i f f i d e n t nor ostentatious, An easy commerce of the old and the new, The common word exact without v u l g a r i t y , The formal word precise but not pedantic, The complete consort dancing together) Every phrase and every sentence i s an end and a beginning, Every poem an epitaph. poems i s that of sel f - r e f e r e n c e : the poet i s both detached observer searching f o r the meaning of the experience, and the p a r t i c i p a n t involved i n and searching f o r the meaning of the experience. I t i s a paradox i n f i n i t e l y regressive, l i k e the r e f l e c t i o n i n the mirror of the r e f l e c t i o n i n the mirror. The d i f f i c u l t y inherent i n viewpoint was the subject of E l i o t ' s d o ctoral d i s s e r t a t i o n on F. H. Bradley, i n whose metaphysics One of the self-generating paradoxes woven int o both . . . . 5 5 r e a l i t y or 'Immediate Experience 1, the condition p r i o r to thought and therefore to analysis, i s known to be unanalyzable. Relating t h i s kind of experience has been imaged as l i k e t r y -i n g to photograph one's own f o o t p r i n t s as they are made: The task of the metaphysician from the outside, must seem endless and f u t i l e , since he can never have what he i s i n pursuit of, and yet he always has i t , or i t has him. 2* This phenomenon accounts f o r the complexity found i n both Donne and E l i o t i n t h e i r search f o r s i m p l i c i t y . In describ-i n g the appeal of Donne to the twentieth century, and p a r t i c u -l a r l y to E l i o t , Matthiessen notes Donne's a b i l i t y to express complexities as they are perceived: What he stove to devise was a medium of expression that would correspond to the f e l t i n t r i c a c y of h i s existence, that would suggest by sudden contrasts, by harsh disson-ances as well as by harmonies, the actual sensations of l i f e as he himself experienced i t . Z o The metaphysical s e n s i b i l i t y of the seventeenth century was l o s t i n l a t e r poets i n response to the demand, i n i t i a t e d by Bacon, f o r c l e a r and d i s t i n c t categories of inquiry; but i t i s a sen-s i b i l i t y which E l i o t advocated as being p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f i c a -cious f o r modern poets: Our c i v i l i z a t i o n comprehends great v a r i e t y and complex-i t y , and t h i s v a r i e t y and complexity, playing upon a refined s e n s i b i l i t y , must produce various and complex r e s u l t s . The poet must become more and more comprehen-sive,; fmore a l l u s i v e , more i n d i r e c t , i n order to f o r c e ^ to d i s l o c a t e i f necessary, language in t o h i s meaning. ' The poet of "refined s e n s i b i l i t y " was one who was capable of seeing everywhere the correspondences between objects: When a poet's mind i s p e r f e c t l y equipped f o r i t s work, i t i s constantly amalgamating disparate experience; ••••56 the ordinary man's experience i s chaotic, i r r e g u l a r , fragmentary. The l a t t e r f a l l s i n love, or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the type-w r i t e r or the smell of cooking; i n the mind of the 2 a poet these experiences are always forming new wholes. In i t s perception and i t s expression, the creation of poetry, f o r Donne and E l i o t a l i k e , i s a holy task: I t i s ultimately the function of a r t , i n imposing a credible order upon r e a l i t y and thereby e l i c i t i n g some perception of order i n r e a l i t y , to bring us to a con-d i t i o n of serenity, s t i l l n e s s and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n ; and then leave us, as V i r g i l l e f t Dante, to proceed toward a.<region where that guide can a v a i l us no farther. 2° F o o t n o t e s t o C h a p t e r I V 1 A l l q u o t a t i o n s f r o m D o n n e ' s A n n i v e r s a r i e s a n d E l i o t ' s F o u r Q u a r t e t s a r e f r o m t h e e d i t i o n s b y J o h n T . S h a w c r o s s , The  C o m p l e t e P o e t r y o f J o h n D o n n e . G a r d e n C i t y , N . T . : D o u b l e d a y , 1 9 6 7 ; a n d T . S . E l i o t : C o l l e c t e d Poems 1 9 0 9 - 1 9 6 2 . New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e ar id W o r l d , 1 9 6 3 , r e s p e c t i v e l y . A b b r e v i a t i o n s u s e d a r e a s f o l l o w s : 2 R o s a l i e L . C o l i e , P a r a d o x i a E p i d e m i c a : The R e n a i s s a n c e T r a d i t i o n o f P a r a d o x . P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 6 , p . 28T 3 S e l e c t e d P r o s e , e d . J o h n H a y w a r d , H a r m o n d s w o r t h : P e n g u i n , 1 9 5 3 , p . 2 6 . 4 I b i d . . p . 25. 5 D o n n e , i n a s e r m o n " P r e a c h e d u p o n E a s t e r - d a y , 1 6 2 2 , (The  S e r m o n s o f J o h n D o n n e . 1 0 - v o l s . e d s . G e o r g e R. P o t t e r a n d E v e l y n M. S i m p s o n , B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1 9 5 3 - 1 9 6 2 ) , I V , 8 7 . 6 C f . h i s e s s a y o n B a u d e l a i r e : " I t i s n o t m e r e l y i n t h e u s e o f i m a g e r y o f common l i f e , n o t m e r e l y i n t h e u s e o f i m a g e r y o f t h e s o r d i d l i f e o f a g r e a t m e t r o p o l i s , b u t i n t h e e l e v a t i o n o f s u c h i m a g e r y t o t h e f i r s t i n t e n s i t y — p r e s e n t i n g i t a s i t i s , a n d y e t m a k i n g i t r e p r e s e n t s o m e t h i n g much mo re t h a n i t s e l f — t h a t B a u d e l a i r e h a s c r e a t e d a mode o f r e l e a s e a n d e x p r e s s i o n f o r o t h e r m e n . " S e l e c t e d P r o s e , p . 1 8 0 . 7 K r i s t i a n S m i d t , P o e t r y a n d B e l i e f i n t h e Wo rk o f T . S . E l i o t . L o n d o n : R o u t l e d g e a n d K e g a n P a u l , r e v . e d . , 1951, p . 1 1 2 . 8 Q u o t e d b y S h a w c r o s s , The C o m p l e t e P o e t r y o f J o h n D o n n e f p . 4 0 5 . 9 C f u a l e t t e r t o M r . G e o r g e G e r r a r d , A p r i l 1 4 , 1 6 1 2 , q u o t e d i n J o h n D o n n e : S e l e c t e d P r o s e . c h o s e n b y E v e l y n S i m p s o n , e d s . H e l e n G a r d n e r a n d T i m o t h y H e a l y , O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1 9 6 7 , p . 1 4 2 . AW A n a t o m y o f t h e W o r l d P S P r o g r e s o f t h e S o u l e BN B u r n t N o r t o n EC E a s t C o k e r DS D r y S a l v a g e s L G L i t t l e G i d d i n g 57 58 1 0 "Religious Cynicism i n Donne's Poetry", Kenyon Review XIV (Autumn, 1 9 5 2 ) , pp. 6 1 9 - 6 4 6 . 1 1 0 . B. Hardison, J r . , The Enduring Monument: A Study of the Idea of Praise i n Renaissance L i t e r a r y Theory and P r a c t i c e . Chapel H i l l : U n iversity of North Carolina Press, 196*2, p. 1 6 8 . 12 The f u l l t i t l e of the f i r s t Anniversary i s "An Anatomy of the World. Wherein, By occasion of the untimely death of Mistress Elizabeth Drury the f r a i l t y and decay of t h i s whole World i s represented", and of the second, "Of the Progress of the Soule. Wherein: By occasion of the Religious death of M i s t r i s Elizabeth Drury the incommodities of the Soule i n t h i s l i f e and her exaltation i n the next, are contemplated"; "her" i s taken to r e f e r to the soul. 13 Golie emphasizes t h i s aspect of the symbol of Elizabeth Drury: "For him /Donne7, the 'name* of a thing, i t s logos. g l o r i -f i e d i n both Stoic and C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n s , was a l l -important. From the logos, the o r i g i n a t i n g word of God, a l l things took t h e i r form; the lady whose death had robbed the world of i t s soul, and thus of i t s l i f e , had a name whose divine properties exceeded the 'naming-magic of Agrippa. Her name, Donne t e l l s us, defined the world, gave i t form and grace; when the world forgot her name, i t forgot i t s own and thus ceased to know i t s e l f . Lost to the world though the sovereign power of her name i s — and i n a splendid p r a c t i c a l i l l u s t r a t i o n of h i s notion, Donne never assigns the lady a name, nor ever c a l l s by t h e i r proper names her subsidiary representatives, Astraea, Queen Elizabeth, and the V i r g i n Mary—that secret name has the power, inopoetry, to 're f i n e ' coarse l i n e s , and make prose song'." pp. 4 2 4 - 4 2 5 . C o l i e i s drawing here on Marjorie Hope Nicolson's theory (in The Breaking of the C i r c l e : Studies i n the E f f e c t of the 'New  Science' Upon Seventeenth Century Poetry. New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, rev. ed., 1 9 6 2 ) that Donne d i f f e r e n t i a t e s , i n his use of "shee" and "she", between Elizabeth Drury, Astraea, the V i r g i n Mary, and Queen Elizabeth. 14 Frank Manley, ed., The Anniversaries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1 9 6 3 , pp. 1 7 , 1 9 . 15 Ibid., p. 4 8 . 1 6 Loc. c i t . 17 In one of the sermons on the Psalms, Donne explained why David's prayer of thanksgiving i s reserved u n t i l the end of the set, Psalms 6 , 7 , and 8 : "But therefore might David be l a t e r .59 a n d s h o r t e r h e r e , i n e x p r e s s i n g t h a t d u t y o f t h a n k s , f i r s t , b e c a u s e b e i n g r e s e r v e d t o t h e e n d , a n d c l o s e o f t h e P s a l m e , i t l e a v e s t h e b e s t i m p r e s s i o n i n t h e m e m o r y . And t h e r e f o r e i t i s e a s i e t o o b s e r v e , t h a t i n a l l M e t r i c a l l c o m p o s i t i o n s , o f w h i c h k i n d e t h e b o o k e o f P s a l m e s i s , t h e f o r c e o f t h e w h o l e p i e c e , i s f o r t h e m o s t p a r t l e f t t o t h e s h u t t i n g u p ; t h e w h o l e f r a m e o f t h e poem i s a b e a t i n g o u t o f a p i e c e o f g o l d , b u t t h e l a s t c l a u s e i s a s t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e s t a m p , a n d t h a t i s i t t h a t make s i t c u r r a n t . " S e r m o n s . V I , 4 1 . 1 8 " A T a l k o n D a n t e " , g i v e n 1 9 5 0 , q u o t e d i n S e l e c t e d P r o s e , p . 96. 1 9 " D a n t e " ( 1 9 2 9 ) , i n S e l e c t e d E s s a y s . New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e a n d W o r l d , 1 9 6 4 , p . 2 0 0 . 2 0 S i s t e r M a r y C l e o p h a s G o s t e l l o , B e t w e e n F i x i t y a n d F l u x : A S t u d y o f t h e C o n c e p t o f P o e t r y i n t h e C r i t i c i s m o f T . S . E l i o t . W a s h i n g t o n : C a t h o l i c U n i v e r s i t y o f A m e r i c a P r e s s , 1 9 4 7 , p . 6 0 . 2 1 " H a m l e t " i n S e l e c t e d P r o s e , p . 1 0 2 . 2 2 S m i d t , P o e t r y a n d B e l i e f . . . , p . 4 1 . 23 F . 0 . M a t t h i e s s e n , The A c h i e v e m e n t o f T . S . E l i o t : A n E s s a y o n t h e N a t u r e o f P o e t r y . New Y o r k : 0 x f o r d ~ U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 5 9 , _ 3 r d e d . / w i t h a c h a p t e r o n E l i o t ' s l a t e r w o r k b y G . L . B a r b e r / , p . 2 9 . 2 4 B . H . F u s s e l l , " S t r u c t u r a l M e t h o d s i n F o u r Q u a r t e t s " , E L H , X X I I I ( 1 9 5 5 ) , p p . 2 1 2 - 2 4 1 . 25 E r i c T h o m p s o n , T . S . E l i o t , The M e t a p h y s i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e . C a r b o n d a l e : . S o u t h e r n I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 3 , p . 29. 2 6 M a t t h i e s s e n , p . 1 2 . 27 E l i o t , " T h e M e t a p h y s i c a l P o e t s " i n S e l e c t e d P r o s e , p . 1 1 2 . 2 8 I b i d . , p p . 1 1 0 - 1 1 1 . 2 9 " P o e t r y a n d D r a m a " , i b i d . . p . 8 1 . CHAPTER V THE ANNIVERSARIES AND THE FOUR QUARTETS: ROAD MAPS FOR THE SOUL The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to examine the method and meaning of the v i a negativa of the soul's progress toward u n i t y with God, as i t i s explored i n the Anniversaries and the Four Quartets. Discussion of these poems w i l l deal i n turn with the recurring themes and imagery of the paradoxes of b i r t h i m p l i c i t i n death, knowledge dependent upon ignorance, the s p i r i t u a l development from nothingness to something, and the discovery of true self-hood i n a t o t a l and pai n f u l self-abnega-t i o n , a discovery i n which both the means and the end i s heavenly joy. In C h r i s t i a n b e l i e f , a l l these paradoxes are fused i n the paradox of the Incarnation, the miraculous fusion of divine p r i n c i p l e and human f l e s h . In the poems, the discovery of the meaning of these paradoxes forms the created whole which i s the poem i t s e l f . i The s t a r t i n g point (and end, as we s h a l l see) of the soul's progress i n both poems is.th e question of whether or not death has value. In "An Anatomy, of the World", the " f r a i l t y and decay of t h i s whole world" i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the death of Elizabeth Drury, but from the beginning, Donne poses the am-Dignity o f t h i s d e a t h ; t h e w o r l d i s . . . s u c c o u r ' d t h e n w i t h a p e r p l e x e d d o u b t , W h e t h e r t h e w o r l d d i d l o o s e o r g a i n e i n t h i s . (AW 14-15r I s d e a t h a n e n d o r a b e g i n n i n g , a n d . i f a b e g i n n i n g c a n d e a t h t h e n be c a l l e d d e s i r a b l e ? I n i t i a l l y , a n d a t r e g u l a r p o i n t s i n b o t h p o e m s , Donne p r o p o s e s t h e p a r a d o x o f a m o u r n i n g - c e l e b r a t i o n o f t h e p a r t i c u l a r d e a t h o f a v i r t u o u s g i r l a n d o f d e a t h i n g e n e r a l . The p a r a d o x o f t h e " p e r p l e x e d i d o u b t " g a i n s p o i g n a n c y f r o m t h e h y p e r b o l i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d i n m o u r n i n g : T h i s w o r l d , i n t h a t g r e a t e a r t h - q u a k e l a n g u i s h e d ; F o r i n a common B a t h o f t e a r e s i t b l e d . (AW, 11-12) B u t t h e s u b s e q u e n t r e s p o n s e i s a m b i v a l e n t : tt. . . i t j o y 1 * ! , i t m o u r n ' d " (AW 20). S i m i l a r l y , i n B u r n t N o r t o n , h a v i n g r e c e i v e d a h i n t o f " o u r f i r s t w o r l d " i n t h e r o s e g a r d e n v i s i o n , t h e p o e t q u e s t i o n s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f r e b i r t h . I n d e a t h , o r i n s l e e p w h i c h i s t h e p a r o d y o f d e a t h , t h e r e i s a p p a r e n t f i n a l i t y : T ime a n d t h e b e l l h a v e b u r i e d t h e d a y , The b l a c k c l o u d c a r r i e s t h e s u n a w a y . ( B N , I V , p . 179) B u t i m m e d i a t e l y , t h e q u e s t i o n i s r a i s e d , a l t h o u g h h a l t i n g l y : i s d e a t h a n e n d , , d o e s t h e b l a c k c l o u d o b s c u r e t h e s u n ' s w a r m t h f o r -e v e r , o r , W i l l t h e s u n f l o w e r t u r n t o u s , w i l l t h e c l e m a t i s S t r a y d o w n , b e n d t o u s ; t e n d r i l a n d s p r a y C l u t c h a n d c l i n g ? C h i l l F i n g e r s o f v y e w ^ b e ^ s u r l e d Down o n u s ? (BN I V , p p . 1 7 9 - 1 8 0 ) . . . » 6 2 The answer i s an immediate affir m a t i o n of f a i t h : After the kingfisher's wing Has answered l i g h t to l i g h t , and i s s i l e n t , the l i g h t i s s t i l l At the s t i l l point of the turning world. The imagery and paradox of t h i s passage are r i c h and com-plex. The sunflower i s a symbol of the s p i r i t u a l l i g h t of the son-sun, C h r i s t ; the blue of the clematis symbolizes Mary or the grace-giving q u a l i t y . 2 The f l a s h of the kingfisher's wing answering " l i g h t to l i g h t " , l i k e Shelley's skylark and Hopkins' windhover, i s a hint, merely, of the presence of God. I t i s s i l e n t and i n v i s i b l e , yet present there to be perceived by the s t i l l soul at the s t i l l point. The downward gesture of the clem-a t i s suggests the reaching of God down to man, which i s implied i n the Heracleitean fragment p r e f i x i n g the poem, "the road up and the road down are the same". The mercy of God thus assured, however, does not diminish the pain and horror of death, sym-bolized by the "fingers of yew". In order f o r us to comprehend the value of death, we must hold i t up f o r examination. The meditation on the "dying l i f e " forms the core of the f i r s t Anni-versary . "An Anatomy of the World" and of the second and t h i r d Quartets. East Coker and Dry Salvages. i i The f i r s t irony of human l i f e i s that man begins to die from the moment of conception: "We are borne ruinous" (AW, 9 5 ) . Every c h i l d ' s b i r t h i s a re-enactment of the O r i g i n a l F a l l : . . . children come not r i g h t , nor orderly, Except they headlong come, and f a l l upon An ominous p r e c i p i t a t i o n . (AW, 9 6 - 9 8 ) I m p l i c i t i n every b i r t h i s the death brought upon mankind by that • # * • 63 " d e s i r a b l e c a l a m i t y " 4 woman , F o r mans r e l i e f e , c a u s e o f h i s l a n g u i s h m e n t . F o r t h a t f i r s t m a r i a g e wa s o u r f u n e r a l l : One woman a t one b l o w , t h e n k i l l ' d u s a l l , A nd s i n g l y , one b y o n e , t h e y k i l l u s n ow . s e n t (AW, 1 0 1 - 2 , 1 0 5 - 7 ) S o d e l i g h t f u l i s t h e " l i t t l e d e a t h " o f s e x u a l u n i o n , we w i l l i n g l y " k i l l o u r s e l v e s t o p r o p a g a t e o u r k i n d e " ( I I P ) . T h e s e a r e t h e h o r n s o f t h e d i l e m m a : t h e r e g e n e r a t i o n o f t h e s p e c i e s l e a d s t o t h e d e g e n e r a t i o n o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l — " A n d y e t we d o e n o t t h a t ; we a r e n o t m e n " ( 1 1 1 ) . H e r e i t i s t h e v o i c e o f t h e Donne o f t h e " E l e g i e s " a n d " S o n g s a n d S o n e t s " , n e v e r e n t i r e l y l o s t i n t h e s a c r e d w r i t i n g s , w h i c h a s k s , a n d a n s w e r s , t h e q u e s t i o n "How w i t -t y ' s r u i n e ? " (AW, 9 9 ) . i s e x p a n d e d i n E a s t G o k e r . E c h o i n g D o n n e ' s c o n c e p t "We a r e b o r n e r u i n o u s " , E l i o t ' s poem b e g i n s " I n my b e g i n n i n g i s my e n d " . D e a t h i s e v e r - p r e s e n t i n l i f e . The e a r t h c o n s i s t s o f " f l e s h , f u r , a n d f a e c e s " a n d t h e d e a d n o u r i s h t h e l i v i n g . H e n c e , t h e i m a g e o f a l t h o u g h r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e a t t e m p t i n r i t u a l t o i m p o s e p a t t e r n o n t h e c h a o s o f c e a s e l e s s f l u x , g i v e s w a y t o t h e h i n t o f t h e g r i n -n i n g s k u l l b e n e a t h t h e s k i n : The t h eme o f t h e c e a s e l e s s f l u x o f t h e p h y s i c a l w o r l d , i n m i c r o c o s m a n d m a c r o c o s m a l i k e , The c i r c u l a t i o n o f t h e l y m p h . . . f i g u r e d i n t h e d r i f t o f s t a r s , ( B N , I I , p . 1 7 7 ) M i r t h o f t h o s e l o n g s i n c e u n d e r e a r t h N o u r i s h i n g t h e c o r n . The c i r c l e o f t h e d a n c e r s a r o u n d t h e b o n f i r e i s v e r y d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h e d a n c e i n t h e r e f i n i n g f i r e o f L i t t l e G i d d i n g b e c a u s e i t s r h y t h m i s t i e d t o t h a t o f t h e s e a s o n s . I t i s a f e r t i l i t y r i t e w h e r e " l e a p i n g t h r o u g h t h e f l a m e s " i n d i c a t e s t h e p h y s i c a l d e s i r e n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e " c o u p l i n g o f man a n d woman/And t h a t o f b e a s t s " . l e t , l e s t t h i s v i s i o n s e em b a l a n c e d i n f a v o u r o f t h e s p i r i t u a l l i f e i n t h e d u a l i t y o f b o d y a n d s p i r i t w h i c h i s i m p l i c i t i n b o t h Donne a n d E l i o t , E l i o t p i c -t u r e s t h e p h y s i c a l u n i o n o f man a n d woman a s " A d i g n i f i e d a n d 5 c o m m o d i o u s s a c r a m e n t " . T h e i r u n i o n i s a " n e c e s s a r y e c o n i u n c -t i o n " a n d " b e t o k e n e t h Concorde". I t may be r e d u c e a b l e t o " D u n g a n d d e a t h " , b u t i t i s t h e n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n o f m a n : " A n d y e t we d o e n o t t h a t ; we a r e n o t m e n ? " N e v e r t h e l e s s , t h e r e i s d e g e n e r a t i o n w i t h e a c h s u c c e s s -i v e g e n e r a t i o n : man i s " C o n t r a c t e d t o a n i n c h , who w a s a s p a n " . (AW, 136). H i s a l l o t t e d t i m e o f l i f e h a s s h r u n k a s w e l l : A l a s , we s c a r s e l i v e l o n g e n o u g h t o t r i e W h e t h e r a new made c l o c k e r u n n e r i g h t , o r l i e . (AW, 129-130) J u s t a s t h e l i t t l e w o r l d o f man i s d e g e n e r a t e , s o t o o i s t h e m a c r o c o s m . The m a i m i n g o n e w o u l d e x p e c t i n m a n ' s f i r s t v i o -l e n t f a l l wa s s u f f e r e d b y t h e w o r l d i t s e l f i n i t s c r a d l e : The w o r l d d i d i n h e r C r a d l e t a k e a f a l l , And t u r n ' d h e r b r a i n e s , a n d t o o k a g e n e r a l l ma ime W r o n g i n g e a c h j o y n t o f th-. 1 u n i v e r s a l l f r a m e . (AW, 1 9 6 - 1 9 8 ) B e c a u s e t h e a n g e l s f e l l f i r s t , c r e a t i o n a n d t h e f a l l a r e s i m u l -t a n e o u s ; " I n my b e g i n n i n g i s my e n d " : • • • • 6 5 S o d i d t h e w o r l d f r o m t h e f i r s t h o u r e d e c a y . T h e . e v e n i n g wa s b e g i n n i n g o f t h e d a y . (AW, 2 0 1 - 2 ) T h e r e i s d e c a y a n d s t e r i l i t y w r i t t e n i n t o t h e s cheme o f t h i n g s : The f a t h e r , o r t h e m o t h e r b a r r e n i s . T he c l o u d s c o n c e i v e , n o t r a i n e , o r d o e n o t p o w r e I n t h e d u e b i r t h s t i m e , downe t h e b a l m y s h o w r e , T h e . ' A y r e d o t h n o t m o t h e r l y s i t o n t h e e a r t h , To h a t c h h e r s e a s o n s , a n d g i v e a l l t h i n g s b i r t h . S p r i n g - t i m e s w e r e common c r a d l e s , b u t a r e t o o m b e s ; And f a l s e - ? c o n c e p t i o n s f i l l t h e g e n e r a l l w o m b g s . (AW, 3 8 0 - 3 8 6 ) 6 I n c o n t r a s t w i t h t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f human v i r t u e s a s s y m b o l i z e d b y E l i z a b e t h D r u r y , m a n k i n d w i t h o u t v i r t u e i s a l o w l y c r e a t u r e : T h u s man , t h i s w o r l d s V i c e - E m p e r o r , i n whom A l l f a c u l t i e s , a l l g r a c e s a r e a t home; And i f i n o t h e r G r e a t u r e s t h e y a p p e a r e , T h e y ' r e b u t mans m i n i s t e r s , a n d L e g a t s t h e r e , To w o r k e o n t h e i r r e b e l l i o n s , a n d r e d u c e Them t o C i v i l i t y , a n d t o mans u s e . T h i s m a n , whom God d i d w o o e , a n d l o t h t ' a t t e n d T i l l man came u p , d i d downe t o man d e s c e n d , T h i s m a n , s o g r e a t , t h a t a l l t h a t i s , i s h i s , Oh w h a t a t r i f l e , a n d p o o r e t h i n g h e i s ! (AW, 1 6 1 - 1 7 0 ) The l o s s o f " i n t r i n s i q u e B a l m " (AW, 57 ) i n m a n ' s f a l l f r o m g r a c e h a s l e d t o t h e d e a t h o f e v e n t h e l e a s t s i n f u l : H e r d e a t h h a t h t a u g h t u s d e a r e l y , t h a t t h o u a r t C o r r u p t a n d m o r t a l ! i n t h y p u r e s t p a r t . (AW, 6 1 - 2 ) The hand , o f man s m e l l s , o f m o r t a l i t y ; " D u n g a n d d e a t h " a r e p e r v a s i v e . Y e t d e s p i t e t h e . a p p a r e n t h o p e l e s s n e s s i n t h e c o n t e m p t u s m u n d i m e d i t a t i o n i n t h e A n a t o m y a n d i n t h e f i r s t movemen t o f E a s t G o k e r , t h e r e i s a g l i m m e r i n b o t h p o e m s : i n t h e t h i r d movemen t o f E a s t G o k e r . E l i o t r e c a l l s t h e v i s i o n o f . • . * 66 the rose garden which i s Not l o s t , but requiring, pointing to the agony Of death and b i r t h . (EC I I I , p. 187) I have i t a l i c i z e d " r e q u i r i n g " because the connection of the object belonging to t h i s t r a n s i t i v e verb i s ambiguous: the attainment of ecstasy seems to depend on, or require, something which involves the agony of b i r t h and death. Since what follows i n the fourth movement i s an extended image of Christ as the "wounded surgeon",^ i t would seem that what E l i o t i s i n s i s t i n g on i s the interdependence of f l e s h and s p i r i t , that the health of the l a t t e r requires the disease of the former. This i s the answer to the objection, ending Burnt Norton, that once the p e r f e c t i o n of the rose garden i s experienced, however momentar-i l y , the "waste sad time/Stretching before and a f t e r " i s " r i d i -culous". Ridiculous i t may be, and i t does indeed give r i s e to the "Mirth of those long since under earth/Nourishing the corn", but i t i s necessary. The paradox of health and l i f e i m p l i c i t i n disease and death infuses Donne's poem as w e l l . The poet i s performing an anatomy on the cadaver of the world, which strangely enough i s not dead, although i t i s so p u t r i f i e d i t cannot bear a complete d i s s e c t i o n (AW, 4 3 5 f f . ) . Oblivious to t h i s ambiguous state of health, the world assumes i t i s w e l l , yet i t i s i n a "Letargee" or " n e u t r a l i t i e " (AW, 2 4 , 9 2 ) . But out of t h i s mundane corrup-t i o n "a true r e l i g i o u s Alchimy" (AW, 1 8 2 ) can be effected by means of the study of the pattern of v i r t u e . The lesson of the anatomy i s two-fold and paradoxical: The heart being perish'd, no part can be f r e e . And that except thou feed (not banquet) on The supernaturall food, Religion, Thy better grouth growes withered, and scant. ( A W , 1 8 6 - 9 ) Man can e f f e c t a "better Grouth" by emulating the incarnate pattern of v i r t u e ; assent to t h i s pattern f o r l i f e i s given i n c e r t a i n of the symbolic forms of r e l i g i o n . The Eucharistie symbol i s more e x p l i c i t i n E l i o t : The dripping blood our only drink, The bloody f l e s h our only food. (EC IV, p. 1 8 8 ) S i m i l a r l y , Elizabeth dead i s , l i k e the"wounded surgeon", both healer and medicine. Now the memory of her v i r t u e acts l i k e medicinal herbs on the si c k body of the world: Since herbes, and roots, by dying, lose not a l l , But they, yea Ashes too, are medi c i n a l l . ( A W , 4 0 3 - 4 ) In balanced, axiomatic clauses, the paradox of health-in-disease, l i f e - i n - d e a t h , i s stated as the ce n t r a l lesson of East Coker. The paradoxes describe the Passion of C h r i s t , the "wounded surgeon? and "dying nurse" who experienced a s a c r i -f i c i a l death, but the present tense i n the passage suggests a continual re-enactment of the Passion, f o r the s u f f e r i n g , as w e l l as the virtue,, of the dying God serves as a pattern f o r man. As a patient i n the earthly h o s p i t a l endowed by the "ruined m i l l i o n a i r e " ( f a l l e n Adam), man i s not offered s a l v a t i o n as a p a l l i a t i v e : . . . /the/ constant care i s not to please ....68 But to remind of our, and Adam's curse, And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse. (ED IV, p. 188) The v i a negativa of the soul's progress demands, acceptance of a healing pain: I f to be warmed, then I must freeze And quake i n f r i g i d p u rgatorial f i r e s Of which the. flame i s roses, and the smoke i s b r i a r s . This illuminates the paradox of the Easter Passion: i n compre-hending the happy death of man'iand of C h r i s t , the C h r i s t i a n can say "We c a l l t h i s Friday good." Thus, one symptom of the fever suffered i n the " f r i g i d p u r g a t o r i a l f i r e s " i s the great t h i r s t which i r o n i c a l l y i s a healthy symptom: Thi r s t f o r that time, 0 my i n s a t i a t e soule, And serve thy t h i r s t with Gods safe-sealing Bowie. Be t h i r s t y s t i l l , and drinke s t i l l t i l thou goe. *Tis th'onely Health, to be Hydropique so. (PS. 45-8) S i m i l a r l y , the wounded surgeon has the s o l u t i o n to the "enigma of the fever chart" i n East Goker IV: the t h i r s t of the fevered s o u l i s an i n d i c a t i o n of eventual health. The argument c o r o l l a r y to the "dying l i f e " thus forms the other side of the paradox: just as physical b i r t h implies our death, so too death engenders a s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h . "We are born with the dead" (LG, V) means, both that we are born dying and that we are only born at the moment of death. Furthermore, the body plays a v i t a l part i n the r e b i r t h : For though the soul of man Be got when man i s made; ' t i s borne but than When man doth d i e ; Our body's as the wombe, And as a mid-wife death d i r e c t s i t home. (AW, 451-4)9 . . . 6 9 Paradoxically, then, the body i s both a prison and a. cradle f o r the soul: Think i n how poore a prison thou d i d s t l i e After, enabled but to sucke, and e r i e . (PS, 1 7 3 - 4 ) The body i s a "Province pack'd up i n two yards of skinne" (PS, 1 7 6 ) , and the imprisoned governor of t h i s province i s l i b e r a t e d only by death. A good man has t i t l e to grace, yet he must die i n order to claim i t : . . . though a good man hath T i t l e to Heaven, and plead i t by h i s F a i t h And though he may pretend a conquest, since Heaven was content to s u f f e r violence, Tea though he plead a long possession too, (For they*are i n Heaven on Earth, who Heavens workes do,) Though he had r i g h t , and power, and Place before, Yet Death must usher, and unlocke the doore. , n (PS, 1 4 9 - 1 5 6 ) 1 0 This i s the d i f f i c u l t lesson to be learned by the virtuous soul; the methods of learning likewise involve d i f f i c u l t i e s . i i i The dilemma of the orthodox C h r i s t i a n i s an epistemo-l o g i c a l one: impelled to comprehension of an incomprehensible God through moral self-examination, he must turn h i s attention to methods of knowledge. At a l l times, moreover, he i s aware of imperfection—he sees but "through a glass d a r k l y " — a n d un-c e r t a i n of the e f f i c a c y of, h i s own part i n the process of r i g h t knowledge: "For by grace are ye saved through f a i t h ; and that not of yourselves: i t i s the g i f t of God" (Ephesians 2:8). Conscientious practice of b e l i e f obliges him to accept these contradictions as, f o r example, Nicolas Cusanus d i d . Perfection ....70 o f "learned ignorance" proceeds from the knowledge that The r e l a t i o n s h i p of our i n t e l l e c t to the tru t h i s l i k e that of a polygon to a c i r c l e ; the resemblance to the c i r c l e grows with the m u l t i p l i c a t i o n of the angles of the polygon; but apart from i t s being reduced to iden-t i t y with the c i r c l e , no m u l t i p l i c a t i o n , even i f i t were i n f i n i t e , o f . i t s angles w i l l make the polygon equal the c i r c l e . This d e s c r i p t i o n of the polygon which merely approaches the perfection of the c i r c l e i s the substance of the C h r i s t i a n impulse to self-knowledge. Mindful that the "doctrine of learned 1 2 ignorance i s an earth-bound view of transcendent knowledge", and thus imperfect, the believer undertakes the task i n humility, a condition which brings him unknowingly c l o s e r . The paradox of learned ignorance turns on the d i s t i n c t i o n between two kinds of knowledge, that of the world, which i s i l l u s i v e , and that of the s e l f , which i s elusive. E x p l i c i t i n both the Anniversaries and the Four Quar-t e t s i s the necessity of holding up f o r r i d i c u l e the knowledge of t h i s world i n order to uncover knowledge of the s e l f , and thus each poet performs an anatomy on the dead world. In the Anniversary poems, the d i s s e c t i o n i s c a r r i e d on i n the "glimmer-ing- l i g h t " of the pattern of. v i r t u e l o s t i n the death of E l i z a -beth (AW, 70-74). Donne states the d i d a c t i c necessity of an examination of imperfect worldly knowledge: This new world may be safer, being t o l d The dangers and diseases of the o l d . (AW, 87-88) The f i r s t Anniversary, then, i s a des c r i p t i o n of the cadaver, e l u c i d a t i n g to those who can bear to l i s t e n to i t s smell, and ....71 i t i s necessarily hurried: So the worlds carcasse would not l a s t , i f I Were punctuall i n t h i s Anatomy. Nor smels i t w e l l to hearers, i f one t e l l Them t h e i r disease, who f a i n would think they're wel. (AW, 439-442) The second Anniversary begins with the observation that such an anatomy has l i m i t a t i o n s which must be recognized: Let thine owne times as an old story be, Be not concern'd: study not why, nor whan; Doe not so much, as not beleeve a man. For though to e r r be worst, to t r y truths f o r t h , Is f a r more busines, then t h i s world i s worth. (PS, 50-54) This looks forward to E l i o t ' s doctrine of "detachment1* (LG I I I ) , which allows one to see the things of time i n per-spective. The imprecations here against " t r y i n g truths f o r t h " does not mean that one should ignore e n t i r e l y the knowledge which the world o f f e r s , else why bother anatomizing i t ; rather, t h i s poem distinguishes between that kind of learning sought i n order to "doubt wisely" and that sought merely to propose "A hundred controversies of an Ant". The more important discover-i e s such as the "New Philosophy" of Kepler and G a l i l e o , "cals a l l . i n doubt" (AW, 205); but i t i s a doubt which fragments unity and order: 'Tis a l l i n pieces, a l l cohaerence gone; A l l j u st supply, and a l l Relation: Prince, Subject, Father, Sonne are things forgot. (AW, 213-215) Worldly l e a r n i n g i s s e l f - c a n c e l l i n g : And one soule thinkes one, and another way Another thinkes, and ' t i s an even. l a y . (PS, 267-8) When i r r e l e v a n t f a c t s such as "how the stone doth enter in/The bladders Cave, and never break the skin " or "how blood, which to the hart doth flow/Doth from one v e n t r i c l e to th*other go n (PS, 269-272) cannot be determined, how can man know that which i s most important to him—the s e l f ? The soul i s thus "oppress'd with ignorance" (PS, 253): Poor soule i n t h i s thy f l e s h what do*st thou know, Thou know'st thy s e l f e so l i t t l e , *as thou know'st not, How thou d i d 1 s t d i e , nor how thou wast begot. (PS, 254-6) A l l t h i s world's knowledge i s at the l e v e l of the low-est form i n the soul's school. Only i n the "watch-towre" of the mind can things be apprehended beyond the l i m i t a t i o n of "being taught by sense, and Fantasy". (PS, 292) Unlike Glan-v i l l ' s Adam, man now needs sp e c t a c l e s , 1 ^ that i s , magnifying glasses and telescopes with which "small things seem great,/Be low" (293). By contrast what knowledge i s required i n Heaven s h a l l be learned i n s t a n t l y ; there Thou shalt not peepe through l a t t i c e s of eies, Nor heare through Laberinthes of eares, nor learne By c i r c u i t , or c o l l e c t i o n s to disceme. (PS, 296-8) The knowledge the soul has of i t s own immortality i s got by f a i t h and not by reason: Nor dost thou, (though thou knowst, that thou a r t so) By what thou a r t made immortall, know. (PS, 259-260) And the "worthiest book" i n which i t i s to be learned i s the pattern of v i r t u e symbolized by E l i z a b e t h Drury: Shee whose example they must a l l implore, Who would or doe, or thinke w e l l , and eonfesse That aie the vertuous Actions they expresse, Are but a new, and worse e d i t i o n Gf her some one thought, or one a c t i o n . (PS, 306-310) S i m i l a r l y , the "wisdom o f h u m i l i t y " aspired to i n the Quartets.is contrasted with the t r i v i a of " t h i s t w i t t e r i n g world" where the f a l s e wisdom of the l i v i n g dead i s Only a f l i c k e r Over the strained time-ridden faces Distracted from d i s t r a c t i o n by d i s t r a c t i o n F i l l e d with fancies and empty of meaning Tumid apathy with no concentration. (BN, I I I , pp. 178-9) As i n the " l i v i n g Tombe" (PS, 2 5 2 ) of Donne's world, experience i n the Unreal c i t y i s empty of meaning: Men and b i t s of paper, whirled by the cold wind That blows before and a f t e r time. I t i s as gaseous as the audible smell of the cadaver Donne anatomizes, a mere "Eructation of unhealthy s o u l s " . ^ I f the wisdom of these men of the business world i s useless, of even l e s s value i s the "wisdom of age"; i t i s a "deliberate habitude" (EG, II) and, unlike the "stupid a l a c r i t y " to which Donne exhorts h i s soul (PS, 63), i t i s a d e c e i t f u l serenity, g i v i n g way to . . . fear of fear and frenzy, t h e i r fear of possession, Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God. (EG I I , p. 185) I f viewed as a f i n a l discovery, the wisdom of experience i s but "the knowledge of dead secrets"; there can be no f i n a l discover-i e s i n a temporal sphere because of the continual f l u x : The knowledge imposes a pattern, and f a l s i f i e s . . . And every moment i s a new and shocking Valuation of a l l we have been. (EG I I , p. 185) T h e p a t h o f s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e l e a d s , l i k e t h e " l a t t i c e s o f e i e s " a n d " l a b e r i n t h s o f e a r e s " , i n t o . . . a d a r k w o o d , i n a b r a m b l e , On t h e e d g e o f a g r i m p e n , w h e r e i s n o s e c u r e f o o t h o l d , And m e n a c e d b y m o n s t e r s , f a n c y l i g h t , R i s k i n g e n c h a n t m e n t . (EC I I , p . 1 8 5 ) The f i n a l s t a n z a o f t h e t h i r d movemen t o f E a s t C o k e r . f o l l o w i n g t h e e x h o r t a t i o n t o l e a r n f r o m " t h e a g o n y o f d e a t h a n d b i r t h " , i s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e v i a n e g a t i v a . I t i s a l o n g p a s s a g e w h i c h s u m m a r i z e s w e l l t h e p a r a d o x i c a l t e a c h i n g o f t h e s o u l : To a r r i v e w h e r e y o u a r e , t o g e t f r o m w h e r e y o u a r e n o t , Y o u m u s t go b y a w a y w h e r e i n t h e r e i s n o e c s t a s y , I n o r d e r t o a r r i v e a t w h a t y o u d o n o t know Y o u m u s t go b y a w a y w h i c h i s t h e w a y o f i g n o r a n c e . I n o r d e r t o p o s s e s s w h a t y o u d o n o t p o s s e s s Y o u m u s t go b y t h e w a y o f d i s p o s s e s s i o n . I n o r d e r t o a r r i v e a t w h a t y o u a r e n o t Y o u m u s t go t h r o u g h t h e w a y i n w h i c h y o u a r e n o t . And w h a t y o u d o n o t k now i s t h e o n l y t h i n g y o u know And w h a t y o u own i s w h a t y o u d o n o t own And w h e r e y o u a r e i s w h e r e y o u a r e n o t . , , ( p . 1 8 7 ) 1 5 T h i s i s a k n o w l e d g e w h i c h m u s t be d i s c o v e r e d , h o w e v e r , a n d t h a t d i s c o v e r y i s t h e t a s k o f t h e r e s t o f t h e p o e m . I t e n t a i l s a n a n a t o m y o f t h e c a r c a s s o f human l i f e ; t h e " d r i f t i n g w r e c k a g e " o f D r y S a l v a g e s i s o f f e r e d t o o u r c u r i o s i t y a s e v i -d e n c e o f o u r m u t a b i l i t y . T h u s , t h e r i v e r i s b o t h a " c o n v e y o r o f c o m m e r c e " a n d a d e s t r o y e r o f i l l u s i o n s , " r e m i n d e r / O f w h a t men c h o o s e t o f o r g e t " . The p a s t c a n n o t b e d i s o w n e d i n t h e i l l u s o r y p h i l o s o p h y o f p r o g r e s s ; i t r e c u r s i n t h e " s u d d e n i l l u m i n a t i o n " o f m e a n i n g w h e n we r e c o g n i z e The b a c k w a r d l o o k b e h i n d t h e a s s u r a n c e O f r e c o r d e d h i s t o r y , t h e b a c k w a r d h a l f - l o o k O v e r t h e s h o u l d e r , t o w a r d s t h e p r i m i t i v e t e r r o r . (DS I I , p . 1 9 5 ) T h i s , t h e n , i s t h e n e c e s s i t y o f m e d i t a t i o n o n t h e p a s t : " T i m e t h e d e s t r o y e r i s t i m e t h e p r e s e r v e r " o f t h e f i r s t moment o f human a g o n y , t h e w r e c k i n g o f t h e s o u l : The b i t t e r a p p l e a n d t h e b i t e i n t h e a p p l e . And t h e r a g g e d r o c k i n t h e r e s t l e s s w a t e r s , p r e s e n t t h e m s e l v e s t o t h e memory o f man a s e v i d e n c e " n o t o n l y o f t h e p a s t n e s s o f t h e p a s t , b u t o f i t s p r e s e n c e " . ^ T h i s k n o w l e d g e s h o u l d f r e e man f r o m p u r s u i n g " A h u n d r e d c o n t r o v e r -s i e s o f a n A n t " b u t i t e l u d e s m o s t men w h o , e s p e c i a l l y i n t i m e s o f " d i s t r e s s o f n a t i o n s " , t u r n i n s t e a d t o t h o s e who . . . c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h M a r s , c o n v e r s e w i t h s p i r i t s , To r e p o r t t h e b e h a v i o u r o f t h e s e a m o n s t e r , D e s c r i b e t h e h o r o s c o p e , h a r u s p i c a t e o r s c r y , O b s e r v e d i s e a s e i n s i g n a t u r e s , e v o k e B i o g r a p h y f r o m t h e w r i n k l e s o f t h e p a l m And t r a g e d y f r o m f i n g e r s ; r e l e a s e omens B y s o r t i l e g e , o r t e a l e a v e s , r i d d l e t h e i n e v i t a b l e W i t h p l a y i n g c a r d s , f i d d l e w i t h p e n t a g r a m s O r b a r b i t u r i c a c i d s , o r d i s s e c t The r e c u r r e n t i m a g e s i n t o p r e - c o n s c i o u s t e r r o r s — E x p l o r e t h e womb, o r t o m b , o r d r e a m s . -,„ (DS V , p . 1 9 8 ) 1 7 U l t i m a t e l y , t h i s l e a r n i n g i s n o t l e s s i n a d e q u a t e , t h o u g h i t i s l e s s a m b i t i o u s , t h a n t h a t o f t h e New P h i l o s o p h e r s ; b u t w h e t h e r b y means o f a s t r o n o m y o r a s t r o l o g y , Man h a t h w e a v ' d o u t a n e t , a n d t h i s n e t t h r o w n e U p o n t h e H e a v e n s , a n d now t h e y a r e h i s owne (AW, 2 7 9 - 2 8 0 ) a n d h e h i m s e l f w i l l b e e n m e s h e d , i n t h e p r o c e s s , u n l e s s h e t u r n s t o t h e " w i s d o m o f h u m i l i t y " . The " w a t c h - t o w r e " o f t h e m i n d i s s y m b o l i z e d , i n E l i o t ' s p oem, b y L i t t l e G i d d i n g , a •••.76 place where "prayer has been v a l i d " , where the lesson to be learned i s supraverbal, not to be apprehended through " l a t t i c e s of e i e s " and "laberinths of eares": And what the dead had no speech f o r , when l i v i n g , They can t e l l you, being dead: the communication Of the dead i s tongued with f i r e beyond the language of the l i v i n g . (LG I, p. 2 0 1 ) Here, "sense and notion" must be abandoned so that the soul w i l l be ready f o r the lesson of the master, the " f a m i l i a r com-pound ghost". The l o c a t i o n and time of the lesson i s both s p e c i f i c and general, "England and nowhere. Never and always", because i t i s both i n time and out of time. ("Only through time time i s conquered.") Before we focus on the goal of the soul's progress, we must f i r s t examine the conditions propitious f o r good learning: i n both poets these involve paradoxes expressed i n imagery of l i g h t and darkness, s t i l l n e s s and motion, d i s -proportion and concord, nothingness and something, and time and e t e r n i t y . I t i s said that from the bottom of a w e l l one can see the stars at mid-day as b r i g h t l y as i f i t were midnight. Sim-i l a r l y , the eyes must be blinded to t h i s world i n order to focus on the l i g h t of the new world. The "saint Lucies night" (PS, 1 2 0 ) and the "midwinter spring" (LG I, p. 2 0 0 ) both con-t a i n a promise of the increasing l i g h t of e t e r n i t y . l e t i t i s a l i g h t to be apprehended only i n "the dark time of the year" (LG I ) , the dark time of the soul which i s "the dark-7 7 n e s s ©f G o d * . H e r e , one i s b l i n d l y c o n s c i o u s o f w h a t i s b e -i n g r e m o v e d : A s , i n a t h e a t r e , The l i g h t s a r e e x t i n g u i s h e d , f o r t h e s c e n e t o be c h a n g e d W i t h a h o l l o w r u m b l e o f w i n g s , w i t h a movement o f d a r k n e s s o n d a r k n e s s , And we know t h a t t h e h i l l s a n d t h e t r e e s , t h e d i s t a n t p a n o r a m a And t h e i m p o s i n g f a c a d e a r e a l l b e i n g r o l l e d a w a y — * (EG I I I , p . 1 8 6 ) The s e l f i s b e i n g p u r g e d a n d t h e e y e s b l i n d e d b y t h e l i g h t o f 1 8 G o d ' s d a r k n e s s . I n D o n n e ' s poem t h e e y e s a r e b l i n d e d b y d e a t h : . . . d e a t h i s b u t a Groome W h i c h b r i n g s a t a p e r t o t h e o u t w a r d r o o m e , Whence t h o u s p i e s t f i r s t a l i t t l e g l i m m e r i n g l i g h t , And a f t e r b r i n g s i t n e a r e r t o t h y s i g h t . ( P S , 8 5 - 8 8 ) B u t i n E l i o t , t h e l i g h t a p p e a r s i n t h i s l i f e t o t h e " u n s e e n e y e b e a m " , i n a d u m b r a t i o n , m e r e l y , a t f i r s t : And t h e p o o l w a s f i l l e d w i t h w a t e r o u t o f s u n l i g h t . . . The s u r f a c e g l i t t e r e d o u t o f h e a r t o f l i g h t . . . (BN I , p . 1 7 6 ) T h e r o s e g a r d e n i s i n h a b i t e d b y p r e s e n c e s , " d i g n i f i e d , i n -v i s i b l e " , e c h o e s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e p o o l , who a r e r e c o g n i z e d w h e n s e e n f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e a t t h e e n d o f t h e poem: We d i e w i t h t h e d y i n g : S e e , t h e y d e p a r t , a n d we go w i t h t h e m . We a r e b o r n w i t h t h e d e a d : S e e , t h e y r e t u r n , a n d b r i n g u s w i t h t h e m . ( L G V , p . 2 G 8 ) B u t b e t w e e n t h e s e two p o i n t s i n t i m e , o r r a t h e r , o u t o f t i m e , i s t h e d i v i s i o n b e t w e e n w h a t U n d e r h i l l c a l l s t h e " f i r s t m y s t i c l i f e " o r ' I l l u m i n a t i v e W a y ' , a n d t h e " s e c o n d m y s t i c l i f e " o r ' U n i t i v e W a y ' . 7 T h i s i s t h e d a r k n i g h t o f t h e s o u l , a s t a t e of misery and negation of s e l f : I n t e r n a l darkness,. deprivation And d e s t i t u t i o n of a l l property, Dessieation of the world of sense, Inoperancy of the world of s p i r i t . 9 n (BN I I I , p.179) The l i g h t i s then revealed i n L i t t l e Gidding as that of a "midwinter spring", where the " b r i e f sun flames the i c e " (LG I, p. 200), l i k e the f r i g i d purgatorial f i r e s of East Goker: A glare that i s blindness i n the early afternoon. And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier, S t i r s the dumb s p i r i t : no wind, but pentecostal f i r e In the dark time of the year. (LG I, p. 2 0 0 ) 2 1 I t i s the l i g h t at the s t i l l point of the turning world, "a white l i g h t s t i l l and moving" (BN I I , p. 177), the r e f i n e r ' s f i r e which e f f e c t s the metamorphosis of the soul from base 22 metal to pure gold i n a "true r e l i g i o u s Alchimy" (AW, 182). The imagery i n Donne's poem emphasizes the negation, rather than the darkness, to be experienced before t h i s meta-morphosis can take place. The world i n the f i r s t Anniversary l o s t a l l i d e n t i t y with the death of Elizabeth Drury: Thou hast forgot thy name, thou hadst; thou wast Nothing but she, and her thou hast o'rpast. (AW, 31-32) The old world now exists but only i n a state of putrefaction, while the p o s s i b i l i t y of the new world i s f a i n t l y outlined i n the memory and " f i g u r i n g f o r t h " of the i d e a l , the paradise wi t h i n . The story of mankind describes a physical diminish-ing i n stature: . . . so i n lengthe i s man Contracted to an inch, who was a span (AW, 1 3 5 - 6 ) which apparently must proceed to a point i n f i n i t e s i m a l : Onely death addes t*our length: nor are we growne In stature to be men, t i l l we are none. (AW, 1 4 5 - 6 ) L i t t l e n e s s held a f a s c i n a t i o n f o r Renaissance men: things of the microcosm were thought copies of the greater per-f e c t i o n of the macrocosm.2^ Thus, i f man could now be thought of as a d i s t i l l a t i o n of the virtues of the fathers, there would be no cause f o r alarm, but f T i s shrinking, not close-weaving, that hath thus, In minde and body both bedwarfed us. (AW, 1 5 3 - 4 ) Man seems to be s t r i v i n g f o r a return to the elemental chaos out of which he was created: We seeme ambitious, Gods whole worke t'undoe; Of nothing he made us, and we s t r i v e too, To bring ourselves to nothing backer, (AW, 1 5 5 - 8 ) Z Z f Man i s a "nought" (PS, 8 4 ) and, l i k e other unpraise-worthy subjects of paradox, not worth study; yet i n a s p i r i n g to the divine pattern of perfection, he seeks to "peece a c i r c l e " i n union with God. The p l a y f u l Renaissance specula-tions on the q u a l i t i e s of "nothing", "zero" and the c i r c l e of perfection, merged the two: . . . the ideas of perfection and t o t a l i t y connected with omnia and the image of the c i r c l e combine with the n i h i l i s m of the idea of nothing. The l e t t e r " 0 " and the fig u r e i t s e l f . . . framed of nothing, the w h o l e c o s m o s i s a b o x o f Q f s . , 0 I ( z e r o ) i s t h e c i p h e r w h i c h " d e c i p h e r e d " - r t h a t i s , u n d e r s t o o d a n d u n - n o t h i n g e d — m a k e s " a l l ? . * T h u s , t h e f u t i l e a t t e m p t o f m e d i e v a l a n d R e n a i s s a n c e m a t h e -2 6 m a t i c i a n s t o s q u a r e t h e c i r c l e i s t u r n e d a r o u n d b y Donne i n t o t h e mo r e p r o f i t a b l e t a s k o f c i r c l i n g t h e s q u a r e ; i n E l i o t , t o o , i n o r d e r t o become s o m e t h i n g , t h e s o u l m u s t f i n d " t h e u n i m a g i n a b l e / Z e r o summer 1 1 w h i c h f o l l o w s " m i d w i n t e r s p r i n g " . L i k e E l i z a b e t h D r u r y , t h e n , h e m u s t become " a l l t h i s A l l " 27 ( P S , 3 7 6 ) . I n t h e d i s p r o p o r t i o n a n d f l u x o f t h e w o r l d man k n o w s , t h i s p a r t o f t h e j o u r n e y o f t h e s o u l i s p r o b a b l y t h e m o s t d i f f i c u l t . F o r a g e s , man h a d t h o u g h t o f t h e s p h e r i c a l s h a p e o f t h e h e a d , o f t h e e a r t h , a n d o f t h e P t o l e m a i c u n i v e r s e , a s a n i m i t a t i o n o f t h e " H i e r o g l y p h i c k " o f G o d , t h e c i r c l e o f p e r -2 ft f e c t i o n . B u t t h e New P h i l o s o p h y d i s c o v e r e d t h e m o t i o n s o f t h e h e a v e n s t o b e l a b y r i n t h i n e : We t h i n k e t h e h e a v e n s e n j o y t h e i r S p h e r i c a l l T h e i r r o u n d p r o p o r t i o n e m b r a c i n g a l l . And y e t t h e i r v a r i o u s a n d p e r p l e x e d c o u r s e , O b s e r v ' d i n d i v e r s a g e s d o t h e n f o r c e Men t o f i n d e o u t s o many ' E c c e n t r i q u e p a r t s , S u c h d i v e r s d o w n e - r i g h t l i n e s , s u c h o v e r t h w a r t s , A s d i s p r o p o r t i o n t h a t p u r e f o r m e . . . (AW, 2 5 1 - 7 ) T h e s u n c a n n o t " P e r f i t a C i r c l e " ( 2 6 9 ) a n d . . . o f t h e S t a r r e s w h i c h b o a s t t h a t t h e y d o r u n n e I n C i r c l e s t i l l , n o n e e n d s w h e r e h e b e g u n n e . (AW, 2 7 5 - 6 ) N o r d o e s t h e e a r t h k e e p h e r r o u n d p r o p o r t i o n : h e r f a c e i s b l e m i s h e d w i t h " w a r t s a n d p o c k - h o l e s " (AW, 3 0 0 ) . L o v e r s , t o o , e v e n i n t h e t r a n s c e n d e n t u n i o n o f t h e i r l o v e , a r e v i c t i m s o f t h e f l u x : P o o r e c o u s e ' n e d c o s e ' n o r , t h a t s h e , a n d t h a t t h o u , W h i c h d i d b e g i n t o l o v e , a r e n e i t h e r n o w . Y o u a r e b o t h f l u i d , c h a n g ' d s i n c e y e s t e r d a y . ( P S , 3 9 1 - 3 ) Some o f t h i s m o v e m e n t , h o w e v e r , c a n b e s a i d t o b r i n g man c l o s e r t o G o d ; i n t h e g r o t e s q u e b u t a p p r o p r i a t e i m a g e o f t h e d e c a p i t a t e d m a n , w h i c h o p e n s t h e s e c o n d A n n i v e r s a r y . t h e d e a d s o m e t i m e s i m i t a t e t h e q u i c k : H i s e i e s w i l l t w i n c k l e , a n d h i s t o n g u e w i l l r o l l A s t h o u g h h e b e c k n e d , a n d c a l ' d b a c k e h i s S o u l , He g r a s p e s h i s h a n d s , a n d h e p u i s u p h i s f e e t , A n d s e e m e s t o r e a c h , a n d t o s t e p f o r t h t o m e e t H i s s o u l e . ( P S , 1 3 - 1 7 ) H i s g e s t u r e s a r e c o n f u s e d , b u t i n d i c a t e t h e p r o p e r i n t e n t i o n s , a t l e a s t : h e a s p i r e s t o u n i o n . I t c a n n o t b e w o n u n t i l t h e s o u l i s f i t t e d t o t h e p a t t e r n o f v i r t u e , E l i z a b e t h , who i s " b e a u t i e s b e s t , p r o p o r t i o n " , i n c o m p a r i s o n w i t h whom t h e u n i v e r s e i s s q u a r e : To w h o s e p r o p o r t i o n s i f we w o u l d c o m p a r e 0 Q C u b e s , t h ' a r e u n s t a b l e ; C i r c l e s , A n g u l a r e . 2 9 ( P S , 1 4 1 - 2 ) The c i r c l e o f h e r s o u l ' s p e r f e c t i o n i s a s i m p e r v i o u s t o a n a l y s i s a s Y e a t s ' s d a n c e r : . . . t h o u g h a l l d o k n o w , t h a t q u a n t i t i e s A r e made o f l i n e s , a n d l i n e s f r o m P o i n t s a r i s e , None c a n t h e s e l i n e s o r q u a n t i t i e s , u n j o y n t , And s a y t h i s i s a l i n e , o r t h i s a p o i n t . o n ( P S , 1 3 1 - 1 3 4 ) 3 0 F u r t h e r m o r e , t h i s h e a v e n l y p e r f e c t i o n c a n r e c e i v e a d d i t i o n : S h e e , who b y m a k i n g f u l l p e r f e c t i o n g r o w , Peeces a C i r c l e , and s t i l l keepes i t so, Long'd f o r , and longing f o r ' i t , to heaven i s gone, Where shee receives, and gives addition* (PS, 507-510) In meditating on i t , Donne's soul can touch t h i s c i r -cumference from i t s base point, the earth: Then, soule, to thy f i r s t p i t c h work up againe; Know that a l l l i n e s which c i r c l e s doe containe, For once that they the center touch, do touch Twice the circumference; and be thou such. (PS, 4 3 5 - 8 ) Thus, the soul i s an immeasurable l i n e between heaven and earth: when the soul i s hatched from the s h e l l of the body,-* i t "dispatches i n a minute a l l the way,/Twixt Heaven and Earth" (PS, 188-9). Like the marrow which "strings f a s t the l i t t l e bones of necke, and backe" (PS, 212), "So by the soule doth death s t r i n g Heaven and Earth" (PS, 213). The implica-t i o n i s , of course, that God makes the descent just as man moves upward: This man, whom God d i d wooe, and l o t h t'attend T i l l man came up, did downe to man descend. (AW, 167-8) The past tense, "did wooe", "did down descend", indicates the s p e c i f i c meaning of the Incarnation, but the Incarnation recurs i n men's hearts continually; and man must attempt to reach God as w e l l . The soul i s repeatedly exhorted to move "up, up". (PS, 294, 339, 345, 347, 349, 351, 353, 356). As i n the Heraelitean fragment p r e f i x i n g the Quartets. the way up and the way down are one and the same f o r the diameter of the c i r c l e . - * 2 E l i o t t u r n s t h i s c i r c l e i m a g e a r o u n d : i n B u r n t N o r t o n i t i s t h e c e n t r e t o w h i c h t h e s o u l a s p i r e s a n d t h e c y c l i c movemen t i s t h a t o f t h e t i m e - b o u n d u n i v e r s e , c a p t u r e d i n n e v e r -e n d i n g f l u x . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e r e a r e a n a l o g o u s w h e e l s w i t h i n w h e e l s . J The d a n c e a l o n g t h e a r t e r y The c i r c u l a t i o n o f t h e l y m p h A r e f i g u r e d i n t h e d r i f t o f s t a r s . (BN I I , p . 1 7 7 ) B o n n e ' s p l a n e t s e x e c u t e a s e r p e n t i n e m o t i o n ; E l i o t ' s S i m u l a t e ( s ) t r i u m p h a l c a r s D e p l o y e d i n c o n s t e l l a t e d w a r s S c o r p i o n f i g h t s a g a i n s t t h e S u n U n t i l t h e Sun a n d Moon g o down C o m e t s weep a n d L e o n i d s f l y H u n t t h e h e a v e n s a n d t h e p l a i n s W h i r l e d i n a v o r t e x . . . (EC I I , p . 1 8 4 K * T h e r e i s a f u s i o n h e r e o f t h e p e r s o n i f i e d c e l e s t i a l b o d i e s i n a c o n s t a n t d r a m a , a s s e e n b y t h e G r e e k s , a n d o f t h e c o m -b a t a n t s i n t h e f i n a l a p o c a l y p t i c w a r i n h e a v e n d e s c r i b e d i n R e v e l a t i o n s . M a n ' s m o v e m e n t s a r e l e s s c a t a s t r o p h i c , b u t a r e n e v e r -t h e l e s s f e v e r i s h . Some c e r e m o n i e s o f man a r e i n t e n d e d t o e n s u r e , i n a m a g i c a l w a y , t h e v e r y c y c l i c a l m o t i o n o f t i m e a n d t h e u n i v e r s e w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s h i s p r i s o n . The " d i g n i -f i e d a n d c o m m o d i o u s s a c r a m e n t " o f m a t r i m o n y (EG I ) f e a t u r e s a c i r c l e d a n c e a r o u n d t h e f i r e : K e e p i n g t i m e K e e p i n g t h e r h y t h m i n t h e i r d a n c i n g A s i n t h e i r l i v i n g i n t h e l i v i n g s e a s o n s . I n c o n t r a s t t o t h i s c h a r m i n g p o r t r a i t , t h e c y c l e o f human l i f e i s more often merely dreary, as i n the cycle of l i f e marked by the rhythm of the r i v e r i n Dry Salvages, and i n the motion of the fishermen "forever b a i l i n g / S e t t i n g and hauling" (DS I I , p. 1 9 3 ) * Even here, though, there i s a p o s s i b i l i t y of breaking out of the c i r c l e with . . . the hardly, barely prayable Prayer of the one Annunciation. (DS I I , p. 1 9 4 ) But understanding of the Annunciation i s only possible i n time and through time. An examination of human h i s t o r y r e -veals that ". . . the moments of agony . . . are likewise permanent/With such permanence as time has." Therefore, although "Time the destroyer i s time the preserver", that i s , the preserver of a l l those moments i n h i s t o r y held up f o r our examination and comprehension, there i s a consolation i f one poses a timelessness i n opposition to time, a s t i l l point at the centre of the w h i r l i n g universe. The s t i l l point i s timeless, yet can only be perceived i n reference to time; that i s , just as i t was necessary f o r the Word to be made f l e s h , so too t h i s s t i l l point i s apprehended by the f l e s h . E l i o t symbolizes t h i s point as the motionless, f l e s h l e s s dance; the paradox i s evocative of Part V of Burnt Norton i n the image of successful a r t , which, l i k e the Incarnation of the divine creative p r i n c i p l e , i s an " i n t e r s e c t i o n of the timeless with time": Only by the form, the pattern, Can words or music reach The s t i l l n e s s , as a Chinese j a r s t i l l Moves perpetually i n i t s s t i l l n e s s . (BN V , p. 1 8 0 ) In the mystic experience, i t i s common f o r the subject to "become" one with the object of meditation; one s t r i v e s f o r 35 abnegation, of s e l f and unity with "other". J u l i a n of Nor-wich, f o r example, speaks of being "enfolded" into God.^ This i s what E l i o t means, I think, i n Part V of Dry Salvages when he r e c a l l s the momentary imagining of the rose garden experience; i t i s . , , music heard so deeply That i t i s not heard at a l l , but you are the music While the music l a s t s . In the words of the f i g u r e i n the empty stre e t i n L i t t l e Gidding, one condition of being i n the rose garden or the " r e f i n i n g f i r e " i s that you must move i n measure l i k e a dan-cer". Paradoxically, the soul i s admonished to be s t i l l : I s a i d to my soul, be s t i l l , and l e t the dark come upon you Which s h a l l be the darkness of God (EC I I , p. 186); yet i t i s also beckoned to move: Quick, said the b i r d , f i n d them, f i n d them, Round the corner . . . (BN I, p. 175) There i s no r e s o l u t i o n of the paradox—"We must be s t i l l and s t i l l moving" (EC V, p. 189)—but i t may at l e a s t be understood i n terms of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of time to the timeless. St. Augustine recognized the d i f f i c u l t i e s of t h i s understanding: Who speaks thus / s c e p t i c a l l y about God*s eternal qual-i t i e s / , do not yet understand thee, 0 Wisdom of God, L i g h t o f s o u l s , u n d e r s t a n d n o t y e t how t h e t h i n g s be m a d e , w h i c h b y T h e e , a n d i n T h e e a r e m a d e : y e t t h e y s t r i v e t o c o m p r e h e n d t h i n g s e t e r n a l , w h i l s t t h e i r h e a r t f l u t t e r e t h b e t w e e n t h e m o t i o n s o f t h i n g s p a s t a n d t o c ome , a n d i s s t i l l u n s t a b l e . Who s h a l l h o l d i t , a n d f i x i t , t h a t i t be s e t t l e d a w h i l e , a n d a w h i l e c a t c h t h e g l o r y o f t h a t e v e r - f i x e d E t e r n i t y , a n d c o m -p a r e i t w i t h t h e t i m e s w h i c h a r e n e v e r f i x e d , a n d s e e t h a t i t c a n n o t be c o m p a r e d . ^ ' D e a t h s u s p e n d e d t i m e f o r E l i z a b e t h D r u r y : Some m o n e t h s s h e h a t h b e e n d e a d ( b u t b e i n g d e a d , M e a s u r e s o f t i m e a r e a l l d e t e r m i n e d ) B u t l o n g s h e e ' a t h b e e n e a w a y , l o n g , l o n g . (AW, 3 9 - 4 1 ) 5 8 a n d i n m o v i n g i n t o u n i o n w i t h G o d , t h e s o u l D i s p a t c h e s i n a m i n u t e a l l t h e w a y , T w i x t H e a v e n a n d E a r t h . . . ( P S , 1 8 3 - 9 ) The p o i n t o f t h e l o n g p a s s a g e ( P S , 1 8 9 - 2 0 6 ) l i s t i n g t h e r e -g i o n s o f t h e a i r a n d t h e o r d e r o f t h e h e a v e n l y b o d i e s w h i c h t h e s o u l d o e s n o t s t o p t o r e c o u n t i s b o t h t h a t s u c h d i s p u t e s a s t h e P t o l e m a i c v e r s u s t h e B r a h a i c o r d e r o f p l a n e t s a r e 3 9 i r r e l e v a n t , a n d t h a t h e a v e n i s n o t t h e r e - t h e n , b u t h e r e - n o w H e a v e n i s a s n e a r e , a n d p r e s e n t t o h e r f a c e , A s c o l o u r s a r e , a n d o b j e c t s i n a r oome W h e r e d a r k n e s s e wa s b e f o r e , w h e n T a p e r s c o m e . ( P S , 2 1 6 - 2 1 8 ) R e l e a s e d f r o m t i m e , t h e s o u l ' s p r o g r e s s i s p a r a d o x i c a l l y " l o n g - s h o r t " ( P S , 2 1 9 ) . L o g i c a l l y , t h e n , t h e m e d i t a t i o n i n t h e s e c o n d A n n i v e r  s a r y i n w h i c h Donne i n s t r u c t s h i s s o u l t o t h i n k i t s e l f i n t o a " r e l i g i o u s d e a t h " , l i k e t h a t o f E l i z a b e t h , i s i n t h e p r e s e n t t e n s e . The l i t t l e d r a m a moves f r o m t h e l a s t b r o k e n b r e a t h s o f t h e d y i n g m a n , t o t h e s o u n d i n g o f t h e d e a t h k n e l l , t o t h e • • • • 87 reading of the w i l l ( i n which the inheritance of s i n i s repaid to Satan by the immaculate blood of C h r i s t ) , to the weeping of f r i e n d s and the b u r i a l ceremony. But t h i s ceremony "Laies thee to sleepe but a Saint Lucies night" (PS, 120); t h i s l a s t long night i s a prelude to the eternal l i g h t , and i s thus "long-short". Since death and i t s l o g i c a l c o r o l l a r y , r e b i r t h , i s present i n every moment, time continually posits i t s opposite, timelessness. The sounding of the trumpet at the f i n a l resurrection i s given i n the Bible as a prophecy and hence i s i n the future tense: In a moment, i n the twinkling of an eye, at the l a s t trump; f o r the trumpet s h a l l sound, and the dead s h a l l be r a ised i n c o r r u p t i b l e , and we s h a l l be changed. (I Cor. 15:52) But Donne uses the past tense i n conveying t h i s prophecy: Thou a r t the Proclamation; and I ame The Trumpet, at whose voice the people came. (PS, 527-8) Perhaps he i s merely f u l f i l l i n g the couplet's need f o r a rhyme with "ame", but i t i s u n l i k e l y . I prefer to think of i t as a f i n a l f l a g by a master of paradox, waved as a warning to those who would t r y to get a f i x on the " s t i l l and s t i l l moving" eternal moment. In Burnt Norton the meditation on the f u t i l i t y of t ime, I f a l l time i s e t e r n a l l y present A l l time i s unredeemable, i s immediately followed by the shadowy awareness of a return to Eden, ••••88 Down t h e p a s s a g e w h i c h we d i d n o t t a k e T o w a r d s t h e d o o r we n e v e r o p e n e d I n t o t h e r o s e - g a r d e n . " W h a t m i g h t h a v e b e e n " i s t h e n , s u d d e n l y , n o l o n g e r a n a b s t r a c -t i o n o f " a w o r l d o f s p e c u l a t i o n " : t h e s t i l l p o i n t h a s a r e a l -i t y a s c o g e n t a s t h e w h i r l i n g p a t t e r n o f t h e " b o a r h o u n d a n d t h e b o a r " • B u t a t t h i s p o i n t i n t h e poem i t s m e a n i n g i s u n -c l e a r : I c a n o n l y s a y , t h e r e we h a v e b e e n : B u t I c a n n o t s a y w h e r e , A n d I c a n n o t s a y , how l o n g , f o r t h a t i s t o p l a c e i t i n t i m e . (BN I I , p . 1 7 7 ) C o m p r e h e n s i o n o f w h a t m u s t b e " p a r t i a l e c s t a s y . . . p a r t i a l h o r r o r " i s a v o i d e d : Y e t t h e e n c h a i n m e n t o f p a s t a n d f u t u r e Woven i n t h e w e a k n e s s o f t h e c h a n g i n g b o d y , P r o t e c t s m a n k i n d f r o m h e a v e n a n d d a m n a t i o n W h i c h f l e s h c a n n o t e n d u r e , ( p . 1 7 8 ) b u t c o n s c i o u s n e s s m u s t be c u l t i v a t e d s o t h a t i n r e c a l l i n g " t h e moment o f t h e r o s e - g a r d e n " i n t i m e , t i m e may be c o n -q u e r e d . O b s e r v a t i o n o f t h e w a y i n w h i c h a r t c o n q u e r s t i m e , a s i n t h e p a t t e r n o f t h e C h i n e s e j a r , l e a d s t o a c o m p a r i s o n , i n t h e f i f t h movement o f B u r n t N o r t o n , o f i m p e r f e c t w o r d s a n d t h e p e r f e c t W o r d . C h r i s t i n t h e w i l d e r n e s s was t e m p t e d t o v a c i l l a t i o n , y e t " L o v e i s i t s e l f u n m o v i n g " ; t h e p a t t e r n f o r t h e s t i l l p o i n t i s u n m o v i n g L o v e ( one o f t h e many h y p o s t a s e s o f G o d ) , w h i c h i s t i m e l e s s , E x c e p t i n t h e a s p e c t o f t i m e C a u g h t i n t h e f o r m o f l i m i t a t i o n B e t w e e n u n - b e i n g a n d b e i n g . The end of the journey of the soul i s an understanding of t h i s g i f t of love: "The hint h a l f guessed, the g i f t h a l f under-stood, i s Incarnation." (DS V, p. 199) F i r s t , however, human time, "a time f o r l i v i n g and f o r generation" and f o r dying, must be examined. Thus, the paradoxes of the required agony of b i r t h and death, leading to res t o r a t i o n , already discussed above, lead to the awareness that "love i s most nearly i t s e l f / When here and now cease to matter" (EC V, p. 1 8 9 ) . Next, i n Dry Salvages. we are brought to an examination of what Bodel-sen c a l l s "amorphous t i m e " , " t i m e not our time . . . /Older than the time of chronometers" (DS I, p. 192). This i s cos-mic time, symbolized by the ocean which holds "hints of ear-l i e r and other creation" as mutable as man; but just as the i n e r t i a of Donne's world argues " i t s everlastingnesse" (PS, 2), so too We cannot think of a time that i s oceanless Or of an ocean not l i t t e r e d with wastage Or a future that i s not l i a b l e Like the past, to have no destination. Because man cannot bear very much r e a l i t y , he cannot think of the f u t i l i t y of hi s actions, of "making a t r i p that w i l l be unpayable/For a haul that w i l l not bear examination" (DS I I , p. 1 9 4 ) . As an al t e r n a t i v e and a way int o the timeless moment of the s t i l l point, one must c u l t i v a t e a detachment, which brings release from r e l i a n c e on the " f r u i t of action": t h i s i s the lesson of Krishna: He who sees the i n a c t i o n that i s i n action, and the a c t i o n that i s i n in a c t i o n , i s wise indeed* Even when he i s engaged i n action he remains poised i n the t r a n q u i l l i t y of the Atman.*-1-Only a few are capable of f u l f i l l i n g the required "Ardour and s e l f l e s s n e s s and self-surrender" (DS V, p. 19$); t o t a l s a c r i f i c e , l i k e the " l i f e t i m e ' s death i n love" under-taken by saints and more e s p e c i a l l y , by Christ i s necessary i n order . . . to apprehend The point of i n t e r s e c t i o n of the timeless With time . . . (DS V, p. 198) which i s the g i f t of Incarnation. The "impossible union" of f l e s h and fleshlessness, time and timelessness, i n which "past and future/Are conquered and reconciled" i s only h a l f understood i n a l i f e given over e n t i r e l y to "prayer, obser-vance, d i s c i p l i n e , thought and a c t i o n " . And the r i g h t a ction of f u s i n g one's w i l l with that of God, which i s enjoined by Krishna^ 2 i s an impossible goal f o r most men. Most can be content only I f our temporal reversion nourish (Not too f a r from the yew tree) The l i f e of s i g n i f i c a n t s o i l . . -(DS V, p. 190) 4 3 The promise made to the soul, and i m p l i c i t l y to the reader, at the beginning of each.poem i s f u l f i l l e d and r e -vealed f o r the f i r s t time i n the f i n a l l i n e s of each. The imagery of the journey's end i s quite d i f f e r e n t f o r each of the two poets, although i t s ultimate implications are. cer-91 t a i n l y the same f o r both, within the C h r i s t i a n frame of r e f e r -ence. How t h i s "amazing grace" reveals i t s e l f i s the subject of the next, and f i n a l , section of t h i s chapter. v Because the progress of the soul must go by way of t o t a l negation of the ego before the true s e l f i s revealed, the c e n t r a l poems of the Quartets. East Coker and Dry Salvages. seem to o f f e r no hope of recapturing the l i g h t which appeared to the "unseen eyebeam" of Burnt Morton. The paradoxes of necessary s u f f e r i n g are e x p l i c i t l y given i n East Coker IV, but as lessons that must be learned with more than i n t e l l e c t u a l assent. This i s to be r e a l i z e d i n the " r e f i n i n g f i r e " of L i t t l e Gidding. Inasmuch as i t s structure resembles that of the other Quartets. L i t t l e Gidding i s a coda of the soul's progress, the f i n a l stage i n the education consisting i n the words of the " f a m i l i a r compound ghost" of the second movement and the catechism of the fourth. I t i s both a separate ex-pression of the mystical discovery of s e l f and the t o t a l f a b r i c of the Four Quartets made up of thematic and imagistic threads to the other three. In t h i s sense, L i t t l e Gidding represents both a return and a journey i n t o new t e r r i t o r y . The object of the journey i s the comprehension of eternal joy. The f i r s t movement, as i n the other poems, i s located i n a place which had personal associations f o r the poet; the chapel at L i t t l e Gidding represents a return, but the return i s more than the v i s i t of a devout C h r i s t i a n to a restored monument. The n a t u r a l i s t i c and symbolic imagery of the f i r s t stanza o f f e r s a clue: at a l i t e r a l l e v e l , the de s c r i p t i o n i s of a rare sunny day in-the usually bleak English December, When the short day is brightest, with f r o s t and f i r e , The b r i e f sun flames the i c e , on ponds and ditches, but the next l i n e makes t h i s a miracle beyond the merely mete-o r o l o g i c a l : In windless cold that i s the heart's heat. The juxtaposition of cold and heat r e c a l l s the paradox of East Goker: I f to be warmed, then I must freeze And quake i n f r i g i d purgatorial f i r e s . TEG IV) I t i s the "pentecostal f i r e / I n the dark time of the year", which i s the "darkness of God". Unlike the dance through the flames i n East Coker I the scene here has no "earth smell/Or smell of l i v i n g things", because t h i s i s the time of regenera-t i o n f o r the soul: This i s the spring time But not i n time's covenant. The soul must undergo further cleansing before i t i s f u l f i l l e d i n the "unimaginable /Zero summer". Again, the p o s s i b i l i t y of f u l f i l l m e n t i s questioned: And what you thought you came f o r Is only a s h a l l , a husk of meaning 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 , (my i t a l i c s ) and the v i a negativa i s restated: . . . you would have to put o f f Sense and notion. The imagery of the three l y r i c stanzas of the second movement r e c a l l s that of the preceding poems, but with a new sense: here, the human endeavour imaged previously perishes i n the r e f i n i n g f i r e . The rose petals whose dust i s disturbed i n r e c a l l i n g the rose garden v i s i o n of Burnt Norton are burned away now, leaving the hint of death, the "ash on an old man's sleeve". The "autumn heat" and the "vibrant a i r " of Burnt  Norton I mark the "place where the Story ended", that i s , necessitate a denial of a l l previous experience, even that of the rose garden v i s i o n which impelled t h i s progress of the s o u l . The dust which constituted man i n the imagery of East  Goker I i s i d e n t i c a l with that of the "house/The w a l l , the wainscot and the mouse", and as i n East Coker. i t i s a l l reduceable to " f l e s h , f u r , and faeces". But here there i s no r e s t o r a t i o n , no generation, but rather a negation, "The death of a l l hope and despair". In the second stanza, the "flood and drouth/Over the eyes and i n the mouth" are a ghastly par-ody of the baptism, and thus r e c a l l the destructive power of water i n Dry Salvages I, "destroyer, reminder/Of what men choose to forget", that i s , t h e i r mortality. The "parched, eviscerate s o i l " , r e c a l l i n g and at the same time denying the e f f i c a c y of the " l i f e of s i g n i f i c a n t s o i l " so hopefully nour-ished at the end of Dry Salvages. here "Gapes at the vanity of t o i l " ; thus there i s a new recognition that even the con-templative l i f e i s equated with the t o i l of the fishermen i n D r y S a l v a g e s . " f o r e v e r b a i l i n g , / S e t t i n g a n d h a u l i n g . . . a h a u l t h a t w i l l n o t b e a r e x a m i n a t i o n . " T h i s m o c k e r o f human e n d e a v o u r i s t h e l a u g h t e r w i t h o u t m i r t h w h i c h e v o k e s t h e " c o u n t r y m i r t h , / M i r t h o f t h o s e l o n g s i n c e u n d e r e a r t h , / N o u r -i s h i n g t h e c o r n " , b u t i n L i t t l e G i d d i n g e v e n t h i s c y c l i c a l o r g a n i c p r o c e s s i s s t o p p e d i n t h e " d e a t h o f e a r t h " . The e l e m e n t a l i m a g e r y o f t h e t h i r d l y r i c s t a n z a h a s t h e same a m b i g u o u s m e a n i n g t h a t i t h a s i n The W a s t e L a n d , a n d a c c o r d i n g l y c a r r i e s t h e same s y m b o l i c s e n s e o f b e i n g r e b o r n 45 o f t h e w a t e r a n d o f t h e s p i r i t . H e r e , t h e w a t e r a n d f i r e e x i s t b e y o n d t h e t e m p o r a l f r a m e w o r k a n d i n f a c t o v e r r i d e i t : t h e y " s u c c e e d / T h e t o w n , t h e p a s t u r e a n d t h e w e e d " ; t h e y " d e r i d e " t h e f a i l u r e t o a c c e p t t h e s a c r i f i c e w h i c h i s r e w a r d e d b y u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e m e a n i n g o f t h e I n c a r n a t i o n ; a n d t h e y d e s t r o y t h e p h y s i c a l m a t e r i a l o f t h e c h a p e l w h i c h s u r v i v e s a s a s y m b o l o f t h e v a l i d i t y o f p r a y e r . The " d e a t h o f f i r e a n d w a t e r " m e a n s , t h e n , b o t h t h e p e r i s h i n g o f t h e w a t e r o f D r y  S a l v a g e s a n d a l l t h a t i t i m p l i e s f o r t h e t e m p o r a l f l u x , a n d o f t h e f l a m e s o f d e s i r e i n w h i c h t h e w e d d i n g d a n c e r s l e a p i n E a s t . G o k e r . a n d a l s o t h e f u r t h e r m e a n i n g o f d e a t h by. f i r e a n d w a t e r , w h i c h i s t h e p r o m i s e d r e b i r t h b y w a t e r a n d s p i r i t . The d i a l o g u e w i t h t h e " d e a d m a s t e r " o c c u r s i n t h e s e c o n d o f t h e t w o h i s t o r i c momen t s i n w h i c h t h e poem i s l o c a -t e d , a n o t h e r " u n c e r t a i n h o u r " i n B r i t a i n ' s h i s t o r y . A c c o r d -i n g l y , t h e i m a g e r y i s m i l i t a r y : t h e " d a r k d o v e " i s a Ge rman b o m b e r r e t u r n i n g t o t h e " h o r i z o n o f h i s h o m i n g " ; t h e d e a d l e a v e which r a t t l e l i k e t i n describe the a f t e r - e f f e c t s of the bomb explosion; the two speakers "trod the pavement i n a dead p a t r o l " l i k e that of the c i v i l i a n watch. But the poet's experience, while located i n wartime r e a l i t y , has a l l the confusion and paradox of dream because the message brought r e l a t e s to the purgatorial v i s i o n . F i r s t , the figure reveals the dismal " g i f t s reserved f o r age". These are sensual de-pl e t i o n , b i t t e r laughter at human f o l l y , and f i n a l l y , recog-n i t i o n of the sins of commission, "which once you took f o r exercise of v i r t u e " . The " l i f e of s i g n i f i c a n t s o i l " of Dry  Salvages must be nourished with detachment, or " r i g h t action" i n order to l i b e r a t e the s e l f from temporal attachment or love, to union "beyond d e s i r e " with divine love. There i s a pause at t h i s point f o r the reassurance that through the agony of s i n ecstasy can be r e a l i z e d . I t i s i n the quotation from J u l i a n of Norwich: Sin i s Behovely, but A l l s h a l l be we l l , and A l l manner of thing s h a l l be w e l l . * This restates the paradox of the 'fortunate f a l l ' - — t h a t f l e s h l y excoriation i s necessary f o r the concomitant a c q u i s i -t i o n of a "paradise within, happier f a r " . The i n c l u s i o n of Milton, i n the following meditation on r i g h t action, with h i s r o y a l i s t enemies, who died on the s c a f f o l d i n the c i v i l s t r i f e seems natural; i n the ultimate scheme of things they a l l "are folded i n a single party" of death. This r e s o l u t i o n of a n t i -nomies i n the temporal sphere adumbrates that i n the eternal . . . . 9 6 sphere, the f i n a l fusion of the f i r e and the rose. The fourth movement, of L i t t l e Gidding i s a l y r i c a l v i s i o n i n which the ttdove descending", the bomber of the t h i r d movement, i s transmuted into a symbol of the purgatorial flames of the Holy S p i r i t . ^ Now the "flame of incandescent t e r r o r " , the communication Of the dead . . . tongued with f i r e beyond the language of the l i v i n g , (LG I) i s seen to be the f i r e which engulfs and destroys the f i r e s of l u s t and of p o l i t i c a l s t r i f e , the " s i n and error". Man has the choice, here, "to be redeemed from f i r e by f i r e " , but i t i s a Milt o n i c c h o i c e : ^ 8 the choice i s to accept t o t a l nega-t i o n of s e l f w i l l i n a l l i a n c e with the omnipotent w i l l of God. The " i n t o l e r a b l e s h i r t of flame" i s one which "human power cannot remove". In these l i n e s , the p i v o t a l point of the entir e Quartets f E l i o t alludes to the conclusions J u l i a n of Norwich came to regarding the s i g n i f i c a n c e of her "shewings", and they have the same catechismie structure: "Who devised the torment? Love". The paradox i s one basic to C h r i s t i a n theodicy: the love of God expressed both i n the exemplary s a c r i f i c e of Chr i s t and i n the g i f t of Grace i s at once purgatorial and e c s t a t i c . The "hands that wove/The i n t o l e r a b l e s h i r t of flame" are the same as the "bleeding hands" of the "wounded surgeon" i n East Coker: t h i s love suffers and demands s u f f e r -i n g . Just as L i t t l e Gidding celebrates the mystery of d i -. . . . 9 7 vine love, which i s at once a l l demanding, "(Costing not l e s s than everything)", and a l l - g i v i n g , so too the f i n a l t h i r d of Bonne's Progres celebrates the. goal and reward of the soul i n b l i s s , " e s s e n t i a l joyes". "Joy" i s the key word of the end of the second Anniversary: i t occurs at l e a s t twenty times i n the l a s t one hundred and f i f t y l i n e s . The "casual joyes" of t h i s world i n t h e i r inconstancy bear no resemblance to the " e s s e n t i a l joy" of the b e a t i f i c v i s i o n , which derives from the immutable nature of God. Like the c i r c l e of perfection which i s paradoxically "peeced" by the soul, t h i s kind of joy . . . doth every day admit Degrees of grouth, but none of loosing i t . (PS, 4 9 5 - 4 9 6 ) I t i s a " f u l l , and such a f i l l i n g good" ( 4 4 5 ) . Grace i s given only by God who i s "both the object and the wit" ( 4 4 2 ) , that i s , both the means and the end of the soul's quest to achieve heaven, Both where more grace, and more capaeitee At once i s given. (PS, 4 6 6 - 7 ) There i s l i t t l e i n Donne's b e a t i f i c v i s i o n , at l e a s t at the end of the second Anniversary. of the agony of accep-tance of the purgatorial pain involved i n E l i o t ' s concept of Love who "devised the torment". E l i o t ' s poem has the tone of a f i n a l statement, and indeed i t i s the "epitaph" of h i s major poetry. Much of the agony of the paradox of s u f f e r i n g love was expressed elsewhere by Donne, f o r example i n the "Holy Sonnets" and e s p e c i a l l y i n the Devotions. Thus, while E l i o t ' s .... 98 poem expresses to the end the apparent contradictions of t o r -ment and love inherent i n C h r i s t i a n theodicy, the end of Donne's Anniversaries i s a hymn of thanksgiving which takes f u l l account of the a f f l i c t i o n s of the f l e s h described i n the beginning, but which looks forward to God's l a s t great "Ven-i t e " (PS, 44). The poet pauses to reassert the l i m i t s of " t r a n s i t o r y causes" of joy, such as worldly love: Poore couse'ned cose'nor, that she, and that thou, Which did begin to love, are neither now. You are both f l u i d , chang'd since yesterday; Next day repaires, (but i l l ) l a s t daies decay. Nor are, (Although the r i v e r keep the name) Yesterdaies waters, and to daies the same. (PS, 391-396) Nor can transcendent joy be sought by a union of world e f f o r t , as the builders of Babel thought, f o r the earth i s a base point on which to p i t c h the c i r c l e of perfection. D i v e r s i f i -cation of worship i s wrong action a l s o : "No Joye enjoyes that man, that many makes" (434). Union of a l l d i v e r s i t y i s effected only by God's grace i n the f i r s t resurrection, the new l i f e made possible by the Incarnation; t h i s can be ex-perienced i n the "wateh-towre" of the mind, but there i s more to come:49 Donne's soul on i t s progress exhorts a l l souls to an expression of Joy that t h e i r l a s t great Consummation Approches i n the resu r r e c t i o n . (PS, 491-492) The use of "Consummation" here evokes, as Shawcross points out i n the footnote, the f i n a l words of the dying God, "Consummatus e s t . " — " I t i s f i n i s h e d " (John 19:30), and i n t h i s sense the passage i m p l i c i t l y asks us to r e c a l l the s u f f e r i n g of Christ i n the f l e s h , the s u f f e r i n g which i s e x p l i c i t l y d e t a i l e d e a r l i e r i n the poem. The ambiguity of Christ's words, how-ever, also remind us of h i s purpose i n l i v i n g and dying, the resurr e c t i o n which makes death a blessing. The structure of Donne's poem thus evokes Chri s t ' s words at the l a s t Supper: " V e r i l y , v e r i l y , I say unto you, That ye s h a l l weep and lament, but the world s h a l l r e j o i c e : and ye s h a l l be sorrowful but your sorrow s h a l l be turned into joy" (John 16:20). The language describing the journey's end i n each poem may be d i f f e r e n t but the tone i s the same: both end with a triumphant pronouncement of the u n i f y i n g power of the d i v i n -i t y . CHAPTER V Footnotes 1 A l l quotations from the poetry are from the editions by John T. Shawcross, The Complete Poetry of John Donne. Garden City, N.I.:. Doubleday, 1957; and T. S. E l i o t : Collected Poems 1909-1962. New lork: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1963. 2 Suggested by Staffan Bergsten, Time and Eternity: A Study  i n the Structure and Symbolism of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets. Stockholm: Svenska Bokforlaget, 19607 p. 185. 3 This recalls Donne's f i n a l Sermon, "Deaths Duell": "But then this exitus a morte, i s but introitus i n mortemf this issue, this deliverance from that death, the death of the wombe. i s an entrance, a delivering over to another death, the manifold deathes of this world. Wee have a winding sheete i n our Mothers wombe, which growes with us from our conception, and wee come into that world, wound up i n that winding sheet T for wee come to seeke a grave. . . . We celebrate our owne funeralls with cryes, even at our birth; as though our threescore and ten yeares of l i f e were spent i n our mothers labour, and our c i r c l e made up i n the f i r s t point thereof. We begge one Baptism with another, a sacrament of tears; And we come into a world that lasts many ages, but wee last not." The Sermons of John Donne, eds. Evelyn M. Simpson and George R. Potter, 10 vols., Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962, vol. 10, p. 233. 4 Quoted from Chrysostom by Basil Willey i n The Seventeenth  Century Background. Garden City, N.T.: Doubleday Anchor ( f i r s t publ. 1934), p. 39. 5 Consider, too, the humanistic source of the image: i t i s from the moral treatise. The Boke Named the Governour. by Eliot's 16th Century ancestor, Sir Thomas Elyot. The f u l l quotation, from "The Good Order of Dancing", follows: "And for as moche as by the association of a man and a woman in daunsinge may be signified matrimonie, I coulde i n declarynge the dignitie and commoditie of that sacrament make intiere vol-umes, i f i t were not so communely knowen to a l l men, that almost every frere lymitour carieth i t writen i n his bosom..... . . In every daunse of moste auncient custome, there daunseth to gether a man and a woman, holding eche other by the hande or the arme, which betokeneth Concorde." (London: Dent, n.d., p. 94, f i r s t publ. 1531). ...100 .101 6 The image i s l i k e that of the s t e r i l e Waste Land contemplated by E l i o t ' s Fisherking: Here i s no water but only rock Rock and no water and the sandy road The road winding above among the mountains Which are mountains of rock without water "What the Thunder Said", p. 66. 7 Helen Gardner. The Art of T. S. E l i o t . New York: Button, 1959, suggests a reading of Isaiah, ch, 53, regarding the s u f f e r -i n g compassion of C h r i s t i n conjunction with t h i s passage. 8 Cf. S i r Thomas Browne: " f o r the world, I count i t not an Ihhe, but an H o s p i t a l l , and a place, not to l i v e , but to die i n . " R e l i g i o Medici, ed. Jean-Jacques Denonain, Cambridge Univ e r s i t y Press, 1953, p. 111. 9 S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the r e f r a i n "Shee, shee i s dead", i n the Anatomy, which i s occasioned by the "untimely death of M i s t r i s E l i z a b e t h Drury" i s changed to "Shee, shee i s gone" i n the Progres which i s a meditation on the i n s t r u c t i v e , "Religious death" of the g i r l . 10 Manley explains the metaphor of d i s s e i z e n thus: "The e n t i r e case i s ironic,, however, since t h i s good man paradoxically pleads the exact points that should render such an action unnecessary. He has t i t l e , the strength to have assumed the t i t l e , and long possession. Nevertheless, the property i s not a c t u a l l y h i s u n t i l he wins the s u i t against himself. His own l i f e d i s s e i z e s him." The Anniversaries. ed. Frank Manley, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1963, p.182. 11 Of Learned Ignorance, t r a n s l . F r . Germaine Heron, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1954,Po 11* A paradoxical mathematician, Nicolas expands the mathematical metaphor to describe the Deity as "a machina mundi whose centre, so to speak, i s everywhere, whose circumference i s nowhere, f o r God i s i t s circumference and centre and he i s everywhere and nowhere ", p. 111. 12 Rosalie L. C o l i e . Paradoxia Epidemica: The Renaissance  T r a d i t i o n of Paradox, Princeton: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1966, pp. 27-28. 13 Quoted (from The Vanity of Dogmatizing) by B a s i l W illey, p. 177: "Adam needed no spectacles." 14 Cf. Swift's A e o l i s t s who " a f f i r m the G i f t of Belching, to be the noblest Act of a Rational Creature," section VIII, A Tale  o f a Tub. 15 Cf. St. John of the Cross: " I f any man among you seem to be wise, l e t him become ignorant that he may be wise, f o r the wisdom of t h i s world i s foolishness with God. So that, i n order to come .102 to union with the wisdom of God, the soul has to proceed rather by unknowing than by knowing.... .... ." Ascent of Mount Garmel. 3rd rev. ed., trans. E. Allison Peers, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday Image, 195#, p. 31. 16 "Tradition and the Individual Talent", Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward, Penguin, 1953, pp. 22-23. The passage i s an exhor-tation to the poet to cultivate h i s t o r i c a l sense, "a sense of the timeless as well as of the temporal and of the timeless and the temporal together." 1?. Here i s a compendium of the kinds of learning practiced by Madame Sosostris and her cohorts: astrologers, s p i r i t u a l i s t s , , augerers, horoscope-readers, diviners, crystal-ball gazers, hand-writing readers, palmists, lot-casters and tea-leaves readers, Tarot readers, cabbalists, drug-pushers, and amateur psychoanal-ysts. The clairvoyante of The Waste Land, however, "had a bad Cold"; her fellow teachers i n Dry Salvages are just as thick-tongued. 18 B i b l i c a l references to the hypostasis of God as lig h t are too numerous to recount but ef. I Peter 2 : 9 : "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous l i g h t . " Cf. also "There i s i n God (some say7 k deep, but dazling darkness." Henry Vaughan, "The Night", i n Helen Gardner, ed., The Metaphysical Poets, rev. ed., Penguin, 1966, p. 281. 19 Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism: A Study i n the Nature and  Development of Man's Spiritual Consciousness. New York: Noonday Press, 1955, p. 381. 20 There i s a danger at this point that the soul may feel i t -s e l f irrevocably alienated from God. Cf. "Holy Sonnet - Thou hast made me...": "Despaire behind and death before doth cast Such terror . . ."p. 346, Shawcross. This i s the despair of a man deprived of divine love: "For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my s p i r i t : the terrors of God.do set themselves i n array against me." Job 6:4 21 The journey of Eliot's Magi was made, too, i n "the very dead of winter". 22 Cf. Ezekiel 1:4, "And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a f i r e enfolding i t -s e l f , and a brightness was about i t . . ."; and Malachi 3:2, "Who . 1 0 3 may abide the day of h i s coming? and who s h a l l stand when he appeareth? f o r he i s l i k e r e f i n e r ' s f i r e . • ." 23 See M a r j o r i e N i c o l s o n , The Breaking of the C i r c l e : Studies  i n the E f f e c t of the "New Science'* Upon Seventeenth Century Poet-r y . New York: Columbia Un i v e r s i t y Press, rev. ed. 1962, pp. 57ff. 24 The problem of s e l f - a n n i h i l a t i o n was one which fascinated Donne a l l h i s l i f e ; i t i s , of course, also a t h e o l o g i c a l problem: i f death releases man to God, i s he not j u s t i f i e d i n despatching himself to God more quickly? As Donne says, "mee thinks I have the keyes of my prison i n mine owne hand," quoted (p. 27 i n John  Donne: Selected Prose, eds. Helen Gardner and Timothy Healy, Ox-f o r d : Clarendon Press, 1967) from Biathanatos. This work i s an exercise i n c a s u i s t r y , i t i s true, and l i k e the paradox i t i s , i t grossly overstates the arguments. Donne was conscious of the function of paradox i n making man v i g i l a n t f o r t r u t h when he declared **. • . as i n the poole of Bethsaida. there was no health t i l l the water was troubled, so the best way to f i n d t r u t h i n t h i s matter, was to debate and vex i t " (p. 28). Nevertheless, he also states h i s purpose i n Biathanatos thus: "So doe I wish, and as much as I can, e f f e c t , that to those many learned and s u b t i l e men which have t r a v e l l e d i n t h i s point, some charitable and compassionate men might be added" (p. 29); and the arguments of Paradox 5, "That a l l things k i l l themselves" (quoted pp. 10-11), outweigh, i n wit at l e a s t , that of Paradox 9, "That only Cowards dare dye" (p. 15). 25 Golie, p. 225. 26. I b i d . , pp. 320 f f . 27 In The Elder Statesman. Monica says of Lord Claverton's death, "In becoming no one, he has become himself . . .", p. 108, (London: Faber, 1959). 28 Sermon, 'Preached at Pauls, upon Christmas Day, i n the Evening. 1624'; "One of the most convenient Hieroglvphicks of God, i s a C i r c l e ; and a C i r c l e i s endlesse . . . " Sermons. VI, 173. 29 Cf. "the round earths imagin'd corners", "Holy Sonnet" #165 i n Shawcross. 3.0 I t i s the paradox of Zeno's arrow: at any given moment i n f l i g h t the arrow i s at a point and therefore at r e s t . L o g i c a l l y , then, the flying.arrow i s motionless. That i s , a l i n e consists of a number of points whose length i s zero. Of course, the para-dox here draws attention to c o n f l i c t s i n epistemology, depending as i t does "upon a f a i l u r e of concurrence between forms of l o g i c and sense experience." C o l i e , p. 10. Cf. Browne: "what to us i s to come, to h i s E t e r n i t i e i s present, h i s whole duration being but one permanent point, without succession, parts, f l u x , or d i v i -.104 sion . . ." Religio Medici. I. x l , p. 18. See also Adolf Grun-baum, Modern Science and Zeno's Paradoxes. Wesleyan University Press, 1967. 31 Colie describes, too, the paradoxes constructed on the idea of an egg as a sphere and hence an '0«, a nothing, and as a symbol of generation, p. 226. 32 Donne even turned the concepts of the New Philosophy to a religious advantage: "for me thinks the new Astronomie is thus appliable well, that we which are a l i t t l e earth, should rather move towards God, than he which is f u l f i l l i n g , and can come no whither, should move towards us," from a letter to Goodyer, probably in 1608 or 1609, quoted in Selected Prose, p. 133. 33 Cf. Donne's Devotions. Med. X: "This is nature's nest of boxes: the heavens contain the earth; the earth, cit ies; c i t ies, men; And a l l these are concentric; the common centre to them a l l is decay, ruin; only that is eccentric which was never made; only that place, or garment rather, which we can imagine but not demon-strate." Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Together With Death's  Duel. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959, p. 63. 34 Eliot uses this "whirled-world" pun similarly in Ash Wednes-day V: Against the Word the unstilled world s t i l l whirled About the centre of the silent Word. One suspects that Donne had the same pun in mind in his repeated pejorative use of the word "world" in the Anniversary poems. 35 Cf. Underhill, Mysticism. Ch. X, "The Unitive Life". 36 Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, trans. C l i f -ton Wolters, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1966, pp. 67-69. 37 The Confessions of St. Augustine. trans. Edward B. Pusey, New York: Washington Square Press, I960, p. 222. 3$ ^determined" has the meaning here of "terminated", Shaw-cross, p. 272. 39 "She moves through the regions of earth, water, a i r , and f i r e , and the spheres of the Moon, Venus, Mercury, Sun, Mars, Jupiter (Jove), Saturn ("his father"), and the Fixed Stars (the Firmament). The order given for Venus and Mercury is that of Tycho Brahe rather than Ptolemy." Shawcross, p. 296. 40 Carl Bodelsen, T. S. E l i o t ' s Four Quartets. A Commentary. 2nd ed., Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1958, pp. 35-36. 41 Bhagavad-Gita: The Song of God, trans. Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, Mentor, 1954, p. 52. "Atman" is defined by the editors as "The Godhead that is within every being", p. 37. .105 4 2 "Action r i g h t l y renounced brings freedom: -Action r i g h t l y performed brings freedom: Both are better Than the mere shunning of a c t i o n . " I b i d . r p. 56. 4 3 "Reversion" here ref e r s to possession of the estate of l i f e f o r a given time but which ul t i m a t e l y reverts to i t s o r i g i n a l grantor, God. The concept i s r e l a t e d to that i n the second Anni-versary ( 1 4 9 - 1 5 6 ) describing the action of d i s s e i z e n which man brings against himself (see footnote 1 0 , above); E l i o t ' s metaphor here also implies the communion the l i v i n g and the dead enjoy, f i r s t as i n East Goker. i n a nourishing of l i f e by the dead, and then i n the heavenly community. The s p e c i f i c use of the term occurs i n Donne's "Sermon of commemoration of the Lady Danvers, l a t e Wife of S i r John Danvers. Preached at Chilsey, where she was l a t e l y buried." 1 July 1 6 2 ? : "She expected that; d i s s o l u t i o n of body, and soule; and r e s t i n both, from the incumbrances, and tentations of t h i s world. But yet, shee i s i n expectation s t i l l ; S t i l l a Reveraionarie: And a Rever-sionary, upon a long l i f e ; The whole world must d i e , before she come to a 1 possession of t h i s Reversion; which i s a G l o r i f i e d body i n the Resurrect i o n " Sermons. VIII. 91-92. 44 The chapel was founded i n 1625 and used as a r e t r e a t by the family of Nicholas Ferrar u n t i l the d i s s o l u t i o n of the r e l i g i o u s community i n 1 6 4 7 . I t was restored f o r worship i n the nineteenth century. Legend has i t that Charles I rested there, "a broken king", on h i s way to give himself over to the Scots i n I648. Cf. Gardner, The Art of T. S. E l i o t . pp. 1 7 7 - 1 7 8 . 4 5 " . . . Except a man be born of water and of the S p i r i t , he cannot enter i n t o the kingdom of God" (John 3 : 5 ) . 46 Unfortunately the Grace Warrack e d i t i o n of the Revelations  of Divine Love was unavailable to me; the Wolters t r a n s l a t i o n i n t o modern English loses something: "But Jesus, who i n t h i s ; v i s i o n informed me of a l l I needed, answered "Sin was necessary — but i t i s a l l going to be a l l r i g h t , i t i s a l l going to be a l l r i g h t ; everything i s going to be a l l r i g h t " (p. 1 0 3 ) . 4 7 Compare the d e s c r i p t i o n of the baptism of Jesus i n Jordan: "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the S p i r i t l i k e a dove descending upon him" (Mark 1 : 1 0 ) , and the v i s i t i n g of the S p i r i t of Pentecost on the Apostles: "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues l i k e as of f i r e , and i t sat upon each of them" (Acts 2 : 4 ) . 4 8 The tension of Paradise Lost consists i n Milton's attempt to j u s t i f y God's ways to man; God made man " s u f f i c i e n t to have stood, though free to f a l l " , and the punishment which f a l l s on "innocent f r a i l man" when he exercises t h i s choice i s d i f f i c u l t to j u s t i f y to short-sighted man. 4 9 The d i s t i n c t i o n between the f i r s t and second resurrections . 1 0 6 i s made e a r l i e r i n the second Anniversary: So by the soule doth death s t r i n g Heaven and Earth, For when our soule enjoyes t h i s her t h i r d b i r t h , (Creation gave her one, a second grace), Heaven i s as neare . . . (PS, 213-216), but Bonne c l a r i f i e s i t i n a Sermon "Preached at S. Pauls, upon Easter-day, i n the Evening, 1624" on the text Apoc. 20:6 "Blessed and holy i s he that hath part i n the F i r s t Resurrection", Sermons VI, 62-80. By means of grace, brought palpably to man's under-standing i n the Incarnation, C r u c i f i x i o n , and Resurrection of God, man i s redeemed from s i n ; the second resu r r e c t i o n i s that of the soul to the body of heaven a f t e r the l a s t Trumpet. In the Devotions Donne also describes h i s recovery from i l l n e s s as a kind of resurrection: ". . .we s h a l l have a resurrection i n heaven; the knowledge of that thou castest by another glass upon us here; we f e e l that we have a resurrection from s i n , and that by another glass too;,we see we have a resurrection of the body from the miseries and calamities of t h i s l i f e . This r e s u r r e c t i o n of my body shows me the resur r e c t i o n of my soul; and both here s e v e r a l l y , of both together hereafter." Expostulation XXI, p. 140. CHAPTER VI CONCLUSIONS Three centuries separate the poetry of Donne and E l i o t , and i f one were to examine c l o s e l y the i n t e l l e c t u a l and s o c i a l m i l i e u of each man, perhaps as many differences as s i m i l a r i t i e s of poetic experience would reveal themselves. E l i o t , as publisher, poet, and c r i t i c of l i t e r a r y and s o c i a l currents, seems to stand i n sharp contrast to Donne the witty courtier-turned-priest. But, as E l i o t i n s i s t s , i t i s the patterns made from the poet's experience which should be the object of consideration, and i t i s i n these transmutations of f e e l i n g s and ideas into the forms of a r t that E l i o t and Donne are most comparable. The work of each poet i s a whole, revealing to the reader not only an argument f o r b e l i e f , f o r t h i s would make the poems mere proselytism, but a v i s i o n of what i t means to seek and discover divine love. The goal of each poet i s s p i r i t u a l renewal i n a f a l l e n and mutable world; beginning with the premise that i t i s necessary to believe, each man goes on to examine, by means of deliberate scepticism, doubt, and objective s e l f - a n a l y s i s , the tenets of h i s b e l i e f . Aware that there i s no anaesthetic f o r death and despair, the poet probes the meaning of death and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the ....108 p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h . In coming to an accep-tance of man's mutability and i t s part i n divine r e a l i t y , he holds up f o r examination a l l phenomenological experience through which he perceives i n t u i t i v e l y h i s inner s e l f , the d i v i n e spark. In an e f f o r t to become "expert beyond experience", the poet must resolve the apparent contradictions i n the demands of f l e s h and s p i r i t ; t h i s he does by emulating the Incarnation of divine p r i n c i p l e and human f l e s h , the i d e a l i z e d man i n C h r i s t . By t h i s example, s u f f e r i n g i s seen to be the key to timebound existence; i t i s the only way to make time meaningful, to redeem time through time, to "tune the Instru-ment here at the dore" before entering into heavenly harmony. Even i n the most profane of Donne's love l y r i c s , h i s aim i s to achieve some kind of u n i f y i n g experience, eith e r i n trans-cendent physical union, or i n a fusion of kindred souls. With wit and self-mocking o b j e c t i v i t y , he examines h i s feelings and responses i n the love r e l a t i o n s h i p . The despair of man without f a i t h i s the focus of E l i o t ' s early poetry and i n t h i s emphasis i t d i f f e r s from the witty and e r o t i c love poetry of Donne; the development of each poet converges, however, i n the experience analyzed i n the Anniversary poems and the Four  Quartets. In these poems, t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s i n techniques are most apparent: each poem explores the v i a negativa of the 109 s o u l seeking an understanding of divine love. Each poet uses paradox i n imagery to express what.he perceives as paradoxi-c a l i n the experience i t s e l f : death i s to be described as a b i r t h ; divine l i g h t i s sought i n darkness and deprivation of worldly comfort; the soul i s revealed as part of the divine " a l l t h i s A l l " by s t r i p p i n g o f f the s e l f . Right knowledge i s a torment which i s revealed as love. The "progress of the soul" i s made by following a d i a l e c t i c a l analysis and r e j e c -t i o n of a l l experience, sensory and i n t e l l e c t u a l , i n order to a r r i v e at a knowledge of what had always been known i n -t u i t i v e l y . Reason i s used to a r r i v e at what can only be understood on a plane beyond discursive reasoning. The triumph of tone at the end of the Anniversaries and Four Quartets i s unmistakable: i t s source i s found as much i n the achievement of a r t i s t i c purpose as i t i s i n the attainment of s p i r i t u a l goals. A l l the threads of the poem come together i n a perfect r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of opposites. In expressing the inexpressible, the poet has created a d e l i c a t e pattern of his f e e l i n g s , Caught i n the form of l i m i t a t i o n Between un-being and being. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY PRIMARY 1. Donne, John. The Anniversaries, ed. Frank Manley. Bal more: Johns Hopkins Press, 1963. 2. . Biathanatos. Ann Arbor: The Facsimile Text Society, 1967. 3. . The Complete Poetry of John Donne. ed.,John T. Shawcross. Garden C i t y : Doubleday, 1 9 6 7 . 4. __. Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Together With Death's Duel. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1959. 5 . . The Divine Poems, ed. Helen Gardner. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952. 6. . The Poems of John Donne. ed. Herbert J . C. Grierson, 2 v o l s . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912. 7. . John Donne: The S a t i r e s . Epigrams and Verse Let-t e r s , ed. W. Milgate. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1 9 6 7 . -8. . John Donne: Selected Prose, chosen by Evelyn Simpson, eds. Helen Gardner and Timothy Healy. Oxford.: Clarendon Press, 1967. 9. . The Sermons of John Donne. 1 0 v o l s . , eds. George R. Potter and Evelyn M. Simpson. Berkeley: Uni-v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1953-1962. 10. E l i o t , T. S. After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern  Heresy. London: Faber, 1934. . 11. . Collected Poems 1909-1962. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 19b~T» 12. . The C o c k t a i l Party. London: Faber, 1 9 5 8 . 1 3 . . The Con f i d e n t i a l Clerk. London: Faber, 1967. 14. . The Elder Statesman. London: Faber and Faber, 1959. 15. • The Family Reunion. London: Faber and Faber, 1953. 16. . For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on Style and Order. London: Faber and Gwyer, 1928. 110 . 1 1 1 17. E l i o t , T. S. Knowledge and Experience i n the Philosophy o£ £• !• Bradley. London: Faber, 1964. 18. . Murder i n the Cathedral. Intro. Nevill Goghill. London: Faber, 1945. !9. . "A Note on Two Odes of Cowley", in Seventeenth Century Studies Presented to Sir Herbert Grierson. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1938, pp. 235-242. 20. _. The Rock. London: Faber, 1934. 21. . The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism London: Methuen, I960 ( f i r s t publ. 1920}. 22. . Selected Essays. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 19W. 2 3 . " Selected Prose, ed. John Hayward. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1953. 2 4 . . " U l y s s e s 1 , Order and Myth", i n Criticism: The Foundations of Modern Literary Judgment, eds. Mark Schorer, Josephine Miles, Gordon McKenzie. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1948, pp. 269-271. 2 5 . The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism: Studies i n the. Relation of Criticism to Poetry i n England. London: Faber, 1933. SECONDARY—Donne C r i t i c i s m 2 6 . Alvarez, A. The School of Donne. Mentor, I 9 6 7 . 2 7 . Andreason, N. J . G. "Donne 1s Devotions and the Psychol-ogy of Assent", Modern Philology LXII (February, 1 9 6 5 ) , 2 0 7 - 2 1 6 . . . 2 8 . Bald, Robert C e c i l . Donne and the Drurys. Cambridge: Unive r s i t y Press, 1 9 5 9 . 2 9 . Bewley, Marius. "Religious Cynicism i n Donne's Poetry", Kenvon Review XIV (Autumn, 1 9 5 2 ) , 6 1 9 - 6 4 6 . 3 0 . C o f f i n , Charles Monroe. John Donne and the New Philosophy. New York: Humanities Press, 1 9 5 8 ( f i r s t publ. 1 9 3 7 ) . 3 1 . 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