September 27, 2009

Bewildering flashlight poem + Murder in the Cathedral

I just ran over from the couch by the window where I was reading Murder in the Cathedral, by T.S. Eliot. I had come across this line, "Man's life is a cheat and a disappointment; all things are unreal." This is the four tempters speaking, arguing that every choice is motivated by false desires, saying that everything is false because the man is "lost in the wonder of his own greatness."

I remember Hayley reading that last quote at the SHINE tournament, but reading it today made me think about it differently. And it reminded me of a poem I wrote by flashlight a few nights ago, that I wasn't sure what to make of:

I see myself grow taller
Deepness, largeness, takes on shape
But this image I dare to call myself
Is only a shadow, stretched by changing time
Sometimes it flits across and dances under the moon
But the shadow vanishes in broad daylight
The dream gone, I find myself small and alone
This material self does not grow swiftly

I think, because of T.S. Eliot, I understand the feeling better now. "The wonder of my own greatness" is a passing illusion, only a shadow of what truly is.

2 comments:

Michael said...

But the tempter is wrong! The world IS real. It is man's selfish pursuits that are unreal. This is interesting, I'm gonna think about it some more.

Hayley said...

This is a prime example of intertexuality! [oh gosh, the brainwashing is complete.]

We really have no idea who we are, we deceive ourselves, even our shadows overstate and distort our actual self.

Despite my general "meh"ness over Eliot, I really love that book. gotta say.