1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 
Comment 7 of 117, added on April 30th, 2006 at 12:47 AM.
Compared to "The Wasteland," this poems was easier to read because it
wasn't as allusive. When I read this poem, I was able to recognize some of
the allusions. For example, the last two lines in the first poem are from
a prayer. It's like "Hail Mary full of grace.........pray for us sinners
now and at the hour of our death." Although I did have some difficulty in
reading and comprehending the poem as a whole, I was still able to decipher
some of the things that were said. Overall this poem was pretty
interesting especially since it had some hinting of the Catholic religion
Jose Barbasa from United States
Comment 6 of 117, added on April 22nd, 2006 at 8:35 AM.
Bound in willow and weeping walls,
No hands to see, no eyes to touch, no lips to kiss
No eternity and no finality
The unstilled world is whirling still.
This is the first stanza of a poem yet to find finality. I have just read
Ash Wednesday after appropriating and reconstructing this last line without
consideration of the source. The themetic and textual cadences have an
uncanny resemblance to my own humble imaginings. The sacred, the ineffable
and the transcendent are the portals, the limpid pools of reflecting
waters, that allow us to see the infinite and finite as belonging to the
world of dreams and the world that dreams of seperation.
Comment 5 of 117, added on March 9th, 2006 at 12:30 PM.
I'm only 16 and don't really know that much about early 1900's poems or
writing styles, but I loved "Ash Wednesday". The only thing that I didn't
like was that it seemed to be a bit depressing. I did like, however, that
it seemed to fit my mood.
from United States
Comment 4 of 117, added on March 3rd, 2006 at 1:35 AM.
I have read this poem for over twenty years, and always on Ash Wednesday.
Its music takes me again and again on a journey of my believing and
unbelieving, of my loving and not loving, forgiving and not forgiving and,
finally to the yearning for the "peace which passes all understanding."
This poems rings memory bells of my youth, of my confused middle years, of
the longings of advanced age. I read it each year to try and absorb its
messages - but able to take only a fragment - I return again and again. I
will read this poem every year for as long as I live. It confirms my
humanity and the humanity of those with whom I live and work.
gary from United States
Comment 3 of 117, added on March 2nd, 2006 at 1:45 AM.
Thanks for that Zachariah. Beautifully written.
from United States
Comment 2 of 117, added on May 3rd, 2005 at 6:26 PM.
In the preface of her latest book "the Spiral Staircase", Karen Armstrong
relates how she was inspired by T. S. Elliot's "Ash -Wednesday" in which he
traces the process of spiritual recovery, as she puts it. She includes the
first poem which I have just read for the first time. It made me cry with
a deep sense of elevated sadness that is beyond words.
Thank you for helping me find the complete sequence. I will treasure them.
Shadia Kanaan from United States
Comment 1 of 117, added on April 15th, 2005 at 1:34 AM.
This poem holds innate nostalgia for me. T.S. Eliot was my portal into the
prismatic world of poetry. I still remember the day Mrs. Seiford made us
read "Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" out loud for the second time, then
proceeded to draw various possible meanings of each stanza, indicating the
overall tone of longing and regret. It tasted real. The next day we moved
onto another poet, and by the next week we were off poetry altogether, but
I made a trip to the school library and checked out the complete poems and
plays of T.S. Eliot.
Like a babe discovering the teat for the first time, I sucked and sucked
and sucked until the well went dry. And then I sucked some more. I inhaled
"Hollow Men," "Gerontion," "The Wasteland," "Journey of the Magi," "The
Four Quartets," and all of the minor poems. In the end, I always came back
to "Ash Wednesday."
Perhaps "The Wasteland" intimidated me because I knew it was his
masterpiece, and recognized the cryptic tonnage seemingly lurking behind
every syllable, or perhaps, like an over-popular tune, the popularity
itself turned me off. But Ash Wednesday, with it's intentional murkiness,
incorporated in a rhythm like some divine flutist's fugue, captured my
imagination for many afternoons made lonelier by the book I carried
dog-eared and scribbled on. In church I'd sneak it into the inside of the
hymnal and whisper it quietly to myself. The poem itself is a prayer.
It's a prayer for that ultimate, unifying theory of the universe, it's a
prayer made in that hidden, imaginary place between waking and dreaming,
the living and the dead; between God and the void. It's intent is not to be
understood. The word cannot be spoken. It's intent is to designate that
brink, that no-man's land, that tear in the fabric, place it's finger upon
it and say, 'This. This here. This is where prayer and poetry merge.' And
later, after the song, after choral sopranos sing their last, 'allelujah,
fall apart again.
In fact, I still have no idea what "Ash Wednesday" is really about.
from United States
This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11