Shetland with T.S. Eliot
April is National Poetry Month! I am celebrating by looking back at photo memories and connecting them to poems that have enlightened my journey. T.S. Eliot’s poem, Wait Without Hope, came to me when I faced a transition and choices. The idea of waiting, listening, reflecting is very much the essence of this poem. “Faith, love, hope” are waiting, but I must be ready, my heart prepared, to embrace these gifts.
As a global community, we have entered a time of reflection, of waiting, of listening. Tonight, join me in reading the poem, Wait Without Hope. Imagine you are walking the beaches of Shetland, with the sound of the ocean in you ear and the tug of the brisk wind going through your hair.
Wait Without Hope
By: T. S Eliot
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony
Of death and birth.
T. S. Eliot, East Coker
Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 26, 1888. When he was 25, he emigrated to England, married and became a British subject in 1927.
T.S. Eliot is considered one of the twentieth century’s major poets. In his childhood, literature became his solace, a place to find adventures (ie Tom Sawyer) and companionship. A congenital double inguinal hernia prevented him from participating in physical activities and socializing with his peer group. He learned to live within solitude at a young age which, I believe, was to influence his poetry and and writings in later life.