Words: Thomas Stearns Eliot // Preludes (iv)

From the Oxford Book of Modern Verse, picked up for 2 pounds in London but worth loads more (there’s an inscription from the ’50s). Le sigh.

T.S. Eliot

Preludes // 1888-

(iv)

His soul stretched tight across the skies

That fade behind a city block,

Or trampled by insistent feet

At four and five and six o’clock;

And short square fingers stuffing pipes,

And evening newspapers, and eyes

Assured of certain certainties,

The conscience of a blackened street

Impatient to assume the world.

I am moved by fancies that are curled

Around these images, and cling:

The notion of some infinitely gentle

Infinitely suffering thing.

Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;

The worlds revolve like ancient women

Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

Copyright T.S. Eliot.

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