"A portrait is not an identificative paper but rather the curve of an emotion" -James Joyce

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Unknowing Cloud

"The combination of an extreme apparent freedom with a great inner strictness corresponds to the necessities of his temperament."

"A formal garden is an admirable symbol for a man's attempt to impose pattern on his experience and to discipline nature."

"The anonymous English mystic called his book The Cloud of Unknowing.  He taught that the soul in this life must be always between two clouds.  A cloud of forgetting beneath, which hides all creatures and works, and a cloud of unknowing above, upon which it must 'smite with a sharp dart of longing love.'"

"In the final movement, the feeling that every moment is a new moment and a beginning, but that the past is alive in the present, modifying it and being modified by it also, is at first applied to the poet and the problems of expression and finally to the life of the individual.  The poem ends with the injunction to be 'still and still moving.'"

-Helen Gardner on T.S Eliot's Four Quartets

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