Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.
T.S. Eliot (The Journey of the Magi)
I wrote this poem, as I did yesterday’s, many years ago.
In ‘A Death I Die’, below, the sober thoughts reflect a dark mood, the reason for which I now have no recollection. For me, at the time of writing, they obviously represented the Shadow, that halfway house between knowing and not-knowing,
between what is and what might be,
between Eliot’s ‘the motion and the act’.
A DEATH I DIE
I have no heart for selfish love
that starts and ends with flesh.
It leads along an endless path,
it binds, compels afresh.
There is a sort of death I die;
Am killed and kill myself.
I am alone in this. I am a willing suicide.
I go on a journey bearing my own end.
This death is a habit, a nasty selfish habit
I know and hate it.
I both give and receive.
The giving is good
– but also a habit.
Receiving – an infinite regression.
We plan the means and the end is all.
Purgatory is the cemetery, time the resurrection.
And All is planned that This should be so.