American Literature · British Culture · Classic · Collection · Excerpt · Imagism · Modernism · Passage · Poetry

T. S. Eliot

Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desireable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being.
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always—
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.

—T. S. Eliot, from “Burnt Norton,” Four Quartets (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971)

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