Monday, April 25, 2011

Tuesday Poem for Anzac Day: Eliot's The Hollow Men

Monday was Anzac Day in New Zealand - somewhat overshadowed by Easter this year -  but still attracting growing numbers to the services, including the young. I couldn't go to the local service outside the memorial gate at the school as I was helping a friend move to Christchurch (I know, I know ...)

Anyway, This reading of The Hollow Men with images from World War One seems appropriate for today. (For those far away, Anzac Day is when we commemorate fighting with the Aussies in WWI & gaining our nationhood).

If you haven't time to listen to the whole video, move forward to 3.43 where you have the stunning ending from 'Here we go round the prickly pear' to 'This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.'

Interestingly, these lines open the play Osage County by Tracy Letts that had me on my feet last week at Circa Theatre. Beverly Weston quotes them in the opening monologue prior to his suicide, dwelling on the lines 'Life is very long.'

Life has seemed exceptionally long this week with sick parents and a very dear friend and neighbour heading south. But, you know, I still had a Happy Easter. Mine began well with double yolks  - not one but a whole dozen -

and there were red eggs too.

But most of all it was the company of family and friends that made it. I hope you had a Happy Easter too.

For more Tuesday Poems click on the quill in the sidebar. At the hub is a poem called The Heiroglyph Moth by Welsh poet Pascale Petit selected by UK writer Kathleen Jones.


Janis said...

Always my favourite TS Eliot poem, this one. Such a sad video.

Harvey Molloy said...

I have one student whose been reading Eliot and quite enjoying him. So it's good to see that the poetry still has an appreciative audience. Still a great poem.

Timothy Cahill said...

Strong stuff, Mary. I finally had to close my eyes to fully take in the poem. The photographs are so powerful they were competing with the images of Eliot's astonishing words, so beautifully recited here.