This article accompanies the fable
Beauty & the Beast
T.S. Eliot’s Burnt Norton (1935)
Burnt Norton (below) is a country house in the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire. Nowadays people like to get married there, but back in the 1930s, T.S. Eliot visited it frequently and the house and its rose garden evoked in him a nostalgia for Britain’s faded splendor. The ghosts and sounds of children playing that he sensed in the strange mix of past-in-the-present-and-future can still be felt in such places.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Eliot is buried in St. Michael’s Church in East Coker, near Yeovil in Somerset, from where one of his ancestors had emigrated to Massachusetts in the 17th century. The town gave its name to the second of the Four Quartets. The third and fourth poems are The Dry Salvages and Little Gidding.
The Four Quartets are my favorite poems and I share the view that there are exquisite correspondences: Burnt Norton (autumn/air), East Coker (summer/earth), The Dry Salvages (spring/water), Little Gidding (winter/fire).
And the end of all our exploring