Sometimes all I want is a poem that’s rhythm and rhyme, words placed and spaced so they turn into a song inside my head. Langston Hughes does that. So does Dylan Thomas. And so does Mr. Eliot, below. I memorized this poem so that it will always be with me. Poem, you are a voice shaken from the yew-tree, and here I am, replying.
Excerpt from Ash-Wednesday, by T.S. Eliot
And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices
In the lost lilac and the lost sea voices
And the weak spirit quickens to rebel
For the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell
Quickens to recover
The cry of quail and the whirling plover
And the blind eye creates
The empty forms between the ivory gates
And smell renews the salt savour of the sandy earth
This is the time of tension between dying and birth
The place of solitude where three dreams cross
Between blue rocks
But when the voices shaken from the yew-tree drift away
Let the other yew be shaken and reply.