Friday, November 23, 2007

Readings: Visual Versification

UPDATE: Unfortunately, the owners of the graphic referred to below seem to have made it unavailable. Too bad, as it was beautiful.

Having today off work, I was surfing around the blogosphere in a casual manner when, just now, I came across the graphic composition to which I will link below. It is an artifact, not an image of the "real world"; yet, it's just God-awful beautiful. It is, in fact, a poem in visual images. First read these lines from T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land:

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water.

[dead link removed here]

Does it not recall these other lines of Eliot's, from the first of the Four Quartets, "Burnt Norton"?:

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.

Which is to say:

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be;
and that which is done is that which shall be done;
And there is no new thing under the sun.

~the Preacher

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, yo...