Four Quartets [Paperback]

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With its intricate structure and reverberative imagery, Four Quartets is the culminating achievement of T.S. Eliot's career. Its greatness is done full justice in this rendition by the Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes.Containing some of the most melodic passages in modern poetry, Four Quartets blends the religious, the philosophical and the personal themes that preoccupied Eliot. The four parts, Burnt Norton, East Coker, The Dry Salvages and Little Gidding, are interconnected both by theme and by symbol. A poem of war, of Christianity, of literature and of history, Four Quartets speaks for a whole generation and is an enduring masterpiece.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   64
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.99" Width: 5.28" Height: 0.2"
Weight:   0.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 20, 1968
Publisher   Harvest Books
Age  14
ISBN  0156332256  
EAN  9780156332255  

Availability  0 units.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Eliot's Four Quartets  Jan 14, 2008
The Four Quartets by TS Eliot is a classic and should not be missed. It is of the type of poetry that evokes meanings from their hidden places in us through the use of word trails that are only partially logical. Our own emotions connect things, so when it is read, don't approach it with the usual straining to decipher the meaning. The ring of a gong lingers after it is struck, something of a parallel to how the poem works. Fascinating, too, is its approach to understanding the elusive sense of time, but it is couched more in the sensibilities of the East than the West.
All art ... approaches the condition of music.  Jun 19, 2006
Among all these reviews, not one comes to terms with the very title of this opus: Four Quartets. When was Eliot anything but precise in his choice of word?

The inspiration for these poems -- or reflections -- are the late string quartets of Beethoven, those numbered from 12 through 16. It is the 5-movement No.15 in A Minor,Op.132, that seems to have exerted the strongest influence, with it's famous adagio movement, which Beethoven inscribed as the thanksgiving song of a convalescent.

Actually, No.15 was the 13th in order, but the Quartets were published out of sequence, which was not uncommon in Beethoven's time. The Late Quartets progress from the classic 4-movement No.12 and add a movement to each work up to the 7-movement Op.131 in C-sharp Minor. The 16th and final quartet returns to the classic 4-movement form. There is an expansion of form concluding with a contraction and return over the course of 5 works.

Like Eliot's Four Quartets, Beethoven's Late Quartets reflect upon time and faith -- and the 'speech' is often plain: repeated phrases that appear stuck in a groove, hammered chords, cheap tunes that seem to be lifted from a band in a local inn; from long-breathed melodies that look beyond what Wagner and Mahler will eventually bring to music, to cell-like motivs not heard again till Bartok and Webern.

The 'learned' aspect of Eliot's verse can lead us astray, so that we are forever parsing the meaning of the lines. I am taken with the sounds he makes as I read the poems aloud, and the sounds he chose to convey what the poems mean are, in a sense, the essence of meaning. From the first I was struck by the sheer sound of 'time' in the context of these Quartets, which are Eliot's swan song.
Four Quartets  Sep 21, 2005
This is a tiny book, more like a pamphlet, only 58 pages long with large print and some blank pages as part of the design. But it is mighty in its impact. These "four quartets" are four of T. S. Eliot's poems meditating (among other things) on the nature of time - time past, time present, time future...If you are of my generation and have read the poems before, you might love carrying this little book around just to dip into it for a line or two, and maybe understand something you never understood before. (T. S. Eliot is not always an easy read.) If you have never read them before, I envy you!
T.S. Eliot for Sikhs  Jan 4, 2005
I am a deeply religious Sikh living in America. The Four Quartets is to me a shining example of a man of deep understanding of God and reality. I have read this poem many times since I first read it back in college. It speaks directly to my soul. There is no passage, no phrase, which does not work for me.

I read some sections to my wife when we were first married, and she thought that it was an English translation of the Sikh holy texts.

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time"

There is no better explanation of Eastern religion than this. I am eternally grateful for this work.
The Warrior and the God: T.S.Eliot and The Four Quartets  Oct 29, 2004
There is a line in Section III of "The Dry Salvages" that has bothered people: "I sometimes wonder if that is what Krishna meant--" as perhaps being too overdone, or even unnecessary to the poem...but, the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna does give some insight into Eliot's comments on time and reality...when Arjuna is faced with the possibility of killing his own relatives in the opposing army, he can't handle it...Krishna then tells him that it doesn't matter....because of the immortal aspect of The Atman (man's inner spirit) which is not touched by our one really dies and so, only the doing is important:"Realize that pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, are all one and the same." And so, in relation to the poem, Time is looked at in much the same way...We have the illusion of leaving and arriving: "You are not the same people who left that station Or who will arrive at any Terminus" doesn't matter what you think or your regard for the fruits of your actions...the only important duty is to make the trip: "Not fare well,/but fare forward, voyagers." Being in the flow of time, living moment to moment, doing what is necessary is all....perhaps, at the quantum level, as another reviewer has suggested: normal perceptions are topsy-turvey, we're in the rabbit hole and if we can see that, then:"...the way up is the way down, the way forward is the/way back./You cannot face it steadlly, but this thing is sure,/That time is no healer:the patient is no longer here." When the insight is achieved, time disappears, all duality vanished and you are left with that still point of consciousness only seeming to, what the hell?: "Fare forward." or as Krishna would put it: "That which is non-existent can never come into being and that which is can never cease to be."----Don Hildenbrand/Eugene, OR., USA

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