For three more days, courtesy of BBC 4, you can listen to the soothing voice of Jeremy Irons reading T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.

Here is one of my long-standing favorite passages from “East Coker”:

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
the world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.
There is a time for the evening under starlight,
A time for the evening under lamplight
(The evening with the photograph album).
Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.

Please share any favorite passages of your own (or mention any passages you think he reads particularly well) in the comments.

(Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

Articles by B. D. McClay

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