The Rose Garden   3 comments

White Roses — Photo-Artistry by kenne

T. S. Eliot’s poem, Burnt Norton, begins:

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.

Still in the first section:

What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened 
Into the rose-garden. My words echo

Thus, in your mind.
                                  But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on the bowl of rose leaves
I do not know.
                                   Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrust? Into our first world.

The first section ends:

Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Eliot’s entire poem, which in the present, captures both the past and future.
The rose garden is an idyllic place that can never be fully realized but is present in every moment.
It is the present that captures all of the temporality and hence all of our possibilities. 
The concepts of “past, present, and future” are merely abstractions, and the only real reason
we can make these distinctions is because of the present experience. Thus, time is a metaphorical
“hall of mirrors” — where the present encapsulates all that has occurred and all of what is to come.
It is through the reflection of the present that we can see all time.

— kenne

Posted June 12, 2021 by kenneturner in Information

3 responses to “The Rose Garden

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  1. Beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wise words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love all of Eliot’s Four Quartets.

    Like

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