Conversations Across the Centuries: Beethoven and T.S. Eliot
A four week course on the greatest poetic masterpiece of the 20th century - and how it was inspired by Beethoven's late string quartets. We will explore the cross-cultural mystical inspiration Eliot drew from Dante, Virgil, the Upanishads and Bhaghavad Gita, St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich as well as discover the symbolic and structural parallels with Beethoven's astonishing Quartet in Op. 132 in A Minor- the piece that led Eliot through his darkest days of despair into a new language of hope and possibility.
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. Through the unknown, remembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half heard, in the stillness Between the two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always-- A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of things shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one.