Friday, January 06, 2017

Poetry Friday: Journey of the Magi

It's become something of a tradition to post Eliot's "The Journey of the Magi" on the Feast of the Epiphany. I never tire of this poem's perfect melding of earthly earthiness and supernatural doings. Eliot captures that down-to-your-bones discomfort, the squirming...revelation that is both comforting and terrifying.

Journey of the Magi
by T.S. Eliot 

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,


Read--and listen to Eliot read it--here.


The round up today is at Teacher Dance


Brenda Harsham said...

Wow, that was a treat to hear Eliot read that. His words made the Magi come to life, his images thoughtful and deep. What mastery he had over his words, the white horse, the silken girls, the return to the kingdoms, but unable to find peace there. I wonder if at the end the Magi was meant to be thinking of his own death or foreshadowing the Easter holiday?

Kay said...

I had not heard this poem before, but to click to finish after reading the first lines. Thank you for sharing it.

Linda B said...

I'm not sure I've seen more than a few lines, Karen. Thank you for sharing all and with Eliot's voice. I will remember the next Twelfth Night!

Kortney Garrison said...

"For a journey, and such a long journey:" What strikes me are all those repeated lines...

Jane @ said...

How incredible to hear a poet sharing their own works - it really brings the words to life!

Karen Edmisten said...

So glad to share this with you all!
Brenda, yes, I think the final lines refer to both of those things.

Ruth said...

Ahh, such a great poem. You're exactly right about the mixture of earthiness and the supernatural. That's the way it is, huh?

Karen Edmisten said...

Ruth, yes, so true!