Monday, April 12, 2010

i-TFTD #271: Excerpts from The Cocktail Party

i-TFTD #271: Excerpts from The Cocktail Party

The following are selected lines from the poem written in 1949.

The Cocktail Party
by T.S. Eliot

It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous.
Resign yourself to be the fool you are.

You will find that you survive humiliation
And that's an experience of incalculable value.
We die to each other daily.
What we know of other people
Is only our memory of the moments
During which we knew them. And they have changed since then.
To pretend that they and we are the same
Is a useful and convenient social convention
Which must sometimes broken. We must also remember
That at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.
Half the harm that is done in this world
Is due to people who want to feel important.
They don't mean to do harm—but the harm does not interest them.
Or they do not see it, or they justify it
Because they are absorbed in the endless struggle
To think well of themselves.
We must always take risks. That is our destiny.
Only by acceptance of the past will you alter its meaning.

Every moment is a fresh beginning.

(Thanks to Ranu Pande for pointing me to this.)


So much has been said

And written about, over time

We fail to reflect.

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