This week I had a sudden urge to revisit the poetry of T S Eliot, which I first encountered in undergraduate English Literature; I recall feeling baffled by The Wasteland and unable or unwilling to get to grips with its imagery and layered, fragmented meanings. Now, all of a sudden, Eliot’s snapshots of the realities of daily life speak to me; I don’t get the whole picture (am I meant to?), but phrases leap out at me from many of his poems which seem to articulate some of the ideas I’m grappling with and trying to represent in my work – physical presence, process, thinking made visible, fragments, memory.
I have also been exploring the idea of artists’ books; the versatility of this medium seems to be a fitting way to capture both the fluid nature of what I want to express, and my ongoing obsession with writing by hand.
I’m still struggling to put into words exactly what is inside my head, and I don’t feel that my writing is doing my ideas much justice at the moment; but I’m hoping you’ll stay with me whilst I try and figure it out.
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.
From Burnt Norton – first of the Four Quartets by T S Eliot.