Liz Kniss: A favorite poem

The Hollow Men
T.S. Eliot

This is a culminating work of Eliot’s.  Given the challenges that face us today—limited resources, environmental concerns, and world eventsI think this poem, while somewhat dark, brings the reader into a thought provoking place. I begin here with part V.  The most famous part of this poem is the ending.

Supervisor Liz Kniss, District 5
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors


The Hollow Men

 V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
 
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
                                Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
                                For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the
 
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

T.S. Eliot
excerpt from
The Hollow Men” 1925

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