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Remember this (extra points if you identify the author)?
In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth . . . .
Those of us who
suffered through endured tolerated studied Modern American Poetry in university might remember that stanza from The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot. What do I remember about that poem? (A) It frustrated and infuriated me because I couldn’t “get” most of it; (B) I frustrated and infuriated my professor by pointing out that “T. Eliot” backwards spells “toilet”; and (C) That darned first line. . . . in my beginning is my end? Really? I remember pondering (and pondering, and pondering): HOW can the beginning be the end? The beginning and end of WHAT? What does it all mean? Why is this guy famous? How will this poem ever have relevance to my “real life”. . . ??
Well, dear readers, I now have the answer to that last question, as that day has finally arrived. Why? Because today, I bring you the beginning. Except it’s the end–sort of.