Meditating Four Quartets: Burnt Norton (IV)

Eclectic Orthodoxy

Fourth Movement

Time and the bell have buried the day,
The black cloud carries the sun away.
Will the sunflower turn to us, will the clematis
Stray down, bend to us; tendril and spray
Clutch and cling?
Chill
Fingers of yew be curled
Down on us? After the kingfisher’s wing
Has answered light to light, and is silent, the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.

Dusk. Vespers has rung. Evening is deepening. The poet wonders whether the sunflowers and clematis will now turn to human beings for light and warmth. But suddenly the lyric turns frightening. The flora begins to grasp him, to clutch at him and cling to him. Any number of horror movies come to mind. Nature seeks out life in order to survive. In the darkness humanity becomes food for the dying world.

We are in a church graveyard. British graveyards, so…

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