Twenty Years

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So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years-
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres-
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate – but there is no competition –
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

The Four Quartets  T.S. Eliot

 looking_back

Looking Back, 2015

acrylic on canvas,  20″x16″

If you know the (ex)duo The Civil Wars you might recognize the subject. The painting was inspired by their album cover for Barton Hollow and the song Twenty Years.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

The Four Quartets  T.S. Eliot

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2 thoughts on “Twenty Years

    LeAnn said:
    March 17, 2015 at 12:10 am

    Wow, I love this painting! It conveys well the bittersweetness of the poem. Thanks for sharing!

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