“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase
And sentence that is right (where every word is at home,
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together)
Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.”
From Little Gidding by T. S. Eliot
Who Is That Woman?
Who is that woman peering back at me
in those copper pots? Hair the color of oysters,
rays of wrinkles, scattering from two eyes, sallow suns;
neck, a swag of drapery folds?
Scrub, rub, rub those copper pots.
Scour grime, griseous green to the glow.
Who is that woman reflected in those copper pots,
scowling back at me? Shrinking, small hands,
sunspots sprinkled over thin blue veins.
Not the beauty I once knew, auburn, knock-out queen.
Scrub, shine that copper. Who can she be?
The more I rub, the clearer she comes to me.