August 29, 2014

Renewing Christendom: T.S. Eliot – The Journey of the Magi [AUDIO]


Below is a rare recording taken from a live interview T.S. Eliot did for the BBC during World War II. Eliot reads his poem "The Journey of Magi" where the sojourner retraces the steps of the Magi in his own time and place. The poem recalls a time when the knowledge of Christ was more widespread than it is today, and those who have come to the Orthodox faith and grasped the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that rests at its center, like a babe lying in the manger, will understand its penetration into the symbolic, and thus sacred, dimensions of every day existence. I have included both the poem and a literary analysis alongside it that was written in 1956. We might quibble with the critic's exaggerated sense of existential despair when he asserts that the new birth brings no new hope or clarified vision (the latter apparent in the last line), but overall it's a fair-minded reading. Much literary criticism, like much historiography, was better before ideology captured the minds of … [Read more...]