Ash Wednesday the Poem by T.S. Eliot

Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent is tomorrow and I came across this poem by T.S. Eliot called “Ash-Wednesday”, which is the first long poem written by T. S. Eliot after his conversion to Anglicanism (or the Church of England) in 1927. The entire poem was a big long for one blog post so I have made it available here in a pdf: Ash-Wednesday by T.S. Eliot if you want to read the entire poem. The full text can also be found at this website. I love how it ends:

A Poem

Teach us to care and not to care
 Teach us to sit still
 Even among these rocks,
 Our peace in His will
 And even among these rocks
 Sister, mother
 And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,
 Suffer me not to be separated

And let my cry come unto Thee.

This is an interesting poem by T.S. Eliot. It straddles the line between secular and Christian poetry but opens the door for his later “Christian” poems. He shows the need for God, his lack of hope for everything in the world, and how “unworthy” we are when we come to God in our natural sinful state. A background reading of the book of Ezekiel would be a good idea prior to reading “Ash-Wednesday” as some who have analysed the poem far more than I have said it helps in a more full understanding of the poem.

I would love to hear how you or your church is observing Ash Wednesday and Lent this year. I’m looking forward to this time of reflection myself.

🟢 Cat:

3 responses to “Ash Wednesday the Poem by T.S. Eliot”

  1.  Avatar

    I am not positive where you are getting your information, however good topic. I needs to spend some time finding out much more or figuring out more. Thank you for great information I used to be in search of this information for my mission.

  2. Brian Avatar

    Both thoughtful & beautiful. Thanks for bringing this poem to our attention

  3. whisperingleavesblog Avatar

    Thank you for the PDF.

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