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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

T.S. Eliot—Ash Wednesday

By James T. Majewski ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 01, 2022 | In Catholic Culture Audiobooks (Podcast)

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“If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the center of the silent Word.”

Written in 1930, Ash Wednesday is a six-part “conversion poem” written by Eliot after his own conversion to Anglicanism. With references ranging from Dante to Shakespeare to the Bible, Ash Wednesday is a moving poem of theological and philosophical depth that speaks to both the struggles and the consolations of spiritual growth.

Links

Ash Wednesday full text: https://www.best-poems.net/t_s_eliot/ash_wednesday.html

T.S. Eliot’s own reading of the poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEUlzDTGd44

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Theme music: 2 Part Invention, composed by Mark Christopher Brandt, performed by Thomas Mirus. ©️2019 Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. All rights reserved.

James T. Majewski is Director of Customer Relations for CatholicCulture.org, the host and “voice” of Catholic Culture Audiobooks, and co-host of Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. A film and voice actor based in New York City, he holds a BA in Philosophy and an MFA in Acting. See full bio.

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