Eliot: Will the Aged Eagle Stretch Its Wings?

I’m probably a bit harsh to say that the only good thing about Ash Wednesday is the following poem by British poet T. S. Eliot, but after reading the moving words, perhaps you’ll see why I love the poem so much. For all those who dare not stretch their wings in their aged sickness, who do not dare to turn again, may Eliot’s words be a balm and soothing reminder of the Word without a word.

Ash Wednesday

T.S. Eliot

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
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