When I was a kid I really liked T. S. Eliot.
Partially this was because my mother really liked T. S. Eliot, and partially this was because my mother reviewed plays for a living and I’d seen “Cats” about 20 times by the time I was 15 and got really into the Eliot book “Cats” is based on, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.”
You already know I was hugely unpopular in high school, but I just keep piling on the reasons, as you can see.
Anyway, then in my senior year of high school I got crazy into Woolf, and Woolf was all palsy with Eliot, and so I liked Eliot more, and I’ve never stopped liking Eliot. (Except these days, when I no longer read books at all and think maybe I have no right to like any writers at all, since I’m apparently no longer a serious reader.)
When I moved to college I sent out little postcards to the 10 or so people I could stand in the world, letting them know my new address.
On the front I printed this, from “Four Quartets”:
We must be still and still moving
Into another intensity
For a further union, a deeper communion
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.