On "The Journey of the Magi"
of the poem i and it establishes the symbolic as well as the natural aspect of the journey. On the natural level, the journey is one from death to life, from "The very . Summary of Stanza 3 of the poem Journey of the Magi. One can be "led to one's death," and it is now plausible (though, given the life spans of people at that . period, "Journey of the Magi" is the one whose themes and between oral and written traditions and the link between faith presents "an emblematic life of Christ in minia- ture. .. the Magus appears to wish Christ's death (which may have.
The poem examines the implications that the advent of Christ had for the other religions of the time, chiefly the Zoroastrianism of the Magi themselves.
By lunchtime, the poem, and the half-bottle of gin, were both finished. This foreign and alien quality is obviously related to what the poem is about: The speaker, one of the Magi, talks about the difficulties encountered by the Magi during the course of their journey to see the infant Christ.
It is unconventional to focus on the details of the journey: Eventually, the Magi arrive at the place where the infant Christ is to be found. Was it the birth of a new world Christianity or the death of an old one i. Second, the actual nativity scene itself is elided from the narrative: Jesus himself is absent from the poem. Is this because this part of the story is familiar to us, but the Magi themselves are not — or specifically, how the Magi would have felt about seeing their deeply-held beliefs cast into doubt by this new Messiah?
Yet surely one way to convince us of the impact of this new-born deity on the lives of these Persian astrologers would have been to show us how they reacted when faced with the baby Christ. Only when dead will you feel satisfaction and see enlightenment. To conclude, the poem Journey of the Magi touches on the journey of human spirit and their endeavor for perfection.
It delivers a message that we are all involved in the process of perfection of self one can only reach this place of utter satisfaction through death.
There and back with a difference: T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi
Eliot's Struggle and Conversion: Eliot was born on September 26,in St. Louis, Missouri, with a congenital hernia which kept him quiet as a child and out of school until he was seven or eight years old. Eliot remembers these years and the years that he attended Smith Academy and then Milton Academy in New England as happy times.
After this, Eliot concentrated on philosophy, especially Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, as a student at Harvard University in order to know the truth not only of the age but of life as a whole Pinion But by the end ofVivienne took ill, an event that was the beginning of health problems for both of them Pinion In the early years of his first marriage, Eliot would visit churches to admire their beauty; in later years, he visited them for the sake of peace, contemplation, and spiritual refreshment Pinion Ambition seemed to deepen his sense of marital guilt and, inwhile visiting Rome with his brother and sister-in-law, Eliot surprised everyone by kneeling before Michelango's "Pieta.
According to Peter Ackroyd, Eliot had a sense of tradition and an instinct for order within himself and found the church and faith gave him this security within a life of frustrations and struggles Eliot's faith continued to grow and on June 29,he was baptized in the Anglican-Catholic church. This great event in Eliot's life was done privately and behind closed doors.
On the next day Eliot was confirmed by the Bishop Ackroyd Caroline Behr suggests that this poem reflects Eliot's state of mind in transition between his old and new faiths As Lyndall Gordon suggests, "Journey of the Magi" is one part of Eliot's conversion story in that it tells about his being "ill-at-ease in the 'old dispensation' after his conversion" It has been reported that Vivienne was against his conversion and this added to their marital problems Sharpe InEliot separated from Vivienne and then, inwhile working for Faber and Faber, Eliot met Valerie Fletcher, whom he would later marry.
After hearing a recording of "Journey of the Magi," Fletcher had been drawn to Eliot and knew she had to get to know him Ackroyd From to his death on January 4,Eliot's life with Valerie Fletcher was happy and peaceful. According to Ackroyd, "Thomas Stearns Eliot, in his last years, declared that there had been only two periods of his life when he had been happy--during his childhood, and during his second marriage" Eliot's baptism and writing of "Journey of the Magi" come in between these periods of happiness during times of struggle and uncertainty.
Eliot's "Journey of The Magi" with anchors for the primary symbols and images James Dixon 'A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter. There were times we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling And running away, and wanting their liquor and women, And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night, Sleeping in snatches, With the voices singing in our ears, saying That this was all folly. Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valleyWet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation; With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darknessAnd three trees on the low sky, And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow. Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel, Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver, And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon Finding the place; it was you may say satisfactory. There was a Birth, certainly, We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death, But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms, But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensationWith an alien people clutching their gods. I should be glad of another death. The first five lines were "lifted from Lancelot Andrewes's Nativity Sermon ofand modified"; Eliot happened to be himself steeped in Andrewes at the time. They must be understood as being read by, or to, the magus and thereby occasioning his own flow of memory" Barbour According to Dean, these are "all places which remind the travellers, by their violent contrast, of the place of contentment they have deserted" "Confrontation with Christianity" Traveling through these forboding places, "Eliot's Magus hastens to end an unpleasant journey; what he 'regretted' is the vanishing of 'the silken girls bringing sherbet'" Harris Dean points out that the early morning descent into a "temperate valley" evokes three significant Christian events: Wohlpart adds that the Magi's dawn arrival is "symbolic of the new life attained from their penance" Dean notes Elizabeth Drew's view that "'beating the darkness' can refer to the triumph and victory of Christ, a conquering that could occur in the events of Christ's earthly life, or in His resurrection, or in His return in glory at the end of time" Quoted in Dean, "Confrontation with Christianity" To Dean, the image of the three trees "seems clearly to be a reference to the crosses of Calvary" "Confrontation with Christianity" Barbour writes, "It is appropriate that his [the Magus'] language.
Dean refers to Robert Kaplan and Richard Wall's suggestion that "the white horse is 'perhaps a reference to the militaristic and conquering Christ of Revelation. Dean also quotes Kaplan and Wall's speculation that the horse is symbolic of the "death of paganism under the onslaught of Christianity," and notes Nancy Hargrove's suggestion that "the horse's 'being old.
Brown writes that "the obvious meaning [of the word "satisfactory"] is 'expiatory,' payment for a debt or sin" Barbour, however, sees a more complex connotation: The key word is the ambiguous 'satisfactory,' emphasized by rhythm and position, which for us, though not the magus, evokes the Thirty Nine Articles, expiation, and the Atonement" Burgess sees the word "satisfactory" as evidence that "every condition of prophecy was met, leaving the alienated magus.T S ELIOT The Waste Land Poem Part IA The Burial of the dead: Critical Summary
Dean quotes Geneviene Foster's comment that "The birth of the new era involves the destruction of the old" "Confrontation with Christianity" Barbour writes that "The Birth he [the magus] saw began the death of his old world, old life, but did not, with the same certainty, give him anything new"; the magus is therefore "alienated from everything 'in the old dispensation'" Nature and Conversion Imagery in T. Eliot's "Journey of the Magi": Finley Criticism of T. Eliot's "Journey of the Magi" suggests that the images of nature and conversion are representative of the ambiguity of the world.
The images of nature are at times beautiful--as in the "fertile valleys" and "running streams"--but are also ominous and dark in other portions of the poem. Images of conversion are also both positive and negative, as they are intended to convey a sense of hope and uncertainty--just as conversion had left an enigmatic feeling in Eliot's own life.
Sean Lucy, in T. Eliot and the Idea of Tradition, suggests that "Journey of the Magi" is a poem about the unclear nature of conversion. They are purgatorial poems. Nothing is black and white; even the glory of the birth of Christ may have negative consequences to some people: The Magi don't feel any of that "high joy" because their comfortable place in the world has been changed and they no longer feel at peace.
Leonard Unger discusses "Journey of the Magi" in detail twice in his book T. Moments and Patterns, both times in reference to the nature and conversion imagery. In the first instance, Unger compares both Eliot's and Conrad's use of the word "regret.
The Magi miss the "old dispensation" in which they were at ease before the birth of Christ. Unger also points out that "Images of smell in Eliot's later poetry.
He concludes that the smells of nature are important in all of Eliot's work and represent "the deepest and most intense kind of awareness" In "Journey of the Magi" this awareness is of the vague nature of the world and the knowledge that conversion will be painful as well as rewarding.
Martin Scofield, in T. The Poems, makes note of the fact that the three Ariel Poems, which includes "Journey of the Magi," should be read in the context of Eliot's baptism and confirmation.
There and back with a difference: T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi
This poem is an attempt to describe, poetically, what this experience means: Eliot clearly chose the magus as a persona because he represented the experience of being caught "between two worlds", of having had an intimation of faith but now being left "No longer at ease here, in the old dispensation"--the experience of conversion without the full benefit of assured faith.
According to Elizabeth Drew in T. Her analysis of the conversion imagery is typified by statements like "a bewildering sense of paradox" and "great weariness and disillusionment" These are not images of a joyous experience or conversion. They reflect the indefinite nature of a world in which positives and negatives often coalesce.
Drew also discusses the inexactness of the nature imagery.