The Hollow Men

1925

Mistah Kurtz- he dead.

The Hollow Men

A penny for the Old Guy
 
I
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
5
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
10
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
15
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
II
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
20
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
25
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom 
30
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
35
No nearer -
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom
III
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
40
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this 
45
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
50
Form prayers to broken stone.
IV
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
55
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river 
60
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
65
The hope only
Of empty men.
V
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
70
At five o'clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
75
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
80
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
85
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
90
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
95
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

 

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