[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
5 December 1935
Dear Love, dearest Emily,

I am writing this little note just before leaving for Liverpool Street, and wonder whether it will be anything of a surprise or not. I hope not, because you might expect to be greeted on your return to London, even if I am not at home on the previous evening. Yesterday was a very happy day for me, and will be one of those most clearly remembered even to the back room of the Fuller’s shop in Walbrook, and the cart-horse in Queen Victoria Street. However much I want to change my position, I wouldn’t change it with anyone else. No one but me has ever had or ever will have that yesterday, and however wretched I may feel, I shall always feel very very proud: And I want you to know that my admiration of you grows all the time and also my gratitude, because I know that no other woman in the world could have done for me what you have, even if there had ever been any other who had wanted to. Till the morning, and I shall have been thinking of you at the end of the evening, as if it was yesterday evening; and tomorrow morning when I wake, as always, before I think of anything else.


TimeBurnt Nortonopening sent to EH;a4 present and time past

Are both perhaps present in time future.

Time future contained in the past.

If all time is eternally present,

All time is unredeemable.

What might have been is an abstraction

Remaining a perpetual possibility

Only in a world of speculation.

What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

Footfalls echo in the memory

Down the passage which we did not take

Towards the door we never opened

Into the rose-garden. My words echo

Thus, in your mind.

————————But to what purpose

Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves

I do not know.1

1.Opening lines of Burnt Norton, though not identical to the published version.

Burnt Norton, its Kensington origins, the moment in the rose-garden, opening sent to EH, TSE too moved to write, its composition a form of communion with EH, epigraphs from Heraclitus, 'our' first poem, as 'quartet', all but final lines please TSE, obscurity of, 'Garlic and sapphires' explained, 'about' EH, TSE forced into after-dinner reading of, TSE closes Edinburgh reading with, reprinted in shilling form, as 'Cotswolds poem', sales, most difficult quartet to record, and Alice in Wonderland,