Wisdom, knowledge, and information

“The Eagle soars in the summit of Heaven,
The Hunter with his dogs pursues his circuit.
O perpetual revolution of configured stars,
O perpetual recurrence of determined seasons,
O world of spring and autumn, birth and dying!
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust.”

T.S. Eliot, “Choruses from the ‘The Rock’ ” in The Complete Poems and Plays (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1971), 96.

T.S. Eliot wrote fascinating poetry in the 20th century.  Although he was born in St Louis, Missouri, he became a British citizen in 1927 and was a devout Anglican.  He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948.  He wrote “Choruses from the Rock” in 1934.

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