For most of us, there is only the unattended
Moment, the moment in and out of time,
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight,
The wild thyme unseen, or the winter lightning
Or the waterfall, or music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
T. S. Eliot, ‘The Dry Salvages’, Four Quartets
Last Sunday, 4th January, marked the 50th anniversary of T. S. Eliot’s death. Kathleen and I have produced a little film about Eliot’s time as a resident of Compayne Gardens, West Hampstead during the First World War. It touches tangentially on the life of Mina Loy, the woman known as the ‘forgotten Modernist’, who grew up in Compayne Gardens.
The film also features a portrait of Eliot and some Eliotesque London street scenes by yet another former resident of West Hampstead, photographer Bill Brandt, an important social documentarian of twentieth-century British life.