IN MY END is my beginning. I do not know what follows that. The phrase—In my end is my beginning— is a beautiful one and I did not write it. In my end is my beginning is a version of a phrase in a poem. The poem begins, In my beginning is my end. It is titled “East Coker” and was written by Thomas Stearns Eliot in 1943.

For many years I would quote passages from this poem. I always began my recitation In my end is my beginning, believing I was correct. I was not. Now, having looked “East Coker” over again, I believe I understand why such an error was made: I do not prefer the exact memory of anything. Do you know what I mean? To recall something exactly as it was: it is possible, but not for me. In precise remembrance one does not find what is compelling about memory: the ever shifting space of interpretation around it. I had read Eliot’s lines in the way life had made them true for me. My

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