Morning at the Window
byT S Eliot
They are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,
And along the trampled edges of the street
I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids
Sprouting despondently at area gates.
The brown waves of fog toss up to me
Twisted faces from the bottom of the street,
And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts
An aimless smile that hovers in the air
And vanishes along the level of the roofs.
It’s ‘depressing’ in the sense that it has no explicit positive message to put forth. Yet, the poem, as all laments are, is a cry for something lost. This world–a very modern world–he describes is one where time has become oppressive, dishes are done in stacks. Streets are trampled rather than trodden; they are used not traveled. Life for housemaids is despair and meaninglessness; they sprout despondently. People are noticed rather than known; he is aware of these maids and nameless passer-byers. And cheer, meaning, and prayers, where they exist, never get beyond the level of the roofs; we have shut out God. May God grant us the grace to embody faith, hope, and love in this world.