John Farrell to recite T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ at Belfast Free Library
BELFAST — John Farrell, principal in Maine's groundbreaking Figures of Speech Theatre, recites from memory Four Quartets, a suite of poems often considered T.S. Eliot's greatest, on Tuesday July 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street.
The performance, which is part of Figures of Speech Theatre's 2018 Maine Library Tour, is free and open to all. An informal conversation with John Farrell will follow. For more information, please call the library at (207) 338-3884 ext.10
First undertaken in 2011 with permission — rarely granted — from Eliot's estate, Farrell's recitation of Four Quartets affords audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in 1,000 lines of poetry exploring humankind's relationship with time and with experience itself.
Eliot completed Four Quartets in 1941, as Britain slid into the abyss of World War II, and he feared that civilization itself might perish in the coming years. Writing at the height of his artistic powers, Eliot packed into the suite of poems a summation of his views on poetry and art, on mystical experience, and on the never-ceasing search for the divine.
"Unlike encountering the poems in a book," Farrell says, "hearing them recited out loud gives people a chance to absorb a complex and nuanced work in a very direct way. At the same time, I bring an actor's sensibility to the text and a commitment to delivering the poems in a way that allows the poetry to speak for itself."
The tour of Four Quartets is generously supported by the Maine Theater Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, in addition to an Arts & Humanities grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
More information about Figures of Speech Theatre, a Freeport-based theater company founded in 1982, is available on their website www.figures.org.