This form, this face, this life
Living to live in a world of time beyond me; let me
Resign my life for this life, my speech for that unspoken,
The awakened, lips parted, the hope, the new ships. (Lines 29-32)
These lines contain T.S.Eliot’s faith in spiritual illumination in his poem Marina, one of his Ariel Poems. The poem is a monologue of the ancient Athenian hero Pericles, after the restoration of his long-lost daughter Marina to him. The much-delighted father visualizes a new and happy living with his newly restored daughter Marina. Eliot exploits this very situation to give out his own choice for a spiritual life in this passage.
Pericles is keen to have a new life in the company of his daughter Marina. He is ready to give up his known present life in order to enjoy this new life which may yet be unknown and uncertain to him. He aspires after what may seem now even vague, mysterious, beyond the range of his existing time and reality. What he seeks is to live with Marina, the very symbol of undying hope and perpetual happiness. Eliot actually asserts here his readiness to resign the carnal and material pleasures of his present temporal life to have the visionary, vaguely perceived happiness of the spiritual life that extends to the world infinite. The restoration of his faith in Christian piety has inspired in him, as in Pericles, after Marina’s restoration, an ecstatic sensibility in the revelation of a new life, far beyond the bounds of the finite world, which constitutes his earthly existence.
These words from the concluding part of the monologue echo distinctly the poet’s preference of the uncertain and unknown but blissful spiritual experience to the tangible, concrete, sordid material pleasures. Marina here symbolizes the Christian faith and stands for hope and salvation beyond the touch of earthly temptations and sins. The poet seems to have been inspirited and enthused, in the manner of Pericles, by the indistinct even indefinite vision of a new spiritual life, a new hope of salvation, and a new ship for the transportation to the realm beyond.