In T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets an attempt is made to investigate—often in a discursive manner—notions of time, language, and the divine. Yet the poet is hindered by certain limitations: words—as a primary vehicle of expression—collapse under the pressure, frequently sabotaging attempts at true articulation as detailed in the poem's opening quartet, Burnt Norton: “Words strain, / Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, / Under the tension. . .” (V: 149–51). Consequently, the medium of language itself frames an apparent contradiction throughout the Quartets: how a contrived system can represent notions intrinsically elusive and ephemeral. This conundrum inculcates all four of the poems, making them in some ways the ironic frame of their own reference. Despite this inherent dilemma, Eliot recognized that harnessing certain imagery—both animate and inanimate—and exploiting it for its numinous qualities was indispensable to achieving his aesthetic and thematic aims. Such imagery included elements taken from the natural world which pointed beyond their own outward forms to some ideal form that lay behind them. It was an approach motivated in part by what Frye describes as the poet's concern with Heraclitean logos zynos—or a “common logos”—and had as its aim the participation of man in the divine. To achieve such ends, Eliot relied on bird calls, echoes, bones, bells, and other seemingly prosaic phenomena and transformed them into conduits by which revelations might occur. That is, certain central images the poet adopts in Four Quartets—though not endowed with the capacity for human language—are nevertheless engendered with communicativeness of a uniquely numinous kind. Aligned with this notion was Eliot's belief that the way to commune with the past and with the divine was through ritual; by employing common natural objects and investing each with sacramental significance, the poet was able to evoke a temporal link with the ineffable world. It was also a means of reconciling what he perceived as the disjuncture with conventional language. By grounding the effort in an approach reminiscent of sacred Christian ritual and aesthetically portraying a new mode of communication consistent with transformative ceremony, Eliot aimed at the restoration of a past community of values. This highly distinct mode of communing came to represent its own unique type of langue, carrying forward thematic concerns while at the same time detailing a stylistic approach to poetic composition not prevalent in Eliot's earlier work.