“When Mary Maudlen fractured the alabaster of nard over the feet of the hero of the Christian cult, the Sir Modred at the dinner-party asked: To what purpose is this waste? But the cult-hero himself said: Let her alone. What she does is for a pre-signification of my death, and wherever my saga is sung in the whole universal world, this sign-making of hers shall be sung also, for a memorial of her. A totally inutile act, but a two-fold anamnesis (that is, a double and efffectual re-calling). First of the hero Himself and then of the mistress of all contemplatives and the tutelary figure of all that belongs to poiesis. The woman from Magdala in her golden hair, wasting her own time and the party funds: an embarrassment if not a scandal. But an act which is of the very essence of all poetry and, by the same token, of any religion worth consideration.”
David Jones, “Use and Sign,” in The Dying Gaul and Other Writings, London: Faber & Faber, 1978, p. 183.