(10-24-2013, 02:33 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  
(10-23-2013, 10:28 AM)milo Wrote:  
(10-23-2013, 10:22 AM)abu nuwas Wrote:  I come and go over Eliot, mainly, I go. He is held to be such a towering figure in 20th century poetry, and perhaps that's so. And terribly deep. Hmmm....

I am now wondering if that is what he wanted to be, but really didn't succeed, whereas he was good at the odd pithy, if not overly complicated, line or phrase. The bang and the whimper is memorable, but could have been slipped into a thousand poems. April being the cruellest month is somehow touching. Or Prufrock:

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

What do you think? Did he succeed in his ground-breaking attempts? Or were his one-liners his best shot?

(The coffee-spoons resonates with me, btw) Smile
I think T. S. accomplished both. He was definitely a master of the "line" and you could easily cite 100 lines that by themselves would have carried him into memorability. Perhaps it is his "mastery of the hook" that made him so popular to the masses, far more popular than more accessible poets.

But he left gold there for the poetry snobs to dig up as well. Certainly he was unsurpassed in the use of allusion. his symbolism was top notch. He was a master of meter, creating his own "eliot"-esque voice that has resonated through free and metric verse for decades.

wait, what was the question again?

"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
You are much more knowledgeable than me, I'm sure.

I find it off-putting, that he felt the need to leave some notes, which although plainly not comprehensive, are still voluminous. There is no likelihood of anyone, apart from himself, having picked up the references to references to references, and so in that way, I find that much is no more than mumbo jumbo. Having said which, if he were writing chiefly for himself, then it leaps out of the mumbo jumbo category, since he, at least, knew, while he was writing anyway, what all this was for. For me, he chose to communicate in the most obscure way possible, yet, as you say, was not short of memorable lines. Perhaps he was a good minor poet, who suffered from the attractions of modernity's cutting-edge.

What was your comment?

It is true that some of his stuff really takes a lot to get everything out of. I remember reading somewhere that the voluminous notes for "The Wasteland" were required by the publisher in order to make it a book length project and justify the enormous sum Eliot was demanding for it. From what I remember, Eliot deliberately included a number of red herrings as protest.

Still, i think most of his work can be enjoyed on the surface level without understanding all of the nuances or the tangle of references you would need. Also, it makes re-reading really worthwhile as you can try to glean that one new vantage each time.

Messages In This Thread
Stearns - by abu nuwas - 10-23-2013, 10:22 AM
RE: Stearns - by milo - 10-23-2013, 10:28 AM
RE: Stearns - by abu nuwas - 10-24-2013, 02:33 AM
RE: Stearns - by milo - 10-24-2013, 05:48 AM
RE: Stearns - by abu nuwas - 10-24-2013, 07:28 AM
RE: Stearns - by milo - 10-24-2013, 07:57 AM
RE: Stearns - by rayheinrich - 10-24-2013, 12:36 PM
RE: Stearns - by milo - 10-24-2013, 01:38 PM
RE: Stearns - by rayheinrich - 10-26-2013, 04:00 AM
RE: Stearns - by milo - 10-26-2013, 04:05 AM
RE: Stearns - by rayheinrich - 11-01-2013, 09:34 PM
RE: Stearns - by abu nuwas - 10-26-2013, 09:53 AM
RE: Stearns - by rayheinrich - 10-23-2013, 11:48 AM
RE: Stearns - by billy - 10-24-2013, 12:46 PM

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