I think you're committing the biographical fallacy. Always looking first
to Eliot's life for what the poem means and not to the internal life of the
poem pretty much negates the poem.
>Sweeney's articulation of the progression is "Birth, and copulation, and
death", not "Birth, and reproduction, >and death", and I think the reader
is supposed to think about that.
Not to belabor it too much, but "birth" and "reproduction" in the same
series would seem somewhat redundant.
>I keep coming back to Eliot's Dante essay where he says, "the love of man
>and woman (or for that matter of man and man) is only explained and made
>reasonable by the higher love, or else is simply the coupling of animals."
>Again, no talk of reproduction, just copulation.
Again, the coupling of animals implies reproduction. He is trying to say
we are more than animals and (in Fragment) that when we think that's all
there is, we are reducing ourselves to a state unnatural for human beings.