Nancy Gish wrote:
> Published in Facsimile:
> Leaving the bubbling beverage to cool,
> Fresca slips softly to the needful stool,
> Where the pathetic tale of Richardson
> Eases her labour until the deed is done.
> . . .
> Fresca! in other time or place had been
> A meek and lowly weeping Magdalene;
> More sinned against than sinning, bruised of marred,
> The lazy laughing Jenny of the bard.
> (The same eternal and consuming itch
> Can make a martyr or plain simple bitch);
> Or prudent sly domestic puss puss cat,
> Or Autumn's favourite in a furnished flat,
> Or strolling slattern in a tawdry gown,
> A doorstep dunged by every dog in town.
> [It was Pound who removed this stuff from TWL.]
The elimination of "this stuff" (a good label for it) makes Pound nearly
co-author of the poem. Consider Pope's couplet, widely mocked, but even
after several revisions stubbornly (and rightly) maintaining the
contradiction in it:
Some, to whom Heav'n in Wit has been profuse,
Want as much more, to turn it to its use . . . .
Pound added the needed wit to turn Eliot's (pretty gross) wit to its
Has any critic ever speculated why Eliot chose "such stuff" for his
effort at producing heroic couplets?