Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> What is a poem's 'poetic self' (as opposed say to its unpoetic, or
> prosaic self?)? I'm not sure poems have 'selves'.
I beg to get out of this. I was reusing Rick seddon's words thinking
that I understood them. If I write about the meaning of them I will
embarass myself and have to seek out Rick's rock to hide under.
> For a brilliant biographical reading of TWL, see William Empson, 'Using
> Whether or not Eliot was 'wounded' and whatever writing TWL did for him,
> doesn't seem to me to matter to the poem at all.
I guess it depends on the reading.
> It is not generally helpful, as Eliot recognized, to consider the poet
> over his poems,
How would you consider that statement if Eliot told you that the poem
was personal? I would then consider the poet. But of course this then
becomes the exception to "generally helpful."
> or to read things into the poems rather than teasing things out of them.
I find the reading of TWL a process where you see things in the poem,
make a hypothesis as to what is going on, see more things supporting it
and others not, redefining the meaning and on and on. Or perhaps you
make the hypothesis first due to reading someone else's thoughts. It
ends up being recycled over and over.
> And at least if you do so, you must realize that that is what you are
> doing (and that isn't literary, but another kind of criticism).
I try to be careful not to say that because I see things in a certain
way then Eliot did too (or even to think than he intended them to be
read that way.) I prefer a biographical reading to TWL but I don't call
it a biography.