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TSE  January 2002

TSE January 2002

Subject:

Re: The poetry's the thing

From:

"Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 12 Jan 2002 01:13:26 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (124 lines)

Well said or ill (a matter of interpretation), the conclusion does not follow 
from the premise.  Intention does not entail deserving.  No doubt Dylan 
Thomas did not intend to be remembered as a drunk or D.H. Lawrence as a 
misogynist or Pound as a Fascist, but, alas, Thomas drank and Lawrence 
railed against women, and Pound broadcast for Mussolini.  They also all 
wrote brilliant poems, but their lives also remain.  Poetry is not outside of 
life and culture in some realm of aesthetic transcendence.  And Eliot did 
not claim it did either.  In later life he said many, many times that he wrote 
out of a need to get something off his chest.  It is not at all clear what this 
simple dichotomy is supposed to achieve or demonstrate, but frankly, I 
think it diminishes poetry and poets.

Re:  epitaphs

The Eemis Stane
 
I' the how-dumb-deid o' the cauld hairst nicht
The warl' like an eemis stane
Wags i' the lift;
An my eerie memories fa'
Like a yowdendrift.

Like a yowdendrift so's I couldna read
The words cut oot i' the stane
Had the fug o' fame
An' history's hazelraw
No' yirdit thaim.
		-----Hugh MacDiarmid

eemis--unsteady; how-dumb-deid--hollow-dumb-dead; cauld hairst nicht--
cold harvest night; yowdendrift--blizzard; fug--moss; hazelraw--lichen; yirdit--
buried; thaim--them


Nancy


Date sent:      	Fri, 11 Jan 2002 20:38:19 -0800
Send reply to:  	[log in to unmask]
From:           	"Ron Houssaye" <[log in to unmask]>
To:             	<[log in to unmask]>
Subject:        	The poetry's the thing

I wish to enter this quote from the thoughtful piece by Michael R.
Stevens, "The Bones in Mr. Eliot's Closet," from Christianity Today,
referenced by Rick.

>When I teach Eliot to my students, I like to finish by mulling over a
>line from the final section of "Little Gidding," the last of the Quartets
>and practically the final lyric poetry of his career: "Every poem is an
>epitaph." Usually the students get it: for the artist, the art is the
>intended legacy, the definitive statement to the world. If this is so,
>then Eliot deserves to be remembered not for what he may have hidden and
>obscured, but rather for what he certainly gave and revealed.

Well said, Herr Professor Stevens.

Ron Houssaye




----- Original Message -----
From: Rickard A Parker <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: Anglo-something-or-other


> Rick Parker wrote:
>
> > Seriously though, I've seen something written where Eliot got this by
> > modifying something said by Charles Maurras.  Can anyone supply the
> > Maurras quote?
>
>
> I thought of a new way to search and this might help.
>
> http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2000/006/10.36.html
>     Michael R. Stevens
>     The Bones in Mr. Eliot's Closet
>     Rediscovering the patron saint of all the flawed and haunted seekers
>     of modernity.
>
>
>     Kenneth Asher comes closer to pinning down these socio-political
>     concerns in his book T.S. Eliot and Ideology. Asher sees Eliot's
>     early attraction to the proto-Fascist ideas of Charles Maurras and
>     his organization L'Action Franšaise, as the enduring and dominant
>     feature in Eliot's development, spiritual and otherwise. Indeed, it
>     is no accident that Eliot's famous pronouncement in the preface to
>     For Lancelot Andrewes is an echo of an early manifesto from the
>     newspaper of L'Action Franšaise, published around the turn of the
>     century (a formula that included the necessity of anti-Semitism in
>     the mix). Eliot had also made a very public defense of Maurras, in
>     the pages of The Criterion, when the Frenchman was condemned by the
>     Vatican in 1926 for espousing and promulgating a form of Catholicism
>     which valued the Church's political function while denying Christ.
>
>
> BTW, the essay ends with:
>
>     We are left finally with a sense of Eliot's importance, not as a
>     model political theorist nor humanitarian nor chaste and ethereal
>     thinker nor even congenial neighbor; he seems to have been flawed in
>     every category. But his flaws, or rather his recognition and
>     expression of the flaws of human existence, made for beautiful and
>     meaningful poetry.
>
>      When I teach Eliot to my students, I like to finish by mulling
>     over a line from the final section of "Little Gidding," the last of
>     the Quartets and practically the final lyric poetry of his career:
>     "Every poem is an epitaph." Usually the students get it: for the
>     artist, the art is the intended legacy, the definitive statement to
>     the world. If this is so, then Eliot deserves to be remembered not
>     for what he may have hidden and obscured, but rather for what he
>     certainly gave and revealed.
>
>
> Regards,
>     Rick Parker
>
>

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