"Earls, JP" wrote:
> BN II attempts to distinguish between two mystical experiences, one of light (erhebung) and one of darkness. Eliot attempts to demonstrate in the course of FQ how both the tormenting and the exalting experiences can be brought together into the eternity of the same individual. This individual is Eliot, and the experiences are his, not those of some depersonalized humanity. His loves have put him into touch with both torment and exaltation, as have his career and family relationships. At the end of LG, both the "rose" and the "tongues of flame" are brought together in the "crowned knot of fire."
> I know that associating each of these flowers with a particular individual is a radical departure from FQ scholarship, but I think it's a fruitful avenue to explore.
Dear J. P.,
I'm not responding based on any scholarship, my own or others. Truth is I don't read Eliot scholarship, save from members of this list. I never have doubted that Eliot, like all poets, can write only about what they know. But I don't see how the poem asks the reader to place a name on the objects you've mentioned. If you are trying to understand what went on inside Eliot, that's of no concern to me, but I won't interfer with the discussion. But if you are saying that readers should think of Emily Hale, for instance, when reading "Royal Rose," I don't understand.
So, perhaps I'm asking what sort of tree it is we are eating from.