I am working on a paper on this, and it is not about "influence." It is about
the way his own life was far more directly engaged in it and how it then
has an impact on the poem.
I will be giving it at MSA in October, so it is in very initial stages.
Date sent: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 18:19:22 +0200
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: frank kretschmer <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: OT Re: Towers and Dust - On Topic: ELiot and WWI
To: [log in to unmask]
>I spent much of the
>summer reading about WWI because I believe Eliot was much more
>immediately and directly affected by it and his poetry more focused on it
>than has been usually discussed.
Studying WWI poetry as well as WWI rhetoric provides an impressive
of how easily people are seduced by what is commonly regarded as
measures", most notably by means of metaphorical comparison. I spent
of my summer holidays studying speeches by Lloyd George and other
political and religious leaders, and found that to a great extend, they
used poetry and poetic means as an effective feature in their propaganda;
using basically metaphorical notions to justify their joining the war that
could otherwise hardly be justified. I would (very roughly put) argue,
that being thus misused, poetics changed dramatically after WWI, and that
especially Pound or Cummings sought for a new poetic expression after the
war _expressive verbis_ due to this misuse. (Pound i.e. in Mauberley). I
do not see such a clear influence on Eliot though, although there are may
echoes of the war in TWL. I must admit, however, , that I limited my
studies on WWI poetry to poems written during and shortly after the war,
ending with Mauberley, and did not want to undertake the study of Eliot's
later poems in this respect.
During war time, apart from one or two poems published in the
"Inventions", and some articles, Eliot staid mostly silent regard to the
war. To me, his 1943 poem "note on War poetry" is a justification for this
poetic silence, as well as a reconsideration of what war poetry had
achieved and what the relationship of war and poetry should be.
But then again, as I have said, I have not looked into the matter very
deeply, being mainly concerned with British War propaganda at the moment.
Where would you see the influence on Eliot's Poetry?
>What horrified me was the way current
>rhetoric from the White House is the same as the absurdly cheerful belief
>that the War would be quick (over by Christmas) and easy and glorious.
Would be an interesting study what metaphors Bush uses to justify his war.
Without looking, I am that sure he uses them. Some things never change.
Oh, and Gunnar:
>save your fury for a better purpose and ignore her stupid diatribe, ok?
I wasen't that furious. But somehow I did not feel like ignoring the mail.