An interesting debate, about which we can't really be sure.
McLuhan's "Possum and Midwife" suggests something of an academic
tension between E.'s original musical, contemplative quartet and
P.'s 5 part dramatic active piece. It suggests that the editing
really does go to the substance of the poem, and that it didn't
sit all that easily with Eliot who tried various ploys to readjust
the structure. The ultimate resolution was reached for E. in
THE FOUR QUARTETS.
From: Marcia Karp
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 1/12/03 2:17 PM
Subject: Re: Pound and The Waste Land
Rickard A. Parker wrote:
>So, to my way of thinking, there were two poems, the longer one Eliot
>wrote to exorcise his demons and the shorter one he got back from Pound
>to get published in some way. Because much of the longer poem was
>personal it didn't matter much to Eliot that it wouldn't be seen and
>the parts that Ezra deemed worthy were all that was needed.
Thanks Rick. I'm glad that you sent this analogy. I know now what you
mean by the relation of the personal to Pound. But it strikes no chord
of resemblance for me. (It isn't me or my friends I compare to Eliot,
but for instance, Wordsworth and his care [and revisions] or Auden or
David Ferry ... .) Eliot was a poet, which means to me that he wrote
poems, not primal verse. I don't know whether Timothy wrote the
following because he believes the final clause, but I think it true.
Most poets, I imagine, show their poems to friends, and the
decisions about the final form are still their own.
There are lots of things begun and abandoned by humans. Verse that is
not shaped and formed is not usually, according to my understanding, a
poem. Poetry is not sufficient for a poem. I can't believe the care
and precision Eliot took was only a matter of demon purging. I begin
with Eliot's full involvement with his work in any consideration of
Pound's part in it.
Well, now we understand each other better, I hope, which is a fine