Despite having written a book on Eliot and time, I have to say that
escaping it is not the subject of all his poems. It is not, for example, the
subject of "Sweeney Among the Nightingales" as far as I can see. It is
one subject among many.
Date sent: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 19:55:57 -0500
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Nikolay Nikiforov <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Poems as 150 steps?
To: [log in to unmask]
CC> After you get "the meaning," what do you do with it?
CC> This is a serious question that I have been asking myself off and on
for CC> nearly 50 years -- and I'm not sure there is anything you can do
with CC> it. You get eternal bliss, and are saved from _time_. At least
this is the only thing poetry was invented for. Eliot says "only through
time time is conquered". _That_ is his private notion. Anyway, the subject
of all of his poems is escape from time (At my back from time to time I
hear... With a dead sound on stroke of nine... London, timekept city...
the infirm glory of the positive hour... paralysed force, gesture without
A l'alta fantasia qui manco possa;
ma gia volgeva il mio disio e 'l velle,
si come rota ch'igualmente e mossa,
l'amor che move il sole e l'altre stelle.