The letter from Verdenal says "you and I" because it is quite clearly
referring to "we," which in this case is stated and not implied.
I do not see any reason for "poetic license" when there is absolutely no
grammatical reason to assert that "us" is the referent. That is why I call
this a circular argument.
But more later after I research this.
Date sent: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 23:33:43 EDT
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar (you and I)
To: [log in to unmask]
In a message dated 4/6/03 9:35:45 PM EST, [log in to unmask]
> The reasoning, I mean.
> And only the reasoning. Ditto to Steve and Rick.
> Do we assume that TSE made
> a mistake? Inquiring minds want to know...
I certainly don't think it's a "mistake", as TSE was a master of
I do think it's poetic license -- "Let us go then, you and I" sounds a lot
better than "Let us go then, you and me".
Actually, Ken, (and I think you'll want to kill me for this) as long as
the topic came up innocently, there is one other personal reason that I've
thought TSE may have had for phrasing the line like that. Here's a section
of a letter Jean Verdenal wrote to TSE (TSE Letters, page 32):
(translation) "My dear friend, we are not very far, you and I, from the
point beyond which people lose that indefinable influence and emotive
power over each other, which is reborn when they come together again. It
is not only time that causes forgetfulness -- distance (space) is an
I'm not saying that TSE is alluding to this exact letter from Verdenal.
Only seven letters from Verdenal to TSE have survived (and none from TSE
to Verdenal). But if Verdenal used phrasing like "you and I", that phrase
may be a private allusion to the friend that I think could be the "you" in
-- Steve --