I think, to make any sense of the relationship of the epigraph
to the poem, one has to decide who the opening "you" is, and maybe
even the opening "I". Is the "I" the same person throughout the poem?
Is the "you" never referred to again in the poem, except perhaps as
part of the collective "us" in the last line as they come out from
under the etherising effects of the yellow semen-smog that has
slept so peacefully.
Then there's the line from "Portrait of a Lady" something
like "you have the scene arrange itself, as it will seem to do."
Same "you" there?
Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
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From: Rickard A. Parker [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 5:28 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Reply to Rick: Sin and secrets
Jennifer Formichelli wrote:
> Well, not secrets exactly, but confession.
A confession that was expected never to reach anyone living.
It was to be a secret to us.
> This is not, I believe, Eliot's translation.
Probably not, but he could have left the quote in the Italian but
provided someone's translation. I don't think he bothered to say what
translation(s) he was using.
>> In the draft of Prufrock Eliot used the Purgatorio quotation as the
>> epigraph (see "Inventions of the March Hare," 39, 41).
> Yes, he did. He also expunged it.
For something that he rather have had us read. But yet the draft's
epigraph must have had some bearing on the poem.
> And I say again, it is not Eliot, but precisely what Eliot did not
> write, his epigraph, which leads you to these thoughts. Intriguing.
If it is intriguing that Eliot's epigraphs lead **me** to associate
the epigraphs with the feelings in the poem then what do you think
of all the literate, well-educated professionals writing countless
criticisms and interpretations that request/direct the readers to