Eliot's claim to a unified poem belies what he wrote in bits and
pieces before, in my opinion. I am aware of what he said, but he
was "composing"; it was not written as one poem in the way the
fifth section was. My point is that I am not basing my reading on
his claims. Also, if you are interested in what structures are there,
that was a "or the" major focus of most of the early critical studies.
But they have not been seen to hold up by everyone who reads it
On 2 Oct 2003, at 12:17, Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I agree with you about the disorganized way that much of TWL was written.
> However, both TSE and EP regarded the typescript that EP was given as a
> whole, single poem even before EP's work on it. The typescript even had an
> unifying title, "He Do 'The Police In Different Voices: Part I". Even then
> they and Vivien thought of it as a single entity not as a collection of
> small poems. What TSE needed was EP's help clearing away the rubble from
> "The Waste Land". EP's comments definitely show that he conceived of the
> poem as a coherent whole. When EP returned the marked up notebook it was
> still not the poem we know today, it was just slimmer. All of the early
> readers of the finished poem saw it as a whole and no one challenged its
> unity. Some didn't like it but no one said it was not an "it".
> If TWL does not have a "structure" what does it have that gives it its
> wholeness? If it is these patterns that you write of, what are they?
> Patterns of what, of relationships? Of themes? Is it merely that it has a
> definite beginning (in spring the time of beginnings) and a definite end,
> The original title seems to be with a different typewriter and at a
> different time from the original typescript. Does any one have any theories
> about this?
> Rick Seddon
> McIntosh, NM