William Gray wrote:
> Eliot's quotation in TWL contains one quote from the play (from 4.1.69)
> and the subtitle to the play.
I welcome your addition. Like you, it took me awhile to realize that
the second part of Eliot's line was the subtitle. I checked out my
website and found out that I didn't mention it myself. I'll have to
I'm supposing that the 1615 reprint of the play was due to its
popularity. It was written sometime between 1582 and 1592 and was
very popular in the 1590s. There was an edition published in 1602.
Kyd died around 1594. I'm amused by this thought on the subtitle--
that it was added as publicity much as the ads for "The Terminator"
stated "He's back!"
And I think that thought was in Eliot's mind too. Its my belief that
TWL was written mainly to be connected thoughts of Eliot's own,
written to exorcise his demons (as he wrote in "The Three Voices of
Poetry," see below.) By alluding to Kyd Eliot was stating that the
poem was showing what was happening in his life and emotions as
Hieronimo's play was showing what was happening in his.
Trivia: Thomas Kyd was baptized in the church of St Mary Woolnoth.
From "The Three Voices of Poetry":
I agree with Gottfried Benn, and I would go a little further. In a
poem which is neither didactic nor narrative, and not animated by any
other social purpose, the poet may be concerned solely with expressing
in verse--using all his resources of words, with their history, their
connotations, their music--this obscure impulse. He does not know what
he has to say until he has said it; and in the effort to say it he is
not concerned, at this stage, with other people at all: only with
finding the right words or, anyhow, the least wrong words. He is not
concerned whether anybody else will ever understand them if he
does. He is oppressed by a burden which he must bring to birth in
order to obtain relief. Or, to change the figure of speech, he is
haunted by a demon, a demon against which he feels powerless, because
in its first manifestation it has no face, no name, nothing; and the
words, the poem he makes, are a kind of form of exorcism of this
demon. In other words again, he is going to all that trouble, not in
order to communicate with anyone, but to gain relief from acute
discomfort; and when the words are finally arranged in the right
way--or in what he comes to accept as the best arrangement he can
find--he may experience a moment of exhaustion, of appeasement, of
absolution, and of something very near annihilation, which is in
itself indescribable. And then he can say to the poem: 'Go away! Find
a place for your self in a book--and don't expect me to take any
further interest in you.'