Neither did I receive the original on which this is based.
Is there a problem?
Rickard A. Parker wrote:
>Ken Armstrong wrote:
>>This is from T. S. Eliot, The Metaphysical Perspective, the book I'd
>>suggest to Rickard, there not yet being a book of Guy Brown's readings
>>of Poems 1920, for a reading of an Eliot poem that would satisfy me
>>(employing "satisfy" here positively if not exhaustively). The reading
>>of Burnt Norton is sound, fundamental, sophisticated and insightful,
>>directed to the dramatic action of the poem and grounded in an
>>understanding of the early criticism and its sources in TSE's
>>dissertation. If you're serious about inquiring after TSE's poetry,
>>it's not to be missed. (It may or may not satisfy you, Rickard, but
>>the elements that you ask for are there.) Though out of print, Marcia
>>informed some time ago that at one or more libraries in Boston there
>>are ample copies to be had.
>The book isn't to be found in my local library consortium but, on your
>recommendation, I'll put it on my list to pick up elsewhere. I do
>have my doubts from its title and publication date (1962 I think) that
>it will show me what I asked, that is, a discussion of the
>transformation of the personal into poetry.
>It was for that that I decided to check out Eliot's essay "In
>Memoriam." Eliot knew that it had its background in a personal and
>emotional incident in Tennyson's past, the death of a friend. Eliot
>liked the poem and so I wanted to reread the essay to see how he
>thought the emotion of Tennyson was transformed into the poetry
>according to the way he thought it should be ("Tradition and the
>Individual Talent.") If he did so then it was too subtle for me to
>notice. Eliot seemed to like it for Tennyson's technical mastery and
>for the personal emotion in the poem.
>Eliot wrote (after quoting the "Dark house" stanzas): "This is great
>poetry, economical of words, a universal emotion in what could only be
>an English town: and it gives me the shudder that I fail to get from
>anything in Maud."
>The first chapter in James Miller's book "T.S. Eliot's Personal Waste
>Land" is sub-titled "A Curious Shudder." There he questions why such
>lines should bring up a shudder in Eliot (instead of some form of rage
>or such I guess.) I quote Miller:
> There are many surprises in Eliot's response to this Tennysonian
> lyric. As readers who have been brought up on Eliot's "impersonal
> theory" of poetry and trained in Eliot's theory that poetry is never
> simply the expression of emotion but rather an "escape from emotion"
> through some complicated formula like an "objective correlative"--as
> such sophisticated readers we might well have read this Tennysonian
> lyric and shuddered at its violation of all the rules of good
> impersonal poetry, at its indecent personal exposure of a heart that
> "was used to beat/ So quickly at the approach of a friend," at its
> imprecision of diction in such blurred phrases as "unlovely street"
> and "guilty thing," at its slight absurdity in beginning with a direct
> address to the "Dark house" and with its delayed command to the "Dark
> house" to "Behold me" (an imperative that seems to supply more needed
> syllables than genuine meaning for the poem).
> The question arises: why did this poem give T.S. Eliot "the shudder"
> of genuine response that he records in this essay, a shudder that
> causes him to say, simply, "This is great poetry, economical of words,
> a universal emotion . . ."? Eliot's extravagant claims for the lines
> seem strangely remote from the passionate intensity of his highly
> personal response. We might readily agree on the universality of the
> emotion found in grief for a dead friend, but we might begin to
> question the universality of the inconsolable sense of loss as it
> becomes mixed with guilt ("like a guilty thing I creep"), and the
> sense deepening to feelings of futility and meaninglessness, as the
> poet turns back to "the noise of life"--as on "the bald street breaks
> the blank day." However great, economical, or universal Tennyson's
> lines, the particular circumstances of his grief appear unique: [brief
> description of Tennyson's and Hallam's friendship.]
> Rick Parker
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.8.6 - Release Date: 3/30/2005