And on the blather goes.
If you prefer to think inside the box and go down with it as it sinks,
that is your choice.
P.S.: What do you mean by Eliot's intending a reader of Marvell?
How does a writer intend a reader of anything? How can one person
intend another??? Very curious indeed. If you mean he intended the
allusion to be recognised by readers of Marvell, how can you know that?
What if he just felt like putting it there? What if he felt like melding the
17th Century consciousness with the 20th century consciousness?
Do you actually have access to his consciousness to know what he intended?
Carrol Cox wrote:
>O ye, embarked in a mall kiff, who long
> To lissen, having followed on it's way
> My bote, that goes continuing in bong. . . .
> (Par. II, 1-3; Binyon tr.)
>Anyone who recognizes that the Viking typesetters were probably truer to
>Binyon's _intention_ than I am above also admits (even if he/she lies to
>him/herself or to others) that intentions can be accurately derived from
>a text. Not _all_ intentions; probably in many cases not a majority of
>intentions, but that is irrelevant to the main point that however
>infrequently, perfect construal of an intention is nevertheless possible
>in _some_ cases, and hence in an indefinitely large number of other
>This despite the fact that the last typo above is marvelously
>But at my back in a cold blast I hear . . . .
>Eliot intended a reader familiar with Marvell's poem. That is certain,
>and anyone who denies it is not worth arguing with. Argument can
>legitimately begin with considering the relationS of "cold blast" to
>time's winged chariot, but that argument is uninteresting unless we
>first assume the certainty of Marvell's relevance to the discussion.
>Eliot once suggested that poetry is a superior form of amusement. I
>think there is a lot to be said for that proposition*, but it too
>becomes silly without at least a serious pretence that we can have a
>(mostly correct) mutual understanding of many/most texts.
>I disagree with Johnson's disagreement with Pope's couplet --
>True art is nature to advantage dressed,
>What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed --
>which I find compatible with Eliot's remark on poetry and amusement.
>But the whole complex (Pope/Johnson/Eliot/Cox/et al) can be amusingly or
>entertainingly or usefully discussed only among those who recognize the
>possibility (even probability) of shared understanding of our
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