At least one can say in Bowra's favor that--together with John Sparrow, F.R.
Leavis, and recently departed David Daiches--he refused to be taken in, and
genuflect in front of, Eliot's PR machine, of which Eliot himself was the
chief engineer, in the same way in which some mediocre poets have been in
recent years using the
still-not-quite-extinct prestige of the Library of Congress to push
themselves on the media and the so-called public.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Armstrong" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 5:32 PM
Subject: Re: Maurice Bowra's mock-poem
> At 11:05 AM 9/21/2005, Jacek Niecko wrote:
>>I suspect most listers will be glad to know (if they do not know already)
>>that the September 16 issue of The Times Literary Supplement carries on
>>pp. 14-15 an excellent parody, by the late Sir Maurice Bowra, of some of
>>Eliot's pompous poetry,
> Disappointing I thought, more like monotonous monody than parody. There
> was one line it I liked: "Prey on us now and in the hour of our debt." But
> that may just be a reflection of my pecuniary sympathies.
> A few years ago, maybe thirty or so, I tried to write not so much a
> parody as an alternate version of Prufrock. I got one section almost where
> I wanted it and gave up. What seems so familiar and is "early Eliot,"
> after all, is not, however, easy to do a good parody of. Bowra's one
> dimensional lines are testimony to that.
> Ken A.