Somebody asked about those lines.
Rick didn't know. I tried. He likes it.
I really don't think it makes a difference to the effect of the lines.
I suppose it provides ammunition for those who want to read the poem
autobiographcally -- another useless pursuit, as far as I'm concerned.
Marcia Karp wrote:
> Peter Montgomery wrote:
>> Much as I am no fan of trying to find the pattern behind the pattern
>> in poetic interpretation, given that the poet is out to get an
>> effect, not write an essay,
>> I am also a lover of puzzles, and so I have an idea as to the pattern
>> some lines in TWL. Rickard agrees. In fact he helped a lot with this,
>> so I
>> have no problem saying this is co-authored. :) Also Jim Loucks helped
>> a lot,
>> given that I had misread Val's note on HWE's deafness, as applying to
>> Sr. and not Jr.
>> Carlessness on my part. Rickard has given me the honour of stating
>> the case.
>> Some time ago someone asked about how one might read the lines about
>> the speaker talking about being round behind the gashouse meditating on
>> the King his father's death, and the King his brother's wreck.
>> It is useful to know that there is a canal (the dull canal) in
>> London, the Regent's
>> Canal. (you know Regent vis-a-vis King and all that). It basically
>> circumvents London
>> on the northern side, starting in the western limits of London going
>> up to roughly
>> its northern limits, and coming out again at its eastern limits.
>> The eastern access does have a gashouse on it, although a more notable
>> feature would be the Limehouse.
>> The rest seems somewhat simple, if one wants to accept the theory.
>> The King is Henry Ware Eliot Sr. deceased.
>> The brother is Henry Ware Eliot Jr. somewhat deafened.
>> Question [not important]: Are fathers and oldest brothers regents, ie
>> of legal responsibility over the behaviour of syblings not having
>> reached their majority?
> Dear Peter,
> I find this a very strange way to think about a poem. You haven't
> found any "pattern behind a pattern" in the poem. (Why "in poetic
> interpretation," which is the domain of readers, not the poet?)
> You've decided how Eliot's imagination worked , not in what he gives
> to the reader, but in what you think motivated him. This is rather
> like saying Robert Frost once saw a wall.
> Why is this canal any more or less dull than any other canal?
> If your question is not important, why do you think the two Henrys are
> two Kings?
> What on earth is a "sybling"?
> What do any of the supposed models you posit have to do with the lines?
> Failing in my meditations on this,
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