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TSE  November 2006

TSE November 2006

Subject:

Re: Eliot's visit to pre-historic Tombs

From:

Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Wed, 1 Nov 2006 17:18:17 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (186 lines)

Yes, Peter that rose is often cited as a reference to the Paradiso. Eliot's 
flower imagery includes the rose, hyacinth, goldenrod, lilac and many 
others, often if not always indicating a psychic state. In "T.S. Eliot: The 
American Strain" A.D. Moody traces specifically American flora and fauna in 
Eliot's poems to determine the setting of the passages in which they occur.  
"the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard" in "The Dry Salvages" is an 
obvious referencing of Whitman's poem on Lincoln's death, "when lilacs last 
in the dooryard bloom'd" and the allusion can give rise to many an 
hermeneutic speculation on Eliot's relationship to America.

The Waste Land contained more distinctly American flora and fauna before 
Pound's editing, but only the hermit thrush remains, according to Moody. 
References to plants in the poems often occur as memories -- "The voice of 
the hidden waterfall/And the children in the apple-tree" in Little Gidding 
are likely his recollections of an American childhood. Yet this poem also 
ends with a rose: "When the tongues of flame are in-folded/Into the crowned 
knot of fire/And the fire and rose are one" -- a flower that grows 
exceptionally well in Europe as well! The hyacinth and the lilac are part of 
significant memories. So his flower imagery may serve as markers of times in 
his life to which his lines refer, the rose integrating his experiences in 
America and Europe into a psychological whole, as well as serving as a 
symbol of spiritual enlightenment. Since his settings are largely urban, 
images of nature are significant. Eliot said the only scenery that ever made 
an impression on him was in Missouri and Massachusetts. Diana
.
From: Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Eliot's visit to pre-historic Tombs
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2006 18:42:47 -0800

Any thoughts about these particular lines:

................................
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
..............................
For Thine is the Kingdom
..............................

Here's a clue: Dante.

Cheers,
Peter
   ----- Original Message -----
   From: cr mittal
   To: [log in to unmask]
   Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:18 AM
   Subject: Re: Eliot's visit to pre-historic Tombs


   The Hollow Men ??? Wow! I never thought of that. Many thanks, Peter.
   At your instance, I explored the poem and found, to my great surprise,
   that it was, indeed, saturated in primitive lore -- the mindset, the 
magical
   rites et al. I wish to draw the List's attention to the following lines 
in the
   poem:

   Let me also wear
   Such deliberate disguises
   Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
   In a field
   Behaving as the wind behaves

   Here the stone images
   Are raised, here they receive
   The supplication of a dead man's hand
   Under the twinkle of a fading star.

   Is it like this
   In death's other kingdom
   Waking alone
   At the hour when we are
   Trembling with tenderness
   Lips that would kiss
   Form prayers to broken stone.

   In this valley of dying stars
   In this hollow valley
   This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

   In this last of meeting places
   We grope together
   And avoid speech
   Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

   Sightless, unless
   The eyes reappear
   As the perpetual star
   Multifoliate rose
   Of death's twilight kingdom

   Here we go round the prickly pear
   Prickly pear prickly pear
   Here we go round the prickly pear
   At five o'clock in the morning.

   Between the idea
   And the reality
   Between the motion
   And the act
   Falls the Shadow

   Between the conception
   And the creation
   Between the emotion
   And the response
   Falls the Shadow

   Life is very long

   Between the desire
   And the spasm
   Between the potency
   And the existence
   Between the essence
   And the descent
   Falls the Shadow

   For Thine is the Kingdom

   It should be interesting in this regard to read the following excerpt
   from an article by David Chinitz.

   ~ CR

   
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   Chinitz, David "In the Shadows: Popular Song and Eliot's Construction
   of Emotion" Modernism/modernity - Volume 11, Number 3, September
   2004, pp. 449-467. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

   
http://muse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/access.cgi?uri=/journals/modernism-modernity/v011/11.3chinitz.html

   Excerpt:

   The "Shadow" that falls in The Hollow Men "Between the emotion / And
   the response / . . . Between the desire / And the spasm" thwarts sexual 
consummation in a land where "Lips that would kiss / Form prayers to
   broken stone."3 Neither emotion nor desire is absent; indeed, the hollow
   men "trembl[e] with tenderness" at night. But the Shadow interposes,
   and desire is spent in obscure and ineffectual religious rites.
   Eliot's poetry is full of such frustrating shadows...

   ----------------------------


   Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
     Curious that "The Hollow Men" is never referred to on this list.
     Peter
       ----- Original Message -----
       From: cr mittal
       To: [log in to unmask]
       Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 3:34 AM
       Subject: Re: Eliot's visit to pre-historic Tombs


       Many thanks, Peter, for these insightful remarks.
       The contemplation of  "the original primitive sensibilities" was, 
indeed,
       a core concern to Eliot.



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