Prufrock is full of moments lost because of inability to dare. "Do I
dare disturb the universe?"
The narrator in the Hyacinth girl episode
The less attractive version in "Dans le Restaurant"
Gerontion who was not at the hot gates
The lady and the speaker of "Portrait of a Lady" whose lives are both
The narrator of "Rhapsody on a Windy Night," walking the night streets
and returning to "prepare for life"
In fact all the observers of life in the "Prufrock" volume who never act
or live but only wander and observe
"Our lot" in "Whispers of Immortality"
Both characters in the first part of "A Game of Chess"
The Hollow Men
the small soul in the window seat
I think, however, that some messages are taking "dare" to refer to
Eliot. I think he was a daring poet, and he dared to leave home and
live as he chose. I don't think he did dare to live emotionally, and
the surrender with Viv did make any further ability almost impossible.
Ironically, after all his life, it was only human love that ever really
did make him happy. He had seven years of it--that's a lot. But his
denials of it are always ambiguous and disturbed and filled with
Even in the young man carbuncular scene, he may think he dared, but he
is only presumptuous and smug; she is bored and never responds. So he
assaults; I don't know if that is daring in any emotional sense.
>>> Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> 06/11/07 11:14 AM >>>
Since you wrote "In any case, daring moments are not very present in
any of the poetry" it seems to me that you were expanding the
conversation from the particular phrase in TWL. I am sorry if you feel
you were misunderstood, but I wanted, and want, to make it clear that
writing is itself an action that has attributes independent of the
subjects it is concerned with.
You continued: "are not very present in any of the poetry, and when
they are possible, whoever is speaking tends to fail." I don't know if
you mean to limit your focus to those who announce I am daring, but the
young man carbuncular, for instance, dares and doesn't fail by his own
lights, at least.
What passages were you thinking of, please, when you wrote "when
they are possible, whoever is speaking tends to fail"? I need help in
jogging my analyses.
Nancy Gish wrote:
> I did mean in the subject. I was responding to a comment about the
> phrase in TWL. It might have been great daring to reveal so much while
> presenting as not revealing.
>>>> Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]> 06/10/07 1:47 PM >>>
> Nancy Gish wrote:
>> In any case, daring
>> moments are not very present in any of the poetry, and when they are
>> possible, whoever is speaking tends to fail.
> Dear Nancy,
> You must be speaking in terms of subject or illustration. Who can
> know the dares another might take in his writing? --those moments that
> are of personal daring. In any work that stand out from the mass of
> works, it is likely that many such moments are in fact present. They
> may be grammatical or typographical; they needn't be biographical, for
> instance, to be daring to the dare-er.