Diana Manister wrote:
> If we assume that Eliot was referring to his own earlier poems as
> NOT having this 'defect', perhaps "The Waste Land" can be said to gain
> its power from "acute personal reminiscence, never to be explicated"."
Consider: many of the most powerful passages in the poetry of Pope
revolve around images of consstipation. Now it's perfectly possible that
Pope had trouble with his bowel ovements, and for this reason imagery of
constipation had real pressur for him. But it would not add one bit to
the meaning of those passages if (a) this were true and (b) we knew of
it. So Eliot's "never to be explicated" is not only a matter (for him)
of preserving privacy, it is an important warning to readers that they
will only confuse themselves and misread the poem if they dig up those
Of course we know that one of the passages is almost a literal
transcription of an event (My nerves are bad tonight ect), but I'm not
sure what that knowledge adds to the poem.