Tom Colket quoted Haille Flanagan:
> And he [Eliot] went on to develop the point that a poem may be like a
> still life, the meaning of which we do not formulate - "We merely
> estimate the way the painter has used planes and angles."
A travelling art exhibit "Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective
Exhibition" has made the rounds and has appeared at the Tate in London
and the Prado in Madrid. For JUST A FEW DAYS MORE it will be in New
York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As part of the exhibition
is Bacon's 'Triptych Inspired By T.S. Eliot's poem "Sweeney Agonistes."'
Here is a description of the paintings (see also below):
Triptych Inspired By T.S. Eliot's poem "Sweeney Agonistes," which now
hangs in the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, dates from 1967. It is a
very large oil on canvas in three panels; each measures 78 by 58 inches.
The one at the left depicts two women, nude, lying down and possibly
dead. There are signs of violence or at least carelessness in the room.
In the middle panel a murder has probably taken place, although there is
no body; blood-stained clothes and ransacked luggage strongly suggest
that impression. In the right panel two men, also nude, embrace in a
manner reminiscent of a pair of wrestlers that Bacon has been painting
for many years, based on a famous series of photographs taken more than
a century ago by the American Edward Muybridge. The context is violent,
and at one side of this panel there is the reflection of a man
telephoning, I suppose, the police. There is much here to disturb the
For images visit:
Painting description was taken from
And that is the online version of this essay:
T.S. Eliot In the Postmodern Age
The Virginia Quarterly Review
Autumn 1989, pp.693-701
This essay is worth a least a quick scan.