It's obvious that the Greek root geront, meaning an old man, is
connected to the poem's meaning. Age is the arc of a life, a dynamism
or movement carrying the individual from stage to stage and to death.
Action of a kind, and perhaps contrasting with the person's wishes,
but maybe not.
Sent from my iPod
On Feb 21, 2010, at 8:48 AM, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
> Nancy Gish wrote:
>> Or it could be an internal action if there were conflicting
>> internal personae or attitudes to create the conflict central to
>> drama. In "Gerontion" there is no such action. Nor is there any
>> conversion or acceptance of grace or even any outright rejection.
>> It is a poem without that kind of "arc." Gerontion ends where he
>> begins, in desensitized emptiness; drama demands event, conflict,
>> change. Prufrock is dramatic because he is at war with himself
>> over what to do; Gerontion is thinking back over utter failure to
>> do. If there is drama, I would be interested in an explication of
>> how and where it occurs, but it is not a movement or action on the
>> narrator's part, certainly not toward grace. How could one
>> possibly read his final thoughts grace?
> No one has, have they? My own questions to Diana were questions,
> not claims and not claims attached to Gerontion. I thought that
> would have been clear from Diana's own claim about "acts".
> Guy Brown's approximately 70 page reading of Gerontion brings to
> light so much about the poem that has not even been cursorily
> mentioned in the literature, there is not much I can say except
> perhaps to ask this question: who is Gerontion? Is Gerontion a
> person? Remember that Marshall McLuhan noted long ago that in FQ
> Eliot has the landscape speaking.
> Ken A