Good old auntie.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2010 4:41 AM
Subject: Re: through eliot's kaleidoscope
Ken, I think you misunderstand me. I may have left something out or
wrote about it poorly. I'm not talking about the poems raising one's
expectations for for a good outcome for the protangonist but rather
I'm talking about some of the lines raising the reader's expectations
for an event to follow. By my use of raise/rise and drop I'm not
talking about the tide but the waves upon the water, whatever its
Imagine the poems being read to you for the first time, slowly with a
longish pause between the lines. Can you picture your thoughts going
something like this:
Let us go then, you and I,
(Oh good, I like trips.)
When the evening is spread out against the sky
(Beautiful. Violet light followed by a moon and stars.)
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
(What the hell is this?)
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
To lead you to an overwhelming question --
(Something important is coming up)
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
(Dang! He's going to leave me hanging.)
Let us go and make our visit.
(Yeah, he's avoiding the subject that *he* brought up.)
Eliot has you anticipating something beautiful or important coming up,
what I wrote as a "raising expectation" (maybe I should have used
"anticipation" earlier,) but he purposely disappoints us, what I
called the drop.
I hope this clears things up.
> Rickard A. Parker wrote:
>> But, back to expectations not being met: As I wrote earlier, we were
>> awaiting an expected guest (the expectation) to see the arrival of
>> a pimpled kid (the drop.) That's the image.
> Hold hard a jiffy my good Bostonian. That's an image in a poem that
> starts with an epigraph speaking of the desirability of death as a
> release from a tortuous situation and an opening line of what must be a
> cawsmic cruelest month. Nothing in the poem, no image, happens off that
> stage. So I don't see how our expectations for anything can be, in the
> sense you mean it, raised at all. Ditto Prufrock. The epigraph, which
> sets the stage for the poem, is of a speaker in the underworld for
> goodness sakes who wouldn't say anything at all if he thought it would
> get back to you. So what is he going to say that raises your
> expectations for something positive? And the opening image, the evening
> spread out against the sky as if it were etherized on a table, sets the
> tone for everything that follows.Sorry, but I just don't see old Eliot
> at fault here for raising anyone's expectations. Rather, I have to think
> you are the optimist's optimist to see those images separated from their
> contexts. Speaking impersonally.
> Ken A