Note this whole passage is a package leading one into a trance in which one
experiences the little folk.
Note that Tim's deep lane is a repetition.
What is the symbolism of the dahlias?
Are there devices used in conjuring a trance which use electricity?
The van creates a kind of separation from normal consciousness into the
The sultry light is not ordinary. It is absorbed, as is one's consciousness.
I think the deep lane is a symbol for the experiencer's consciousness as it
taken over into a deep trance. I think static electricity is a very good
There is potency in the imagery. It is wound up and ready to strike, ready
and the little people are the end product of the zap.
This is just my first percolation. No doubt more to come.
Note this is just a standard approach to such analysis.
I don't much agree with doing it this way, but if that's
what's happening then I will try to be nice and join in.
Here is the whole passage. Surely it is small enough
that its wholeness can be absorbed.:
In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon,
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village, in the electric heat
Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
Wait for the early owl.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Dillane" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 3:11 PM
Subject: Re: electric heat, deep lane in East Coker
> Hey folks,
> Doesn't he mean more the kind of static charge in dry hot conditions.
> was the earlier use of "electric" ( I know the etymology is argued )
> - as Faraday observed - electricity became a commodity which could be
> Cheers Pete
> -----Original Message-----
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Carrol Cox
> Sent: Thursday, 30 June 2011 8:33 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: electric heat, deep lane in East Coker
> Re: electric heat, deep lane in East Coker
> As Nancy noted, "electric" seems to present more difficult in finding the
> immediate 'literal' sense (or material base of that sense) than does "deep
> lane." I dobut very much that that reference could be actual "electrical
> heating systems." Any how, such heating systems tend to 'feel' more like
> hot-water heat than anything direct. Also, presumably the lane is shaded:
> the heat is invisible. But maybe that casts doubt on my first sentence.
> Electrical heating systems are invisible: no registers, no radiators, no
> noise of gurgling water, hissing steam, or rumbling fans. Still, the
> context, unlike the subway passages in Burnt Norton, does not seem to
> encourage bringing in modern technology as the image base. "Electric heat"
> has always 'felt' right to me, but then I never inuired into it as Tim now
> has. The kind of electric heat common in Eliot's day would have been
> and toasters. Perhaps the cliché "hot as an oven" is floating in the
> background. Nah. Then, incandexcent light bulbs give off a good deal of
> heat (as do the contemporary low-energy bulbs for that matter).
> On 6/29/2011 10:35 AM, Materer, Timothy J. wrote: Can anyone say what
> might mean in East Coker by "electric heat"? I agree with the hermeneutic
> tradition that a word or phrase must first be construed in its immediate
> context before one goes wfhoring off after "deeper meanings." And in a
> (or set of poems) concerned, both directly and indirectly, with "purifying
> the language of the tribe," with refusing to accept a worn-out poetic
> practice as adequate, I would hate to think Eliot would have allowed
> the dissolute practice of merely depending on the vague suggestiveness of
> term. (For example, "awful daring of a moment's surrender" in TWL
> rejects thinkingof "awful" in such contexts as "Wasn't that an awfully
> meal." It forces the reader back to "awe-inspiring"; something that forces
> attention to halt and gaze in "admirationd" (in the Horatian sense, as in
> Pope's "Not to admire is all the art I know / To make men happy and to
> them so"). (All quotations from memory.) In short, I really would like an
> answer to Tim's question - and my quasi-freeassociation hasn't carried us
> very far.
> "And the deep lane insists on the direction / Into the village, in the
> electric heat / Hypnotised."
> Maybe it has to do with the etymology of the word?
> Also, a question for those who are better acquainted with the mother
> is "deep lane" Eliot's original image, or is he using a common term for a
> Timothy Materer
> English Department
> Univ. of Missouri