Around this time two years ago I visited the American
Civil War battlefield at Antietam. There were a number
of major engagements there, one was at the sunken lane.
This was a road with a berm on each side. This is
somewhat how I pictured Eliot's deep lane, especially
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village
I decided to Google "sunken lane" (without any qualifiers)
to see where Antietam might show up. It was #1.
I was surprised at #2, Wikipedia's "Sunken lane" at
which is a general article starting with:
A sunken lane (also hollow way or holloway) is a road
which has over time fallen significantly lower than the
land on either side.
#3 was Google's images for "sunken lane" and #4 was for a
WW I battle. Perhaps TSE used "deep" in place of "sunken"
to avoid alluding to the battle(s). ???
A deep lane at East Coker can be seen at this page:
Materer, Timothy J. wrote:
> Can anyone say what Eliot might mean in East Coker by "electric heat"?
> "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 tongue, is "deep lane" Eliot's original image, or is he using a common term for a road?
> Timothy Materer
> English Department
> Univ. of Missouri