Eliot's poetry is deeply personal, so deep it is at a level with which the depth in others can identify. It just doesn't happen to be about his animal functions which is what a lot of people seem to think being personal is. A lot of people haven't discovered that the sex drive isn't personal at all; it just goes with being an animal.
"Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>On Wed, 31 Jul 2013 06:50:11 -0700, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>"My Sweeney, Mr. Eliot": Anne Sexton and the "Impersonal theory of Poetry"
>Anne Sexton and the "Impersonal theory of Poetry"
>University of Exeter, England
>The American poet Anne Sexton (1928-1974), although routinely categorized as
>a "confessional" poet — indeed as the "mother" or "High-Priestess" of the
>mode — infrequently used the epithet, preferring the term "personal." As she
>explains: "my poetry is very personal. I don't think I write public poems. I
>write very personal poems" and "I was writing personal poetry, often about
>the subject of madness."
>I looked into this a tiny bit after you sent it CR. One of Sexton's poems
>has a title that should be familiar "Hurry Up Please It's Time". An except:
>Once upon a time Ms. Dog was sixty-six.
>She had white hair and wrinkles deep as splinters.
>her portrait was nailed up like Christ
>and she said of it:
>That's when I was forty-two,
>down in Rockport with a hat on for the sun,
>and Barbara drew a line drawing.
>We were, at that moment, drinking vodka
>and ginger beer and there was a chill in the air,
>although it was July, and she gave me her sweater
>to bundle up in. The next summer Skeezix tied
>strings in that hat when we were fishing in Maine.
>(It had gone into the lake twice.)
>Of such moments is happiness made.
>Forgive us, Father, for we know not.
>As for it being a personal poem Barbara has a thing to say:
>And then last week my wife and I went to the shore at Rockport (the drive
>from the approach to Gloucester to Halibut Point near Folly Cove is one of
>my favorites.) In the distance you can see the Dry Salvages, painted white
>by the gulls. Things are different now a hundred years from Eliot's memories.
> The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
>The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
>Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
>Its hints of earlier and other creation:
>The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
>The pools where it offers to our curiosity
>The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
>It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
>The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
>And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
>Many gods and many voices.
>No more broken oars and the foreign men have to fish much further out so
>their flotsam is not to be seen. We did see the a lobsterpot but squashed is
>a better word these days than shattered as they are made of metal mesh and
>cast out with polyproplene rope. Eliot probably missed out on something we
>got to enjoy on the way home, fried clam bellies. They were first concocted
>about the last summer he spent on Cape Ann.
> Rick Parker