On 4/10/2014 8:37 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Thus my near-constant emphasis that you do not need explications, historical footnotes or biographies to appreciate Eliot's artistry, most especially when compared to what is now held in esteem. Eliot's poetry is simply great poetry.
I'm not so sure "simply" and Eliot's poetry go together very often,
but I do agree that one can be in response to it flush with immediate
appreciation without the explicative contraptions of criticism and that
that is probably where most people's appreciation, if it exists, starts.
I've thought for some time now that the preponderance of response to
Eliot, whether it manifests positive or negative, is instinctive in
origin and that the great majority of Eliot criticism doesn't really go
significantly beyond that. Eliot said himself of Pound's poetry that he
didn't understand it but trusted the way Pound used words. There is
something in Pound's verse that is compelling. "For, as if
instinctively, our soul is uplifted by the true sublime; it takes a
proud flight, and is filled with joy and vaunting, as though it had
itself produced what it has heard." That's Longinus of course, and the
manifest-negative readers might object to equating that statement with
reading Eliot, but I'd say the compulsion of their engagement with him
belies their "conscious" stand.
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