P, -- Thanks very much for sending the information and newspaper account to me. The Lear topic was one he used very often in his US lectures in 1932-33, and it cannot have been among his more popular subjects.
On Fri, 7/31/15, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Subject: Re: Attention Jim, Eliot's whereabouts on January 26, 1933
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Friday, July 31, 2015, 12:06 PM
I'm glad he disposed
of the essay.
Jul 2015 4:25 am, "Rickard A. Parker" <[log in to unmask]>
following are two cut and pastes from the web page at
> This first one tells of his visit at the
University of Buffalo:
> On January 26, 1933, T.S. Eliot, poet and
critic, was in Buffalo, N.Y. to appear before an audience
for a Fenton Foundation lecture held under the auspices of
the University of Buffalo in the Twentieth Century Club at
595 Delaware Avenue. (see “Meaningful, Sonic Poetry Termed
Best” Buffalo Courier-Express, 27 January 1933)
> Between 1932 and
1933, T.S. Eliot wrote and presented a series of lectures
while touring U.S. universities. His topic while in Buffalo
was Edward Lear and Modern Poetry.
> Apparently Eliot was not happy with the
Lear lecture. T.S. Eliot was once asked why it was absent in
his “Collected Essays.” He replied, “I am flattered
that you should retain any interest in the lecture I gave on
Edward Lear, and am therefore sorry to say that I destroyed
the script of this and of a number of occasional lectures
which I delivered in the United States in 1932-33.”
> For more information
on poetry, visit the Poetry Collection, a part of the
University at Buffalo Libraries Special Collections.
> This second cut and
paste is the text of a newspaper article written about that
> SONIC POETRY
> TERMED BEST
> T. S. Eliot, poet and critic,
> contrasts style of various
> There are two types of poetry, one in
which the words are used simply to give meaning, the other
in which the words are used for their sonic effect, but in
great poetry the words do both. T. S. Eliot, English poet
and critic, told an audience last night in his Fenton
Foundation lecture held under auspices of the University of
Buffalo at the Twentieth Century Club.
> Mr. Eliot’s subject
was Edward Lear and Modern Poetry, and one of his themes was
that modern “unintelligible” poetry derives from Lear as
one of its sources. Lear, a contemporary of Lewis Carroll,
the author of Alice in Wonderland, was a writer of light
verse, in which there was more nonsense than sense, and in
which the words were chosen not to convey ideas, but
emotional effects—the emotion being of the whimsical sort.
> Compares Carroll,
> Mr. Eliot
drew this contrast between Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear:
Carroll’s whimsy, with its detective story elements, its
logical procedure, appeals to the adult element in children,
whereas Lear’s poetry, which is more “poetic” and
less, logical, appeals to the childish side of adults.
> Quoting Walter
Pater’s essay which makes the point that all the other
arts only approach music which stands above them, Mr. Eliot
made a defense for this sonic, musical, somewhat
unintelligible poetry, which makes no pretense at sense, but
pleases the ear, or creates an emotional effect.
> Swinburne, another
contemporary of Lear, also was held up for comparison to
this effect: that Swinburne was an adolescent who pretended
to be writing poetry with much meaning, though it was really
meaningless, whereas Lehr didn’t even pretend to be making
the lecture, Mr. Eliot, author of The Sacred Wood, and The
Waste Land, read from his own poems.
> — Buffalo
Courier-Express, January 27, 1933