Beth Roberts schrieb:

> Hi all,
> First I'd like to say that I have really enjoyed
> reading the subject matter and discussions posted. But
> I have one question: why is there little discussion
> concerning the 4Q? In my opinion (and it is only my
> opinion), Eliot's 4Qs are his best works, with the
> Hollow Men following close behind.  I find that I can
> spend hours reading, re-reading and thinking about the
> timeless questions posed in these poems.
> I only raise this because I am about to commence a
> thesis on BN, and have been thinking about the
> function of the bird: does the bird function as a
> protagonist, or a mediator between worlds, the Holy
> Spirit (as I have read from one commentator, I can't
> remember which one but it was published in the late
> 60s), inspiration either in the poem or in the poet's
> mind, or merely an extension of the garden.
> I would be really interested to hear comments from the
> rest of the list.

Dear Beth,

You are right -- there has been little discussion on 4Q lately, and I share your
opinion on it being TSE's masterpiece.
For all the debate on such odd topics as map coloring --not to mention the
*Uranian Confusion*, endless and boring  speculations on TSE's sexual
preferencies-- the central themes of the list seem to have been forgotten. It's
good that you should bring it up again. Antonio has given you a valid reply.

I agree with him that the interpretation of the bird as a symbol for the Holy
Spirit is a bit far-fetched. Why, for one,  would the Holy Spirit say that Human
kind cannot bear very much reality? But then, as you may have noticed, the
allusions in 4Q (and in TSE's work in general, as proven once again in the
ongoing debate on "Dans Le Restaurant") tend to bear multiple, many faceted and
many dimensional meanings. Pat knows a thing or two about this topic. To me,
this opacity is one of the magical aspects of his work.

If you are interested in extensive previous debate on 4Q I should recommend to
take a look a the highly instructive List Archives. Presently they are
inaccessible at the TSE website; however, Rick Parker, our self-professed Duke
of URL, knows a way to gain access to them. He will  most certainly give you an
address where you can look up the old posts (thank you for the trouble, Rick!).

I remember a particular debate on the nature of thrushes  years ago. Certain
listers proved to be some kind of self styled ornithological experts -- perhaps
Keats would refer to those (e.g. to Tom K.) as  *Wise Thrushes*...;-) .



Forgive me for my somewhat hapless grammar and synthax.
I'd be most grateful for any off-list corrections of spelling, grammar and style
as a means to improve my English.