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Some quotes of possible interest on DOTT and BN:

	On the deception of the thrush, Eric Thompson wrote comparing Whitman's 
thrush with Eliot's: "Both are symbols of the poetic ?demon' in life. Both 
are located on the frontier between time and eternity, life and death. Both 
are liberators and redeemers. Whitman's thrush releases him from the 
?cloud' that holds Whitman powerless at the opening of the poem [When 
Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd]; Eliot's thrush releases him from the 
corridor. Both birds thus lead their poets to a reconciliation of seemingly 
irreconcilable forces in life. Yet by stressing the ?deception of the 
thrush,' Eliot qualifies Whitman's romantic and somewhat sentimental 
deification of the poet. Whitman declares that he is moving toward the 
thrush in the swamp and that all is well; but he never takes us into the 
swamp to see how well things are going down there. Eliot's bird is eager 
but limited in intelligence; he is strong on luring people into 
transcendental situations which he does not understand and cannot control 
and then ejecting them when they fail to measure up. Eliot, in short, makes 
it clear that thought art may be a means to redemption it may also be a 
means to damnation....     (pgs 94-95, T S Eliot: The Metaphysical 
Perspective)

  	This is part of an extended reading that sees Burnt Norton,
among other things, as a great defense of poetry. Thompson notes the 
critical activities that occupied Eliot in the years prior to the 
publication of BN, including The Use of Poetry and The Use of Criticism and 
the Page Barbour lectures (After Strange Gods). Recall, regarding "the 
poetic 'demon,'" TSE's emphatic quoting of Jaques Maritain: "It is a deadly 
error to expect poetry to provide the super-substantial nourishment of 
man," to which Eliot added, "Mr. Maritain is a theologian as well as a 
philosopher, and you may be sure that when he says ?deadly error' he is in 
deadly earnest."

           In concluding on BN, as well as following an exposition of 
Eliot's dissertation, Thompson summarizes in part: "Burnt Norton, a 
symbolic drama, illustrates the act whereby mankind severs itself from the 
real reality and then makes that severance a mode of restoration."

Ken Armstrong