am 9.10.2002 23:48 Uhr schrieb [log in to unmask] unter [log in to unmask]: > Someone(s) wrote: > >>> Also, the is the verb "BREAKS the air". I can see a plane >>> doing that, but a bird? >> >> Some technical considerations here: >> >> - As far as I know, German bombers didn't dive, and their speed was nothing >> like that of a jet. They generally flew overhead at night, in relatively >> close formation, and dropped their bombs from a fairly respectable height. >> The bombs themselves did of course 'break the air'. >> > > As far as I know, the Germans employed the sort of bombing techniques you > describe over London. We could both be wrong, but that's my understanding. > However, the Stuka dive bomber, so famous from newsreels of the blitzkrieg, > certainly "breaks the air", and Eliot may have transposed that image. I > believe the Stuka was widely used in bombings early in the war (although, > again here, I could be wrong) and, if so, Eliot may have been more likely to > have them in mind. > > Perhaps I should head this as a discussion of the aerial poems. . . > > Tom K What an interesting connection, dear Tom, it would never have occurred to me that TSE might have used such banal imagery. About the Stuka (an abbreviation for Sturz-Kampf-Bomber (Diving fight bombers) you may be right: Those elegant and awe inspiring WWII "birds" with their crooked wings were feared not only for their accurate placement of bombs but also for the blood chilling, screaming noise they emitted "...with flames of incandescent terror...". Thanks for another evocative speculation (and to Raphael too, with the burning pigeons, kicking off this debate). Leopardi was right: it's the potential of speculation, the facetted vagueness which is poetry's essence. Gunnar PS (OT): I'm afraid WWII hasn't taught us much about avoiding wars, but set down This set down This: After the German Reich the U.S. is about to be the second civilised modern nation to start a war. My Ceterum Censeo. Sorry, folks, to disturb again your placid academia. And: Thanks for your support, Sara!