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In a message dated Thu, 10 Oct 2002 00:46:21 +0200, [log in to unmask] writes:

>
>
> 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.
>

I don't find it banal.  Of course, I don't see it simply as "bird flies, plane flies, ergo bird = plane."

Rather, I find it inspiring to speculate (and it is of course speculation) as to Eliot, in his duties as air raid warden, working his way through the infernal wreckage of London while the bombers head off from their overnight run (heading toward the horizon of their homing), and converting that experience into the beauty of this passage -- God and death each, in its own way, the "one" discharge from sin and error.
     How can two be "one"?  Why, when the tongues of flame are infolded into the crowned knot of fire, of course.  Or something like that.

Tom K