Dear Marcia,

I've been doing some programming for my TWL website and an analogy
sprang to mind that may help me explain my two "Waste Lands" theory.
But first I'm going to describe a creative experience that I had that
I hope is comparable in some way to the poetic experiences you and
your friends have.

Many years ago I wrote a program that would edit image files.  The
purpose was to learn something new and show a sceptic that I could do
it.  The bulk of the work was identifying the pixels that I wanted to
modify and then writing code that would change the color values of the
pixels.  I managed to do this to my satisfaction and then I abandoned
the project and never used the image editor afterwards.

Now, if this were to be a program for sale, the user interface would
have to be cleaned up and simplified because commands that had to be
given to actually perform an edit on a file were hard to understand
and use (I just created something as needed because a good UI was not
what I was going after.)  I could have handed this program off to
someone else to finish with no qualms because I did what I set out to
do.  I could have either helped with the UI or let someone rip it

Now, to complete the analogy that I hope may get my point across on
how I see Eliot and TWL.  Eliot's life was a mess.  Maybe it would be
fair to say a confused mess.  He wanted to come to grips with it and
to write something down to help him do so.  The writing was important
because he was also worried about losing his creativity (think of a
wasteland.)  He finally did that with his poem (shantih.)  Eliot
completed his project as I completed mine.  But he wanted to go
further.  He wanted to sell his work.  He didn't seem to care _TOO_
much about how Pound edited because he had already met his primary
goals.  Also, because Pound really didn't impose his own changes and
generally only wanted things deleted or sometimes fixed (however TSE
wanted to do it) there was not as much of an ego barrier to sucumb on
Eliot's part.  It was easy to take the King of Modernist Poetry saying
that TSE's stuff was great (but please not so much of it.)

So, to my way of thinking, there were two poems, the longer one Eliot
wrote to exorcise his demons and the shorter one he got back from Pound
to get published in some way.  Because much of the longer poem was
personal it didn't matter much to Eliot that it wouldn't be seen and
the parts that Ezra deemed worthy were all that was needed.

    Rick Parker