Steve Pollack wrote: > I do think it takes lots of hard work to arrive at the poem's > meaning. I think that's why so many people, throw up their hands, > state that the poem has no meaning, and thereby give themselves an > easy way out. Some Eliot quotes: No, it wasn't part of my conscious intention. I think that in Thoughts after Lambeth, I was 'speaking of intentions more in a negative than in a positive sense, to say what was not my intention. I wonder what an "intention" means! One wants to get something off one's chest. One doesn't know quite what it is that one wants to get off the chest until one's got it off. But I couldn't apply the word "intention" positively to any of my poems. Or to any poem. I feel that they take quite different approaches. There is all the difference in the world between writing a play for an audience and writing a poem, in which you're writing primarily for yourself-although obviously you wouldn't be satisfied if the poem didn't mean something to other people afterward. With a poem you can say, "I got my feeling into words for myself. I now have the equivalent in words for that much of what I have felt." By the time of the Four Quartets, I couldn't have written in the style of The Waste Land. In The Waste Land, I wasn't even bothering whether I understood what I was saying.