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Steve Pollack wrote:

> To bring this back to Eliot: Your last quote had the phrase "nerves,
> nerves, nerves", which certainly reminds me of the nervous woman in "A
> Game
> of Chess" ("My nerves are bad tonight"). Nancy has pointed out the WW1
> references in TWL, including the solders (Stetson and Lil's husband),
> and we
> know Lil's husband appears in "A Game of Chess".
>
> Carrol, Nancy, and all: Do you think that, in part, TSE was trying to
> contrast a person made "nervous" while coping with everyday life
> compared to
> a WW1 soldier made "nervous" by the insanities of war? I hadn't considered
> such a comparison before, but maybe the reader is being invited to compare
> the Cleopatra woman's "nerves" to a WW1 soldier's "nerves".


Dear Steve,
    I think you are perceptive in seeing several cases of nerves in the
poem.
    Invitation -- I'll pass on that part of your post; I don't find it
adds anything to my appreciation or understanding of poems to think of
poets inviting readers to do this or that.
    Comparison -- It is a fundamental activity of poems: metaphor,
simile, juxtaposition, relations of part to whole, of words to
non-words, ... .  I don't have the poem so firmly in mind that I can
comment on the relations between various passages.  Others will, I know.
 What I can say without looking at TWL is that the common method of
dramatization (though the style, let's call it, of the dramas differ)
connect the bar scene and the chess game.  And, then, as you point out,
so does the matter of nerves.
    I didn't know "Lil's husband appears in 'A Game of Chess' ."  How so?


Yours,
Marcia