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I don't know either.  But publicly pronouncing one's self "royalist" does
make things explicit.
Nancy


Date sent:              Mon, 28 Apr 2003 23:13:51 -0500
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: Pachel rings a bell backwards
To:                     [log in to unmask]

Peter Montgomery wrote:
>
> Seems to me that if one is looking down on the Boar-Hound
> and the Boar playing out their cycle as before, then one has
> taken one's politics to a more metaphyscal level, whereby
> the little games of now and then and here and there haven't
> got much to do with anything that really matters.
>

A denial of history, and a vicious attack on the immediate concerns of
some 99% of the world's population, seems like a political opinion to me.

If I were to try to write on Eliot's politics (and I think politics are
rather central to his poetry), the passage I would start with would be the
following:

        In my beginning is my end. In succession
        Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
        Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
        Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
        Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
        Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
        Which is already flesh, fur and faeces,
        Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
        Houses live and die; there is a time for building
        And a time for living and for generation
        And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane
        And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots
        And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.

        In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls
        Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
        Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon,
        Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
        And the deep lane insists on the direction
        Into the village, in the electric heat
        Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
        Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
        The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
        Wait for the early owl.
                        In that open field
        If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
        On a Summer midnight, you can hear the music
        Of the weak pipe and the little drum
        And see them dancing around the bonfire
        The association of man and woman
        In daunsinge and commodious sacrament.
        A dignified and commodious sacrament.
        Two and two, necessarye coniunction,
        Holding eche other by the hand or the arm
        Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire
        Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,
        Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter
        Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,
        Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth
        Mirth of those long since under the earth
        Nourishing the corn. Keeping time,
        Keeping the rhythm of their dancing
        As in their living in the living seasons
        The time of the seasons and the constellations
        The time of milking and the time of harvest
        The time of the coupling of man and woman
        And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
        Eating and drinking. Dung and death.

Like the lines on the boarhound and the boar, this passage is at its
core a denial of history. How does one focus on a poem, written in the
midst of WW 2, by a man who has lived all his life in industrial cities,
which reduces human history  to

        The time of the seasons and the constellations
        The time of milking and the time of harvest
        The time of the coupling of man and woman
        And that of beasts

If that isn't political, I don't know what is.

Carrol