Dear Nancy/Listers,

> Eliot was political, with a lower case "p," but hardly "only" so.
> Milton was
> Political with an upper case "P" but hardly "only" so.  Ironically,
> someone
> like Adrienne Rich gets seen as political because the politics are
> feminist
> and lesbian.  But they are not any more "politics" than a commitment to
> being royalist, catholic, and classical.  So trying to imagine late
> Eliot
> without those very political commitments would pretty much restrict
> one to
> prosody and style.  But it matters that Charles I spent his last night
> with
> loyalists at Little Gidding.

Empson wrote in his essay on 'Eliot and Politics', 1975:

I was asked to reflect on the politics of Eliot, and after making the
attempt felt rather surprised to conclude that he hadn't got any.

This is possibly the most stimulating thing I've read about Eliot's
politics; anyone curious should be, I hope, pricked to read the whole
of Empson's piece (in Argufying).

As for your statement,

> And the politics of the Treaty of Versailles
> matter in "Gerontion's" cunning corridors.

I have often heard this said; I should like to know why they matter.

Yours, Jennifer