Richard Seddon wrote:
> Ken
> Aren't the notes to "The Waste Land" or any other poetry an attempt by the
> poet to direct, or perhaps focus, a reading?

If I remember correctly, an early reviewer of the _Waste Land_ suggested
that it was a hoax. Had he only suggested the notes were a hoax he might
have been on to something. :-)

Eliot was snappish about Arnold's argument that poetry could replace
religion -- but it seems to me that too many devotees of Eliot (and
Pound), in their attempts to turn their poet into an oracle and source
of great truths, are doing just that.

Being all wrong does not disable a poem. Who on this list believes in
the existence of Athena? And attempts to find "truth" in the _Odyssey_
in abstraction from Athena end up with a pretty thin soup of tautology.