I don't get why a poem about or presenting or revealing or exposing the perverse should itself be called perverse unless, by definition, it presents a false picture of the perverse, i.e. unless it perversely presents the perverse. Ditto the poet. It doesn't make sense to me to say that "Eliot--as poet--is perverse" because some of his poems deal with the perverse (not, however and BTW, Sweeney Erect). I think Peter is getting at the problem in saying what Eliot is doing when he notes how the symbol for grace is turned into weapons in FQ. But I don't think this is perverse. At 06:54 PM 4/6/2005 -0400, you wrote: >You're right that the way I have written these appears inconsistent. I >do mean that the poems are perverse and that Eliot--as poet--is >perverse. That does not mean that Eliot--as person--was perverse; I am >not commenting on him as a person. > >I mean that the poems I listed are "perverse" by virtue of the fact that >they depict events and feelings and experiences that fit the dictionary >definitions of the term. > >I mean that Eliot--as poet--is "perverse" by virtue of the fact that he >writes on these subjects and exposes/reveals events, experiences, and >feelings that fit the dictionary definition. This is part of what makes >his poetry so powerful: he is, in fact, plunged into the most perverse >as well as the most idealized. He engages an extreme range of >experience--though I would say it is deep and narrow compared to a >writer like Shakespeare or Chaucer. But then, so is Dante. I am NOT >doing what Eliot called for in his discussion of comparison and >analysis--this is not an evaluative claim.