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
not commenting on him as a person.
I mean that the poems I listed are "perverse" by virtue of the
they depict events and feelings and experiences that fit the
definitions of the term.
I mean that Eliot--as poet--is "perverse" by virtue of the fact
writes on these subjects and exposes/reveals events, experiences,
feelings that fit the dictionary definition. This is part of what
his poetry so powerful: he is, in fact, plunged into the most
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
doing what Eliot called for in his discussion of comparison and
analysis--this is not an evaluative claim.