You're most welcome CR. It is such a pleasure to find others who share my enthusiasms about Eliot's work! Diana
Absolutely admirable! -- the depth of Kearns' grasp of themagical powers of mantric/incantatory verse in the Vedas,and in Eliot's poetry, and of Eliot's understanding of therole and function of poets and poetry in modern times.Thanks, Diana, for the highly illuminating quotes.Regards.~ CR
Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:Dear CR: Kearns observes that "Lanman's Sansrit Reader, the textbook Eliot had used at Harvard, included several passages from the Rig Veda related to Indra's freeing of the waters...the song itself is compared to thewaters Indra has released. The Vedic invocations, however, can be instituted effectively on ly singer-priests who have undergone appropriate ritual purifications. ""Some of these are described in the Sama Veda, which lays down the austerities such priests must practice in order to invoke, through sympathetic magic and onomatopoeia, the water-releasing power of Indra...By a metaphorical extension suggested in the Vedas and, of course directly within classical and romantic poetic traditions in the West, Eliot took this theory of priestly speech or song as an alanlogue for the understanding of the role and function of poets and poetry. The modern poet, like the priest of Indra, is responsible for the invocations that will initiate and foster the social and spiritual life of the community, and like the priest he must undergo trials and purifications...Eliot performs that release through the powerof sound, a power the "dreadful and dangerous potency" of which he was well aware.""The Vedas and the Upanishads, like many Western sources, suggested to Eliot that breath, sound and silence were at the heart of language, languge designed, as he thought the language of poetry must be, not to express the poet's sensibility but to have certain highly predictable and powerful effects on the individual, social and natural worlds."Your statement below is in complete accord with Kearns' observations:"As to why Eliot chose to retain expressions from otherlanguages in his poetry as such and not their Englishtranslations, it's a moot question, a matter for justspeculation. One reason could be the mantric qualityinherent in the sounds and rhythms of the originals,which might not always be amenable to the samecondensed version in English."Note that Kearns' observations include drought, water, and purification, as well as the physical power of sound, all themes in TWL and other of Eliot's poems. Eliot's beliefs about the effects of sound would not conflict with Christian rites, which employ incantation in the same manner. Certainly the Roman mass in Latin was almost entirely incantatory in modern times, since the congregation did not understand thelanguage. (It lost much of this magic when Latin mass was discontinued.)Was the High Anglican service in English in Eliot's day? Lancelot Andrewes' texts operate powerfully on the level of pure sound. The more I think and learn about Eliot the more I am awed by his genius! Diana.
How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messengerís low PC-to-Phone call rates.