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                        Thanks, Marcin, for this engaging discussion on 'Preludes".
   
  I'm afraid I do not find any evidence in the poem that could
  substantiate your following remark:
   
  // Thus being "moved" by the "fancies", in itself, would be
  symptomatic of sympathy on the part of the speaker. 
  He/she seems to sympathise with the "hands", the "feet",
  the "eyes" with all the synecdochically mutilated 
  inhabitants of his/her world. //
   
  The narrator does assume different (not differing)
  identities -- from "The grimy scraps / Of withered leaves
  about _your_ feet", in Prelude I,  to the impersonal 
  "_One_ thinks of all the hands..." in Prelude II,  to 
  " _You_ had such a vision of the street..." in Prelude III.
  Prelude IV makes a departure in that it begins with 
  " _His_ soul stretched tight across the skies..."  but 
  concludes with "_I_ am moved by fancies..." as well
  as "Wipe _your_ hand across your mouth, and laugh..."
   
  Marcin, I take note of the _deprecating_ note in each of the
  Preludes irrespective of the identity the speaker assumes.
  And I find no evidence of his/her _sympathy_ with the social
  scene he/she depicts. In Prelude I, there are adjectives like 
  "burnt-out", "smoky", "grimy", "withered", "vacant",
  and "broken". The speaker's impatience with this mundane
  reality is signified in the image of a lonely cab horse that
  "steams and stamps". It is disillusionment such as this 
  that is ancillary to the metaphoric "lighting of the lamps".
   
  The note of deprecation continues in Prelude II that 
  depicts the other "masquarades" of time with qualifying
  adjectives like "stale", "muddy" and "dingy".
   
  In Preludes III, in the "thousand sordid images of which
  your soul was constituted", the qualifier "sordid" 
  underscores the speaker's sense of disgust with
  his/her existence -- the image of "sparrows in the 
  gutters" does not merely describe the scene. These
  images induce in the speaker "a vision of the street..."
   
  Preludes IV tells us of the impact of this sordid reality
  on the soul of the speaker --- "His soul stretched tight
  across the skies" vis-a-vis the "conscience of a
   _blackened_ street..."
   
  The lines "I am moved by _fancies_ that are curled / 
  Around these images, and cling" hardly indicate any 
  sympathy for them. For, these only engender "The 
  notion of some infinitely gentle / Infinitely suffering 
  thing."  This "infinitely gentle" being obviously owes
  his/her infinite suffering to the impact of this dismal 
  social scene on his/her psyche.
   
  Finally, the speaker laughs away the emotion in the 
  manner of Laforgue, not  without the parting comment
  about the timeless nature of the world's futile and 
  debasing engagements.
   
  I, therefore, find a note of unity in the speaker's response
  to his/her sordid and dreary existence, in spite of the 
  apparently differing identities he/she puts on.
   
  Incidentally, those who are familiar with the chronology
  of the Preludes' composition, know that Preludes I & II 
  were written in October 1910, Preludes III (begun in 
  Paris, 1910; completed in July 1911 ), and Preludes
  IV (Cambridge, Mass., 1911).
   
  In bringing them together as one poem, the poet seems
  to have deliberately chosen to retain differing pronouns
  -- it would lend a wider validity to the experience of
  continued disillusionment with the sordid reality
  of the social scene.
   
  I'm not sure if my arguments hold. But they're there :)
   
  Regards.
   
  ~ CR
      
  

 
 		
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