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With a kind of valediction.
 
These things have served their purpose: let them be.
 
Not fare well, / But fare forward, voyagers.
 
Bonne Fete 5
 
~ CR
 

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
And how do you intend to proceed?
P.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">cr mittal
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2007 5:49 AM
Subject: Re: "Raine's sterile thunder"

Just beautiful !!!  I feel like starting my journey all over again -- actually
I hardly ever started -- I just hung in the air like a particlee of dust and
claimed the earth.  Thanks, Peter Sir, for initiating me onto it.
 
God bless!
 
CR


Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
At least it gives you a place to start working out the sandy footprints.
It is an oft  quoted standby of Eliot work, but ignored 90% of the time.
The ARE other quotes too. The following shows how he arrived at a
particular set of images to create a specific effect.
 
     William Turner Levy's account of his first meeting with
     Eliot on 26 July 1948:
 
          In the course of our conversation I had mentioned how
     impressed I was with the dignity and reserve of both Russell
     Square and the building of Faber & Faber.  Eliot responded by
     telling me that during the war he had been a fire watcher
     stationed on the roof of Faber & Faber: "We had to watch the fires
     and report them as quickly as they occurred.  You will be
     interested to know that the lines from 'Little Gidding' came out
     of this experience."
          He then recited his own words from that poem, which is the
     last of the _Four Quartets_:
 
          Ash on an old man's sleeve
          Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
          Dust in the air suspended
          Marks the place where a storey ended.
          Dust inbreathed was a house--
          The wall, the wainscot and the mouse.
    ;      The death of hope and despair,
               This is the death of air.
 
          For the first time I heard the poet speak his own verse, and
     I was deeply moved.
          "You see," Eliot remembered, "during the Blitz the
     accumulated debris was suspended in the London air for hours after
     a bombing.  Then it would slowly descend and cover one's sleeves
     and coat with a fine white ash.  I often experienced this effect
     during long night hours on the roof."
 
     Levy, William Turner and Victor Scherle, AFFECTIONATELY,
           T. S. ELIOT: THE STORY OF A FRIENDSHIP: 1947-1965.
           Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott, 1968: 14-15
 
Shake that dust from your feet.
Cough it from your lungs.
Supersize it at McDonalds.
Circumcise it in your imaginings.
It will not leave you.
P.

----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]">cr mittal
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 5:15 AM
Subject: Re: "Raine's sterile thunder"

Momentous statements -- the sine qua non of our understanding,
enjoyment and appreciation of poetry. A stay secure against rain
and sterile thunder :)
 
Thanks, Peter, for this invaluable quote, as also for the earlier one
on Arthur Symons' The Symbolist Movement in Literature.
 
CR


Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
...  when  I  learn  that a difficult sonnet was inspired by seeing a
painting on the  ceiling  reflected  on  the polished top of a table, or
by seeing the light  reflected from  the  foam on a glass of beer, I can
only say that this may  be  a  correct  embryology, but it is not the
meaning. If we are moved by  a  poem, it has meant something, perhaps
something important, to us; if we are not moved,  then it is, as poetry,
meaningless. We can be deeply stirred by  hearing  the recitation of a
poem in a language of which we understand no word;  but  if we are then
told that the poem is gibberish and has no meaning, we  shall  consider
that we have been deluded -- this was no poem, it was merely  an
imitation  of instrumental music. If, as we are aware, only a part of the<
meaning  can  be  conveyed  by paraphrase,  that is because the poet is
occupied  with  frontiers  of  consciousness  beyond  which words fail,
though meanings  still  exist.  A  poem  may  appear to mean very
different things to different readers, and  all of these meanings may be
different from what the author  thought  he meant. For instance, the
author may have been writing some peculiar personal  experience,  which
he  saw  quite  unrelated  to anything outside; yet  for  the reader the
poem may become the expression of a general  situation,  as  well as
of some private experience of his own. The reader's interpretation  may
differ from the author's and be equally valid -- it may even be better.
There may be much more in a poem than the author was aware  of.  The
different interrpretations may all be partial formulations of one thing;
the  ambiguities  may be due to the fact that the poem means more, not
less,  than  ordinary  speech  can  communicate.  So, while poetry
attempts to convey  something  beyond  what can be conveyed in prose
rhythms, it remains, all  the  same, one person talking to another; and
this is just as true if you sing  it,  for  singing  is another way of
talking. The immediacy of poetry to conversation  is  not a matter on
which we can lay down exact laws. Every revolution in poetry is apt to
be, and sometimes to announce itself to be, a return to common speech.
(23)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eliot, T.S. "The Music of Poetry." ON POETRY AND PPPOETS. NY:Noonday,1961.
      (originally Faber, 1947).
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]">cr mittal
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2007 6:35 AM
Subject: Re: "Raine's sterile thunder"

Thanks a lot, Peter, for your lucid comments.
You're right in remarking :
 
"Maintaining the focus on the perceptions helps to make a further
deeper perception possible, which  is, how Eliot was setting about
to shape perception itself."
 
Reminds me of Herman Hesse's SIDHARTHA where the
protagonist refuses to take for granted what has been told
to him by the Buddha, but instead chooses to "experience"
the path (laid down by Terry Eagleton !!! ) himself -- it's
proceeding from perception to perception --
the flashes dawning like the light on kingfisher's wings --
oh, it seems like the blueprint of some mystical journey
where one has to proceed from one revelation to another.
Is that so ?  Interesting !
 
But my foolish question still haunts me rather
doggedly -- has someone articulated this experience
of Eliot's poetry in terms of percepttions and deeper
perceptions ?  Any "footprints on the sands of time"
so that one may read them and take heart ???
 
Regardful thanks,
 
CR

Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Let us not forget that Eagleton has simply extrapolated from Eliot's own thinking,
in order to satisfy Eliot's own understanding of his approach to his work. Always
the focus is on the work, and secondarily on Eliot's guidelines to maintaining the
focus. Eaglton has simply evaporated some of the impeding steam. If one simply
continues to look for the effects generated by the work, rather than any given meaning,
one will get there. However, different effects will be generated by the same lines in
different people. So there is the paradox. By registering the effects one experiences,
the reader does have his or her own say in the discussion. Registering the effects
as experiences, rather than meanings is where the skill needs to develop. Sticking
with the senses, the perceptions, is the key. The discipline lies in resisting the temption
to attribute meanings to the perceptions. Maintaining the focus on the perceptions
helps to make a further deeper perception possible, which  is, how Eliot was setting
about to shape perception itself. A serious service is registered in laying that work bare.
 
What was it Pound said to Eliot about going in front doors and backdoors?
 
Cheers,
P.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]" hreef="mailto:[log in to unmask]">cr mittal
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 6:27 AM
Subject: Re: "Raine's sterile thunder"

Here are, then, the theoretical parameters of a sensible approach
to Eliot, eliciting a unanimous applause from us. It makes me curious,
though, to learn if the List can guide the reader/student to some 
criticism/analysis of Eliot's work that adheres to the norms laid down
by Terry Eagleton.  Or must the reader/student of Eliot sift and choose
for himself/herself from a wide array of criticism -- as always ?
 
CR


Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hence the contempt for certain strains of criticism and/or analysis.
Love it.
P.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask]" hreef="mailto:[log in to unmask]">cr mittal
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:51 AM
Subject: "Raine's sterile thunder"

"Eliot's poetry is not a question of meaning in the first place.
The meaning of a poem for Eliot was a fairly trifling matter. It was,
he once remarked, like the piece of meat which the burglar throws to
the guard dog to keep him occupied. In true symbolist fashion, Eliot
was interested in what a poem did, not in what it said—in the resonance
of the signifier, the echoes of its archetypes, the ghostly associations
haunting its grains and textures, the stealthy, subliminal workings of
its unconscious. Meaning was for the birds, or perhaps for the petit
bourgeoisie. Eliot was a primitivist as well as a sophisticate, a writer
who made guerrilla raids on the collective unconscious. For all his
intellectualism, he was averse to rationality. Meaning in his poetry is
like the mysterious figure who walks beside you in The Waste Land,
vanishing when you look at it straight. When Raine enquires of a couple
of lines in one of Eliot's poems whether we are supposed to be in a
brothel, the only answer which would be true to Eliot's own aesthetic
is that we are in a poem. "
                                                      ~ Terry Eagleton
 
 
CR


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