Agreed. Still, the juxtaposition is striking. Eliot wouldn't
otherwise be repeating the first line -- the scenario has
undergone a sea change in the second segment. The
repetition of the line could as well be just a refrain to
convey a recurrent activity, BUT something terrible
seems to have transpired in the interval to impart a
scary aspect to the scene.

Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
CR: The first two lines seem anything but innocent, but rather reeking with cynicism. The couple playing the game do not provide company for each other, so the speaker is grateful at least for the company of the ivory men. The awareness expressed by the poet as to the emptiness of the relationship between the players would be enough I should think for Vivien to request the removal of the lines. This insight is not original with me, but I forget where I read it. Diana
CR wrote;
Let's reconsider the lines Rick quoted from 'The Death of the Duchess":   
 * We should play a game of chess
 * The ivory men make company between us
 * We should play a game of chess
 * Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
One may now see what a desert sighs between the innocence
of the first two lines and the weirdness of the last two  --
a purposive juxtaposition.

Got a little couch potato?
Check out fun summer activities for kids.