BTW, Diana, how does anything in your argument repudiate "innocence" ? Can one not be "cynical" and yet be "innocent"? Nor does the "emptiness" in their relationship rule out innocence. To me, the innocence of the first two lines stands out in contrast with the sense of guilt that riddles the next two lines. Let me quote the lines again : * 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. Regards, CR cr mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 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. CR 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. CR --------------------------------- --------------------------------- Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha! Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.