Dear Kate, yes I see the irony you describe. But one cannot simply discover irony and leave it at that. Creating irony for its own sake is simply virtuousity. What's the point of it? Diana

From: Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Water in TWL
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 22:04:03 EDT

The most obvious explanation is sometimes the truest.  Isn't it simply "irony" that she predicts death by water in the midst of a drought.
As for Peter's latest post, Peter obviously believes that everybody is like himself.  Except for some silly behavior when I was a teenager, I have very little to face or regret.
In a message dated 7/28/2007 4:25:42 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:
There is a line in 4Q about surrendering all one has done and been,
or something like that. facing the shadow. Looking at all those years of
business shananigans, smuggling &c. facing how wring they were.
Who likes to admit, esp. to himself, he's been a real asshole. It means
there is no merit for mercy (which in fact is true of all of us anyway).
Rebirth isn't possible, if death doesn't occur.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 6:52 AM
Subject: Re: Water in TWL

Yes, I've been to the baptismal font myself. But why fear and death if it's rebirth? Diana

Ever heard of baptism?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 10:48 AM
Subject: Water in TWL

Dear CR: Eliot seems to place great credence in Sosostris' prediction about death by water, to wit:

"I.   The Burial of the Dead

 Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor

...Fear death by water...."

In Part IV, the prediction has fulfilled itself:

"IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, 
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
And the profit and loss.
         A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers.  As he rose and fell
He passes the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool."

Something that has always perplexed me is the dual symbolism of water in the poem. Soon after the drowning of Phlebas the narrator years for water. Taken by itself, the latter passages are understandable as a yearning for more "juice" in a life that has become dry and sterile. However, seen against the dreadful prediction, it acquires dark overtones, as if the narrator were longing for death by water.

"           If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water 
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water"

I would be most appreciative of any comments on the meaning of water in the poem. Diana


From:  Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:  "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
To:  [log in to unmask]
Subject:  Re: Rewrite The Waste Land - Part IV
Date:  Fri, 27 Jul 2007 10:27:12 -0700

I suppose Eliot wouldn't be carried away by mere predictions !

Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Nonetheless, Sosostris is right in at least one of her readings! Diana              

Need a vacation? Get great deals
to amazing places
on Yahoo! Travel.

Missed the show?  Watch videos of the Live Earth Concert on MSN.

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.10.22/922 - Release Date: 7/27/2007 6:08 AM

See what you’re getting into…before you go there

No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.10.22/923 - Release Date: 7/27/2007 6:01 PM

Get a sneak peek of the all-new

See what youre getting intobefore you go there