Do you mean his statement in the Dante article that some poetry could be
appreciated before it was understood---no without ever understanding?  I
don't recall the latter though the former is about Dante.  He read it
when he did not yet really know Italian and, I think, learned Italian at
least partly so he could.

I agree that rhythm was very important, and there was all that criticism
about a poem being and not meaning.  Even Matthiessen in 1939 made a
great point about not focusing on prose meaning.  This interests me
because a  major reason I came to love Eliot was that I studied his work
with X. J. Kennedy, who read it to us in jazz rhythms.  It was not, for
me, initially an intellectual crossword puzzle, though I later had to
read all that material.  Eliot has an amazing sense of music and rhythm,
but I don't think it is really JUST sound ever.  (It can be
primary--Hugh MacDiarmid played with the centrality of sound for a long

I also don't see what is meant here by "meaningless."  If it means that
meaning only is present if there is what new critics thought of as an
organic unity, I don't think it means much about poems.  Poems are not
limited to their prose translations, fortunately.  

What is the "meaning" of "a green thought in a green shade"? Or "like a
patient etherized upon a table" when it is about the sky?

>>> Richard Seddon <[log in to unmask]> 08/04/07 12:28 AM >>>


Somewhere (and no I'm not going to spend an hour digging it out) TSE
that Poetry is best appreciated in a foreign language that the reader
not understand.  This would appear to suggest that Eliot was all in
favor of
meaningless poetry.  He also wrote somewhere that metre cannot be
avoided in
free verse.  I see all this as saying that the rhythms of poetry were
very important to him and that the sound perhaps meant more than the
meaning.  Although he was a philosopher, and a sanctimonious one to
boot,  I
don't see him as a preacher.  


Rick Seddon

Portales, NM


From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Of Peter Montgomery
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 10:09 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Water in TWL--why?


And how do you prove ELiot was worth his salt, esp. when he needed

Pound to do the excisions?


'Twas a tale told by an eliot,

Full of Pound and theory.



----- Original Message ----- 

From: Diana Manister <mailto:[log in to unmask]>  

To: [log in to unmask] 

Sent: Friday, August 03, 2007 6:36 AM

Subject: Re: Water in TWL--why?


Peter and Carrol, any poet worth his salt would excise meaningless
of his or her text, not excepting Charles Bernstein. We may not
the meanings, but that does not mean they are gibberish. Diana


From:  Peter Montgomery <[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--why?
Date:  Fri, 3 Aug 2007 00:28:42 -0800
From: "Carrol Cox" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To see _everything_ as meaningful is to destroy all intelligible
> meaning.

The very aim and goal of the so-called movement, post modernism.



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