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Diana Manister wrote:
> 
> Marcia and Nancy: I'm so bad at arithmetic I never should have
> suggesting summing up anything. I meant to question whether
> Eliot shifts the meaning of water in a deliberate attempt to draw
> attention to semantic indeterminacy or whether water stands for other
> things in consistently symbolic renderings. Diana

There is _neither_ any "semantic indeterminacy" _nor_ any "consistently
symbolic renderings" of water. Those concepts merely get in the way of
reading the poem. It boggles the mind to try to fancy Eliot with
clenched teeth and squared jaw saying to himself, "By gosh and by gum,
i'm going to really confuse everyone by making water be bath water here
and river water there." Gee!

He focuses on a particular private scene (which happens as Pound noted
to be photographic, but forget that), and in that scene one character
refers to their daily ritual (say tea): The hot water at ten. That water
does not slop over into any other episode.  Why should it? Eliot could
not in his wildest nightmare imagined that 70s years later someone would
think that tea water had anything to do with the natural fact that the
Thames flows through London and for 2000 or so years has been central to
London and central to the mind of England for 500 or more years. There
is no inconsistency. There is no incoherence. There is no semantic
indeterminacy. There is simply two different passages each with its own
decorum (or mode of fitting image to idea). And when we come to the bird
the water in that is no relationship to (nor should it have relationship
to) tea or the river.

Carrol