My concern is the need for some genuine discussion and debate about the poetry in place of a series of statements that assume (as opposed to justify) that what we are discussing is religion. There is nothing in my questions below to call for past posts because they are asked only about what was in the previous post. These assumptions about religion are not at all obvious, and I am simply querying their constant presence. "Concerns" is not really an apt word since it implies that what is going on is simply an exchange of facts. It is a discussion, and one can enter it at any point. My point in the message below is that the text is not based in obvious truths. It is a complex poem and can be read in many ways. The focus on religion is only one and one that does not necessarily match what we know about Eliot's own religious attitudes in 1919-1921. So you need not offer any alternative unless you like, but I am not at all required to fit any program (as in "raise concerns" at some specific time.) I do not think TWL is primarily about religion though obviously it has religious references. I do not think the reading that it is a prelude to finding faith is a sufficient explanation of what it depicts. I think anyone still claiming that needs to justify it as part of a framework for the poem rather than a series of separate comments on images assumed without explanation to be religious. And I especially do not think one can understand images in isolation. I don't have any responsibility to say that at any time before now. Cheers, Nancy >>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> 07/31/07 11:23 PM >>> I would be in a better position to address your concerns if you were to refer to any of my past posts, Nancy Gish. I cannot take up any of the issues here without recourse to what I have already said before -- if you had had any concerns then you should have raised them then and there. CR Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote: I'm confused. With what, in the first point, do you agree? I asked a question. How can you affirm that her wet hair represents pure, undefiled passion? Whose? In the prior version of this, "Dans le Restaurant," the old waiter is the one desiring, and the narrator sees him as sordid and disgusting. In this one the speaker feels nothing at all. Is it hers? Then does "passion" fit an innocent girl hurt by the change in one who once flirted? It is just this announcing of "this represents that" that I am trying to ask questions about. Nothing in the text is obvious. I've been reading TWL and others on it all my life and it is not at all obvious to me that it is what you state. That is why it is still a subject of fascination and diverse readings after 85 years. So the question remains, what is the nature of the poem itself? What is it about and why? Christianity in hindsight is not a given. Cheers, Nancy >>> Chokh Raj 07/31/07 9:55 PM >>> Nancy Gish wrote: >Why do you assume the poem has "a narrator"? That itself is a very >contested claim. And why, unless it is a lyric, would the narrator's >desire be the same as Eliot's? Agreed there, Nancy. > And in what sense is the wetness on the Hyacinth girl's hair >either lust or spiritual life since it seems quite clearly to many >readers an image of young and innocent desire? The water here represents passion -- pure, undefiled -- what St. Augustine (I'd quoted) refers to as something he defiled : "I defiled the very source of friendship by the filth of concupiscence, and its clear waters I befouled with the lust of hell .... BTW I had said water as a metaphor for emotional and spiritual life, it is clear and regenerative. Earlier I had written of the yearning in the poem for the life-giving waters of "spirtuality and love". >I ask these questions because I am trying to suggest that the poem is >not a set of clues to a puzzle and it is not a set of limited categories >like "lust" vs. "spirit." But one cannot close one's eyes to what is so obvious in the text -- I have never said a word without quoting to substantiate my point from the text -- and always in relation to the poem as a whole. >Nor is it clearly spoken by one narrator--or if it is, by whom? >Some say Eliot; some say Tiresias; some say a persona in the role >of questor. Agreed. >These isolated and disparate speculations need some context and > overall framework to provide a reading. I respond to you in this case only >because this is the message that turned up; the response is to a whole >line of commentary. This point is already addressed above. Regards, CR --------------------------------- Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when. --------------------------------- Building a website is a piece of cake. Yahoo! Small Business gives you all the tools to get online. --------------------------------- Park yourself in front of a world of choices in alternative vehicles. Visit the Yahoo! Auto Green Center.