Interesting discussion point:

Did Eliot just mix the intangible with the concrete,
  or with his special genius, discover that mix inherent
  in the language itself.

Perhaps a subtle distinction, but still I think,
a vaild one.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chokh Raj 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:28 AM
  Subject: Re: Query: Eliot in Pop Culture


  I'm sorry, here's a point apropos the following:

  Twelve o'clock.
  Along the reaches of the street
  Held in lunar synthesis,
  Whispering lunar incantations
  Dissolve the floors of memory...

  When I was a youngster, what struck me was the mixing of the
  concrete with the intangible -- as in the lines above. I find it
  a fascinating aspect of some pop songs. 

  And should I have the right to smile ? -- with the young ? :)


  Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
    Thank you, Nathan, for drawing attention to this fascinating aspect
    of Eliot's poetry -- his special appeal to the youngsters.

    Let me try and see what strikes me most when I look at Eliot's 
    poetry with a schoolboy's eye -- a couple of random samples :

    Because I do not hope to turn again
    Because I do not hope
    Because I do not hope to turn

    It's the repetitive turn of phrase that strikes me first
    -- it's so much a part of the pop culture -- Eliot easily 
    belongs here.

    Let me take another clip:

    Twelve o'clock.
    Along the reaches of the street
    Held in lunar synthesis,
    Whispering lunar incantations
    Dissolve the floors of memory...

    It's fascinating to focus on an isolated phrase -- "Twelve o'clock" --
    it's so intriguing -- so inviting. 
    A call, maybe, that beckons the young to board the bandwagon of
    a poetry unlike any one before !!!

    It's elsewhere too : 

    Six o'clock.
    The burnt-out ends of smoky days.

    These short, brief, crisp turns of phrase have a charismatic
    power of their own -- they lend themselves easily to
    the youngster's incipient creativity -- there''s the
    irresistible urge to go ahead along these lines and
    form one's own turns of phrase.

    Eliot's poetry abounds in them -- and, contrary to the mature
    academics who tend to delve into the metaphoric aspect
    of their meaning in relation to a whole poem, I believe
    the young are charmed by these flashes of wit.

    I could go on and on, and explore Eliot's poetry along such lines
    and see how he fits in with the young.

    And if you encourage me, I might keep sharing my
    speculations.  And before I close, here's a colloquial,
    everyday speech that  more often than not finds expression 
    in Eliot's poetry: "Are these ideas right or wrong ?"

    It's the poetic possibilities of the spoken word that engaged
    Eliot's attention -- and it's this that endears him to pop
    culture.  Just maybe ! 


    Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
      Nathan, Eliot has been an influence on contemporary language-centered poetry, although not so much as
      Pound or Williams or Stein. In his use of found speech fragments in The Waste Land he created polyphony
      or multiplicity of voices that goes beyond the univocal Romantic lyric in a manner that can be called Post-
      modern. He also foregrounded individual words and phrases to a greater extent than earlier poetry did.
      His poetry provides new models for poets searching for alternatives to forms of narrative and lyric associated with
      Romanticism. He may be a dead white guy, but his ghost still haunts poetry!


      > Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 10:32:08 -0400
      > From: [log in to unmask]
      > Subject: Re: Query: Eliot in Pop Culture
      > To: [log in to unmask]
      > --------------------
      > From: [log in to unmask] 
      > Um, though - he's not any more "relevant" now than when he first wrote or in the 1960s or any other time, in a way differs from poetry in general. LOL.
      > ---------------------
      > Correction/ amendment:
      > I'm not attempting to prove Eliot any more relevant to modern culture than he was in his own time, but rather that he does not fit into the "old-dead-whit-guy" category that seems to have been applied to him. That's probably not an opinion held by anyone on this list, but it is fairly common place among high school students and teachers. Applying "relevance" in this case is not intended to prove him more significant than at his zenith, but to work upwards from a diminished conception.
      > Also, it was the Crash Test Dummies song that got me started on the pop culture reference thing. I heard it on NPR one day about 3 years ago. Wikipedia has on their T. S. Eliot page a fairly extensive list of references in songs and other media. though some are quite shaky. the ones I've been getting back today are much more concrete.
      > -NAthan 

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