Can you give examples? Madness that is not simply weird but is deeply disturbing appears throughout. I don't know what playfulness you mean. Word play or poetic strategy is not specific to this book or to Eliot. The forms of madness are, however, frequent in his work. Best, Nancy >>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> 03/17/08 3:24 PM >>> O, I had the poetic playfulness in mind -- poetic strategies -- it takes many forms -- and it has ways of grappling with the human situation -- some of them might appear rather weird, even mad to some -- to me they have profound implications. Well, the List will have world and time enough to recur to this issue. And as they say, to each his/her own. Best, CR Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]> wrote: But the madness is explicit. I wrote about it in T. S. ELIOT AND DESIRE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY. The poems there are not about playfulness, and they include image after image of what would have been seen as madness--depersonalization, derealization, doubling--many forms of dissociation. Consider Prufrock looking out the window "to hear my Madness singing, sitting on the kerbstone. . . / I have heard my Madness chatter before day." Or the voice of "Do I know how I feel? Do I know what I think," who hears a servant speak of "what a flash of madness might reveal." Or the speaker of "The Love Song of St. Sebastion"--one hopes this sadist has madness as at least explanation. Cheers, Nancy >>> Chokh Raj 03/17/08 10:33 AM >>> Thanks for your observation, Nancy. I don't think Eliot would have had the hare's "madness" in mind when he composed the title 'Inventions of the March Hare'. One might as well associate the March Hare with its playfulness -- in Eliot's context a poetic playfulness. As for "fertility", it could be the fertility of early youth's poetic imagination. Well, mine was just a flashpoint -- maybe a good starting point to reflect. CR Nancy Gish wrote: I don't think I see what is apropos. March Hares are mad, and the poems of "Inventions of the March Hare" have a good deal of madness in them. They hardly have any joys of renewal or bunnies and eggs--even stale ones. And the fertility of "Prufrock's Pervigilium" is pretty disturbed and disturbing. I don't see much connection with these images of sentiment. How are they related? Nancy --------------------------------- Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.