of Eliot's dialectics
I use "dialectics" here in the sense of "the juxtaposition or interaction
of conflicting ideas, forces, etc."
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire.
-- Little Gidding
In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
-- East Coker
From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: The Dry Salvages - what's in a name?
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 11:21 AM
Chokh Raj wrote:
> the dialectics of Eliot's poetry
Just what do you mean by dialectics. From what follows you use the word
as a fancy synonym for many-voiced, which really has not much to do with
dialectics. Dialectics (whether Platonic, Cartesian, Hegelian, Marxian,
or Whiteheadian) involves some special sort of totality. A poem, in fact
any text, builds by synthesis rather than unfolding dialectic.
> where echoes move back and forth
> and echo to echo resounds
> the story of Eliot's poetry
> at heart, the story of Mr Norton
> (meet Mr Eliot)
> aspiring for a lifetime's burning in love
> and getting instead burnt
> in the fires of lust.
> Burning burning burning burning
> O Lord Thou pluckest me out
> O Lord Thou pluckest
> You're getting it right, Tom
> the blue chart up your sleeve
> standing at the threshold
> the door is right before you
> you've got the key
> open it for all of us to walk through
> a revelation both simple and profound.
> --- On Fri, 1/30/09, Gunnar Jauch <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Gunnar Jauch <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Dry Salvages - what's in a name?
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Friday, January 30, 2009, 9:32 AM
> Am 30.01.2009 um 13:51 schrieb Tom Colket:
> > I've been away for a few weeks, so I hope it's not too
> > late to answer this.
> > My main comment is that the all four of the quartets have
> > odd titles if one chooses to look at it that way, not just
> > "The Dry Salvages":
> > a) "Burnt Norton" - A poem about a beautiful garden
> > with the word "burnt".
> > b) "East Coker" - The Modernists glorified the Western
> > canon, and this poem begins with the word "East".
> > c) "The Dry Salvages" - As you say, "focuses so
> > eloquently, beautifully and subtly on water, has a title
> > that begins with the word DRY".
> > d) "Little Gidding" - A poem that directs out
> > God and God's ultimate _big_ plans for the universe
> > shall be well . . .") has a title that begins with the
> > word "little".
> > Was Eliot doing some kind of deliberate word-play with the
> > titles? Were the titles just names of significant places
> > that happened to be two-word names in which the first word
> > inverts the expected meaning of the following poem?
> > Maybe.
> > -- Tom --
> What an excellent observation, dear Tom!
> In spite of my ongoing effort to memorize 4Q I have never
> noticed the inherent dichotomy between the titles and the