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 starts 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 attention to God and God's ultimate _big_ plans for the universe ("All 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?
-- 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 content.