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C> To read his early poems as Christian takes away the power of his
C> conversion, making it rather dull.

 

???

 

Eliot's early poems are full of Christian themes and images. I have no idea why you think that makes his later announced conversion "dull".

 
Two examples for now (more on request):
 
1) Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service
. . .
(The 'natural man Sweeney', taking a bath, is closer to Christ than the so-called 'Masters')
But through the water pale and thin
Still shine the unoffending feet
. . .
Sweeney shifts from ham to ham
Stirring the water in his bath.
The masters of the subtle schools
Are controversial, polymath.

 

 

2) Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar
. . .
(Crucifixion imagery) 
But this or such was Bleistein’s way:
A saggy bending of the knees
And elbows, with the palms turned out
 
-- Tom --
  > Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 22:02:08 -0500
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Rock symbolism in Eliot's Poetry
> To: [log in to unmask]
> 
> Diana Manister wrote:
> > 
> > Eliot converted to Anglicanism in 1939, didn't he?
> 
> No, in the late '20s or so. (Someone will surely give the precise date). 
> > 
> > I can't see that he was drifting towards Christianity when he wrote TWL either. It seems to contradict itself with regard to religious beliefs. Buddhism and Christianity have different cosmologies, both of which make appearances in the poem.
> 
> To read his early poems as Christian takes away the power of his
> conversion, making it rather dull. Emphasize the lack of religious
> belief in the earlier poems and the conversion becomes more impressive.
> In any case, what one person does or doesn't believe does not make
> anything more or less true.
> 
> Carrp;
> > 
> > Diana
> > 
> > > Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 07:44:04 -0400
> > > From: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: Re: Rock symbolism in Eliot's Poetry
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > >
> > > At 04:54 AM 4/6/2009, Nancy Gish wrote:
> > > >When Eliot wrote "Prufrock" (it was a name on a sign in St. Louis), he was
> > > >not a Christian, nor was he then wishing to be a Jesuit; by his own
> > > >account he considered being a Buddhist. He wrote it in 1911-12, long
> > > >before his conversion.
> > >
> > > On the other hand, Poems 1920 clearly show his attention centered Christ
> > > and Christianity, and the fact that he had not yet formally converted to
> > > the Anglican communion does not dispel at all the direction in which he was
> > > heading. One comment made aside does not counterindicate anything. And
> > > there certainly are rocks everywhere in his poetry, the lead stone of
> > > Burbank being as telling as any.
> > >
> > >
> > > > >>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> 4/5/2009 9:50 PM >>>
> > > >Thanks, Rick.
> > > >
> > > >2. I also wonder if there is any connection between the "red rock" in TWL
> > > >and the "blue rocks" in Ash-Wednesday where the protagonist undergoes his
> > > >spiritual ordeal.
> > >
> > >
> > > The red rock is the church. As Guy Brown showed in Burbank, these lines
> > > -- Princess Volupine extends/
> > > A meagre, blue-nailed, phthisic hand -- play off of both the spiritual
> > > and the sensual, but lead ultimately to the waterstair.
> > >
> > > The impetus and direction of the poetry are not all that difficult to discern.
> > >
> > > Ken A
> > 
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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