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Diana Manister wrote:
> Dear Ken,
>  
> All your convoluted reasoning cannot change the past to the future.
     True, but I am trying to cling loosely to the text in order to 
tease something out of it (hopefully something that's in it).
> A speaker musing about what might have been is not dreaming of the future.
    True, sort of. He is musing about the future that wasn't. Truth is, 
I don't care so much what its tense is (though tense in Eliot can be 
extremely important); I care what it does where it is in the poem. Which 
was the point I was trying to make to Tom, which has not been taken up.
>  
> Your suggestion that interpretations should cling "truly" to the text 
> signals your belief in a single, definitive meaning on which all 
> reasonable people will agree.
     Speaking loosely, you might have been  right, but the truth is by 
using "truly" I am only trying to indicate that one can be wrong as well 
as right. And it would never occur to me that there would be a meaning 
on which all reasonable people could agree, or I would have to conclude 
that this list is made up of 99% unreasonable people.
>  
> Loose attachment to an interpretation signals a willingness to 
> consider additional meanings that the text itself suggests.
    Additional to what?

  Ken A