concluding post, hopefully
 
Dear Listers,
 
Here's a slight modification in the list I presented -- the arc of thought that moves upward reaches its climax with the 4th observation -- and takes a downward turn with the 5th -- till it reaches its denouement in the 8th-9th.
 
1. Gerontion [an old man, in a dry month, waiting for rain] looks at the world through a Christian lens --

2. He is bitterly critical of the prevailing social scenario which to him is antagonistic to the values he cherishes --

3. To him there is no forgiveness for the impudent crimes perpetrated through human history by human vanity and greed -- our sins, however, pave the way for our virtues, the hard way, though "[Virtues / Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. / These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree."]
 
4. He likes to believe that death is not the end of all -- "Think at last / We have not reached conclusion, when I / Stiffen in a rented house."

5. BUT, ironically, [and here begins the reversal of mood] Gerontion himself has not been able to escape the corruptions of life -- despite his faith in the Incarnation of the Word and his detestation of the world's departure from the Word -- his own life has been a saga of failure -- he stands degraded in his own eyes --

6. Finally, to his bafflement and dismay, death & destruction -- more importantly utter annihilation -- equally await all -- those who sin in ignorance and those who sin in knowledge --

7. The Trades --  the winds of the world  -- bring about total annihilation ("fractured atoms") -- bringing death among mankind --

8.  The Trades drive G to a sleepy corner -- and whatever view one may take of G's final state -- call it utter vacancy of thought -- or cynical disillusion -- it constitutes a total reversal of his mood --

9. The curtain drops on the last two lines -- a self-deprecating expression of cynical disillusion.
 
Please have a last look at the four phrases that punctuate the monologue -- one can trace the dramatic arc of thought as one moves from one phrase to the next -- it is certainly there for all to see.
 
Best,
 CR
 

--- On Mon, 2/22/10, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Dear Listers,

Here are some (tentative?) observations I'd like to share with you. To me:

1. The protagonist looks at the world through a Christian lens --

2. He is critical of the prevailing social scenario which to him is antagonistic to the values he cherishes --

3. To him there is no forgiveness for the impudent crimes perpetrated through human history by human vanity and greed -- our sins, however, pave the way for our virtues, the hard way, though --

4. He likes to believe that death is not the end of all -- even if life has been to him a saga of dismal failures --

5. He has not been able to escape the corruptions of life -- despite his faith in the Incarnation of the Word and his detestation of the world's departure from the Word --

6. BUT, Death & destruction await all -- those who sin in ignorance and those who sin in knowledge --

7. The Trades -- trade winds, winds of flux & change, or whatever -- bring about an end to life -- bring death among mankind, as they say --

8. The Trades drives G to a sleepy corner --

9. And whatever view one may take of G's final state -- call it utter vacancy of thought -- or cynical disillusion -- it remains an existential trauma/tragedy --

10. The monologue is an expression of this angst of a modern man --

We may call it a tragedy of inaction -- to me it is a counterpart of the classical tragedy of action  -- it's not drama proper -- it is poetry --
but it follows a certain curve of thought indicated by the phrases that punctuate the monologue.

Regards,
CR


--- On Sat, 2/20/10, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]" rel=nofollow target=_blank>[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi!
>
> Now this should be a help to me [I'll not have to explain
> it to myself all over again] and to the List. I find that my
> reading of 'Gerontion' is available online at the following
> link -- please go to CONTENTS and then to 'POEMS 1920' --
> and there it is, beginning p.49. O, I was so afraid that
> some pages would be missing, as they generally are, but
> thank God, it's all there quite intact.
>
> http://books.google.com/books?id=uKXwG_4wmSQC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false
>
> Please peruse it, if you like, and I hope the mighty drama
> that rages in Gerontion's mind vis-a-vis the ambience he
> confronts -- only to discover, most ironically, pathetically
> & painfully that he himself is an inalienable part of it
> -- that the antogonist he is contending against is within
> himself, as well as without -- he finds himself immersed in
> it irretrievably -- only to realize the futility of
> contending against an enemy all too mighty for him or for
> anyone else. Finally he turns deprecatingly away from the
> ambience, and from himself, so to say, in a state of
> detached indifference. The closing state of "sleep" is an
> expression of utmost "vacancy" that finds expression in the
> Four Quartets -- indicative of the threshold of The Dark
> Night of the Soul.
>
> The classical structure of drama outlined in the four
> phrases that punctuate the poem should be evident too. But
> if it is not, I suppose that can wait.
>
> Thanks,
> CR
>
> --- On Sat, 2/20/10, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]" rel=nofollow target=_blank>[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > Dear Listers,
> >  
> > Please let me present the four crucial phrases
> > again for your kind consideration -- the first one in
> its
> > complete form:
> >  
> > "an old man in a dry month, / Being read
> > to by a boy, waiting for rain."
> >  
> > "an old man, / A dull head among
> > windy spaces."
> >  
> > "An old man in a draughty house / Under a
> > windy knob."
> >  
> > "an old man driven by the Trades / To a
> > sleepy corner."
> >  
> > I call upon you to kindly reflect on them as part of
> > our reappraisal of the poem's structure of thought
> > --  and you will find that the monologue points to a
> > significant involvement of the protagonist in a
> process of
> > thought and action . Of that later.
> >  
> > Thanks,
> > CR
> >
> >
> > --- On Fri, 2/19/10, Chokh Raj
> > <[log in to unmask]" rel=nofollow target=_blank>[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > 'Gerontion' - the dramatic
> > arc
> >  
> > -----
> >  
> > Here I am, an old man in a
> > dry month,    [line 1]
> >  
> > I an old man, / A dull
> > head among windy spaces    [lines
> > 15-16]
> >  
> > I have no ghosts / An old man in a draughty house /
> > Under a windy knob.   [lines 30-32]
> >  
> > And an old man driven by the Trades / To a sleepy
> > corner.    [lines 72-73]
> >  
> > -----
> >  
> > To me the monologue moves along the lines of
> > a classical dramatic structure -- with an
> > Exposition, a Rising Action, a Climax, and a
> > Resolution. 
> >  
> > just an observation
> >  
> > CR
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >       
>
>
>      
>