Dear Listers,
What interests me is the application of Dante's ideas to poetry which is not "mystical"
or "allegorical" in the conventional sense of the term, poetry which, in Eliot's own words, makes us from time to time "a little more aware of the deeper, unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being, to which we rarely penetrate" (The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism). What intrigues me is a poetic style that challenges the limits of interpretation. For instance,

"The winter evening settles down
 With smell of steaks in passageways.
 Six o'clock.
 The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
 And now a gusty shower wraps
 The grimy scraps
 Of withered leaves about your feet
 And newspapers from vacant lots;
 The showers beat
 On broken blinds and chimneypots,
 And at the corner of the street
 A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
 And then the lighting of the lamps."
The possibilities of interpretation offered by these lines, I believe, are what confront us at all stages of Eliot's poetry. I shall be grateful for any opinions.

--- On Tue, 4/27/10, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Reading Mystical Literature: Dante

"the complex intellectual and emotional experience created in metaphors" --

"our inner responses to images, events, characters, phrases that have stirred meanings in us deeper than our thoughts" --

This, I believe, applies as well to literature which is not strictly "mystical", like Eliot's poetry, if you like.