Well Nancy I've reread the whole thread as it is in this post,
and I can't find anything except perhaps grounds for a disagreement.
I see no assertion about any secret knowledge. I see no inuendos or snide subtext.
Obviously Ken is asserting that the poetry is the material
on which one's apprecation of said material should be based.
I gather you do not.
Could you explain to what you are referring when you use the word secret.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Nancy Gish
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 6:26 AM
Subject: Re: Eliot on Charles Williams' mysticism

Perhaps you need to reread my statement and the context. It had nothing to do with any metaphysical context.  That Eliot was getting a Ph.D. in philosophy and extremely good at it (and of course did all the work and had it accepted), and that it had an effect on his work, is well known.  How much that tells us about the poetry is another matter.  But my objection is to the snide comments about how there is some truth just there in the poetry that anyone who reads it differently is too ignorant or foolish or biased or whatever to be capable of seeing.
I continues to astonish me that the quite overt and meanspirited rudeness often on this list is always passed by to address the supposed rudeness of objecting to it.  I object and am tired of endless implications--by people who do not, in fact, seem to read recent work on Eliot or to write on Eliot--that if I disagree it is out of ignorance or incapacity.
Perhaps you will address that.

>>> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>04/01/10 2:26 AM >>>
What is secret about asserting there is a metaphysical dimension to Eliot's poetry?
Obviously in any serious subject there are more sophisticated concepts that may
take a more practiced, developed, and knowledgeable mind to deal with.
There has been a lot of criticism of Eliot's poetry for being too complex, to inaccessible.
Was Eliot wrong to deal with his subjects in a way that
might be too difficult for a Grade 7 student to access?
Life has more inaccessible dimensions than are
dealt with in our philosphies. Is the poet not to deal with them?
The disconnect here is very strange. You are certainly seeing some element to
this discussion that eludes me.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Nancy Gish
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 5:33 AM
Subject: Re: Eliot on Charles Williams' mysticism

Personally, I would cherish an end to presumptions of knowledge that can simply deny, without any demonstration, the ability of anyone to read Eliot except those with some apparent secret.  This has nothing to do with understanding poetry, Eliot, criticism, or even a "metaphysical perspective." 
It is only an assertion of private certainty that insults everyone on the list who disagrees.  Why then even discuss?

>>> Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> 03/31/10 7:34 AM >>>
Thanks, Ken, for making a classic statement on the metaphysical perspective of Eliot's poetry. It stands up to any scrutiny. This is the post that, at last, justifies the list. I'll cherish it -- now & evermore.


--- On Tue, 3/30/10, Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Eliot did say in an interview with a French newspaper that between his pre- and post-conversion poetry there was no essential change in point of view. Eric Thompson, to whom I've often referred on the list, wrote one book on Eliot, and that on Eliot's metaphysical perspective; the point being that he had a metaphysical perspective from the time his first mature poetry (Prufrock and so forth) appeared to the end. Is this boring? I have no idea why it would be. It does not preclude experimentation, exploration, peripeteia, or any dynamic thing you can think of.

It's not up for a vote.There's no security in numbers. What matters is what it is. Either that's the prize or there is no prize. Scholarly views change like ripples in a pond. The place the rock hits the water is unchanging.

The poetry is in the poem. For those who didn't see it 1923 or 1937 or 1963 or 1998, there's no reason to suppose it'll be visible in 2014. The mass of knowledge that has accreted around Eliot does not make the poetry.