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P.S. This is from the poet, Mark Doty's comments. There are, it turns out, place names called "Deep Lane" in both England and the US. Eliot may have been thinking of them or of the implications Doty notes here about an American one:


"I took this picture last week, in the late afternoon, in Amagansett, down the road a couple of miles south of our house here. Deep Lane is the most beautiful name for a road I've ever heard, I think: the two monosyllables, the two long vowels, with the higher pitched vibration of the 'e' and the more soothing relaxation of the throat required to produce 'a.' And then there are the suggestions of the words themselves: the road is deep because it dips, just before the patch you see here, but it might also be deep in the country, or deep in memory or in one's regard, or it might carry one deep into -- what? And "lane," doesn't that speak for itself? A lane is modest, it doesn't go anywhere of note, it's unimportant in the larger scheme of things. "Lane" speaks of domesticity and familiarity, a kind of ease. "Lane" is to "road" as "cottage" is to "house." 

Those are part of a flock of sixteen or so wild turkeys; the others are off to the left, down in a little clearing. I've never seen so many together at once.

The dark object in the lower right hand corner is the front left fender of my car: I stopped while the turkeys continued, in groups of three or four, joining the flock." 

Posted by Mark Doty at 7:28 PM  






>>> "Materer, Timothy J." 06/29/11 11:40 AM >>> 
Can anyone say what Eliot might mean in East Coker by "electric heat"? 

"And the deep lane insists on the direction / Into the village, in the electric heat / Hypnotised." 

Maybe it has to do with the etymology of the word? 

Also, a question for those who are better acquainted with the mother tongue, is "deep lane" Eliot's original image, or is he using a common term for a road? 


Timothy Materer 
English Department 
Univ. of Missouri