East Coker is in the county of Somerset; it's now virtually a suburb of the nearby large, helicopter-manufacturing, town of Yeovil, but, if you look ar big maps of the Somerset countryside, the interconnecting roads and lanes between them form a very complex web, making navigation (especially in pre-satnav days) more than a little challenge.
This is the economic geographers' central place theory in action, and Eliot perhaps alludes to similar in that 'garlic and sapphires in the mud' passsage, with the web of veins in the human body resembling the web of rutted country lanes.
Erosion of their unmetalled surfaces over many centuries; the need for big hedges to enclose the surrounding fields; centuries of dung etc being spread on the surrounding fields thus raising their soil levels above the lanes are all perhaps contributory to the typical sunken or tunnel effect. Similarly, many ancient churches stand very much higher than their approach and surrounding roads.
GK Chesterton's famous lines come to mind
Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.
I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.
His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?
The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.
My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.
On 1 July 2011 04:27, Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
I much prefer to work by analogy,
where in we find Alice falling deeply into Wonderland,
where size is subjective and irrelevant,
old rubrics serve new meanings,
and electricity leads to shocking things.
Alice always works for me in the classroom,
and all I have to do is pay her due regard.
To take her text literally:
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 7:59 AM
Subject: Re: electric heat, deep lane in East Coker
> I don't much agree with doing it this way, but if that's
> what's happening then I will try to be nice and join in.
> Right! but this is what teachers do in the classroom, so let me respond to
these helpful comments.