It's also full of chaos and despair, but the presence of allusions does
not mean that the poem itself is "absolutist." That is a way of
thinking, not a text. No amount of allusion makes the poem that. 

And one can equally easily point out the absence of any absolute in TWL.
It has been done since the initial reviews. 

Once again all these proclamations of TRUTH have shut down any
discussion, and no one is writing--except for the very valuable links
sent by Rick again.

>>> Chokh Raj 09/22/11 6:34 AM >>>
Absolute's paradox of silence and speech 

an early experience of the Absolute: 

"The seas of experience
That were so broad and deep,
So immediate and steep,
Are suddenly still.
You may say what you will, 
At such peace I am terrified.
There is nothing else beside."
('Silence', 1910) 

"I could not 
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither 
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, 
Looking into the heart of light, the silence." 
('The Waste Land') 

"Words, after speech, reach / Into the silence." 
('Four Quartets') 


From: Chokh Raj 
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:40 AM
Subject: 'The Waste Land' as an 'absolutist' poem (was Re: Absolutist
Poetry ...)

'The Waste Land' as an 'absolutist' poem

AND if the Absolute is so tellingly (if not terribly, with its DA Da Da)
voluble at the close of the poem, asserting itself rather vehemently, so
does it do as the poem unfolds at its outset:

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow 
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, 
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only 
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, 
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, 
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only 
There is shadow under this red rock, 
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock), 
And I will show you something different from either 
Your shadow at morning striding behind you 
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; 
I will show you fear in a handful of dust. 

In fact, the Absolute looms rather large, making its presence felt
across the wasteland's "panorama of futility and anarchy". It forms a
constant backdrop to the drama that plays itself out rather grimly. And
it (the Absolute) emerges from the backdrop to speak, now in this, now
in that voice. 

Frisch weht der Wind 
Der Heimat zu, 
Mein Irisch Kind, 
Wo weilest du? 


Its "inviolable voice" is heard through and through, whether or not we
choose to hear it. 

The wind / Crosses the brown land, unheard. 

It makes its presence felt, rather ominously, in the course of the
poem's last movement:

Who is the third who walks always beside you? 
When I count, there are only you and I together 
But when I look ahead up the white road 
There is always another one walking beside you 
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded 
I do not know whether a man or a woman 
—But who is that on the other side of you? 

Well, I've only barely touched the outlines of this subject, in passing,
in a rather random fashion. But you, readers, you can watch its
enactment in the poem, both in its tangible and intangible form. The
Absolute is both most explicit and implict -- implicit in the allusions
that incessantly remind you of its implacable presence.

IMHO, 'The Waste Land', by far, may be reckoned as one of the most
absolutist of poems. It is here, more than anywhere else in Eliot's
poetry, that one can acutely feel "a sense of the timeless as well as of
the temporal and of the timeless and of the temporal together".


From: Chokh Raj 
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: Absolutist Poetry ...

Incidentally, in 'The Waste Land', the Absolute holds out the promise of
rain and redemption, rather eloquently ;-)

"Co co rico co co rico 
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust 
Bringing rain" 

"Then spoke the thunder" 


From: Chokh Raj 
To: TSE@POThe whole is larger than the sum of its parts. 


From: Peter Montgomery 
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:08 AM
Subject: Re: Absolutist Poetry ...

"A whole" Maybe a black whole? ;->
Facts are artificially isolated sensory (ie visual) data. They are not
experience, although they do tend to be measurable, and measurement is
the god of science..

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ken Armstrong"
<[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: Absolutist Poetry ...

> This is why, in the matter of interpretation, "facts" are such
dangerous critters as objects of knowledge. They'll always eat a whole
in the fact-collector's bucket.
> Ken A
> Chokh Raj wrote:
>> /Philosophy and Poetry: vis-a-vis the absolute and the
not-so-absolute /
>> // "We are certain of everything - relatively, and of nothing -
>> 'Every experience is a paradox in that it means to be absolute, and
yet is relative; in that it somehow always goes beyond itself and yet
never escapes itself.'
>> -- TS Eliot, ' Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of FH
>> *The Poetic Strategy*
>> By Hilary Lawson
>> Centre for Literature and Philosophy
>> University of Sussex, 2008
>> Darkling
I listen ;-) CR