There is no opposition between what I said and what you said: I referred to quantity, you to quality. Hugh MacDiarmid, for example, published masses, much of it bad. But what is great, if collected as "the best of," would be much more in quantity than Eliot. It is agreed on all sides, as far as I can see, that TWL not only is a great poem but largely defined the meaning of modernism. He still only published the best of his work, unlike Wordsworth or MacDiarmid. But anyone willing to read Sangschaw and Penny Wheep is confronted by genius. Unfortunately, there seems to be a dearth of willingness to address the mass of modernist work that was not--for many reasons--canonized.
Nancy>>> Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>11/07/11 8:52 AM >>>
Not to press too hard on the obvious, this is only true if the standard is lines published. If you step back from it, it is telling that the poet who published The Waste Land could by any measure be said to have published little. As Hughes points out, almost everything he did publish is of the highest poetic order, and the book and review referenced below, not to mention the thriving if not altogether appreciative critical industry that still lives on the poetic corpus suggest that in the most important sense few have published more.
On 11/7/2011 8:17 AM, David Boyd wrote:
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Yes, Eliot far less prolific than 'awd Wudswuth' , as the bemused Lakeland peasantry used to call him.
Of course, it was a different era, and Wordsworth had little else to do but to live a life of leisure / write his poetry
On 7 November 2011 12:56, Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
Eliot produced a lot of poor stuff also; he didn't publish it. But you can read it now in IMH. (Actually, some of that is good also, but it's sometimes crude or even offensive). It is interesting to note just how little Eliot did publish for someone with his ability and fame.
>>> David Boyd 11/07/11 4:00 AM >>>
Just recalling when I was fortunate enough, in Summer 2010, to be able to attend a talk by Prof Brooker, where she compared Wordsworth's themes etc with Eliot
And, I have to agree with the view of a (more minor) poetic contemporary of Eliot, that Wordsworth produced some of the finest poetry in the English language, but a lot of pretty poor stuff too - far more profligate / garrulous than Eliot !
On 7 November 2011 02:57, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]>
A Review of
T. S. Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews
Jewel Spears Brooker, ed.
Cambridge University Press, 2004
By Bernard Brugière
"Another recurrent debate concerns the hiatus between the early (up to Ash-Wedneday) and the later poetry presumably underlain by the transformation of the author of "Prufrock", "The Hippopotamus" and The Waste Land into a renegade, whose diasavowal of agnosticism was comparable with Wordsworth’s abandonment of his youthful revolutionary principles. Yet the more perceptive reviewers sensed that Eliot’s conversion to Christianity entailed no dramatic reversal of his earlier beliefs and noted that "the surface discontinuity concealed a deeper continuity" (XXVI)."
a nodding acquaintance -- just in case