Thanks, Peter. Incidentally, I got all the clarity I needed on the subject in Jacob Korg's book 'Ritual and Experiment in Modern Poetry', pp. 41-42, beggining with the following para: //In concluding his chapter on Eliot's attraction to primitivism, William Skaff writes, "Eliot wrote three long poems which are rituals. Eliot the poet performs through poetry the same rite that the ritualistic structure would dictate a religious celebrant to perform. Early evidence of Eliot's commitment to ritual appears in the paper he read at a Harvard seminar in 1913 defending the mystical insight of primitive ritual. ... // http://books.google.com/books?id=IUHvdHCSs5gC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false Meanwhile, I'm submitting in a parallel post my concluding note on TWL, for what it is worth. CR ________________________________ From: P <[log in to unmask]> To: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> Sent: Saturday, September 8, 2012 6:50 PM Subject: Re: Ritual and Experiment in 'The Waste Land' CR have you looked at "The Hollow Men" for rituals? If they aren't there they aren't anywhere. See D.E.S. Maxwell's The Poetry of T.S. Eliot, esp. the appendix. I have my doubts, but you may also find something about them at www.alaindebotton.com. P.M. Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote: ps - Even though it goes without saying, it needs to be stressed that when the poem ends with the invocation of Datta, Dayadhvam, Damyata, it is invoking them in terms of a certain resolution implied in the poem's elaboration of these mantras -- the elaborations having a close bearing on what has transpired in the course of the poem. Datta: what have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment’s surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed Which is not to be found in our obituaries Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor In our empty rooms Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison Only at nightfall, aetherial rumours Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus Damyata: The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands --- These invocations are supposed to usher in "a peace that passeth understanding", which peace is then ritually invoked. CR ________________________________ From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> To: [log in to unmask] Sent: Saturday, September 8, 2012 11:31 AM Subject: Re: Ritual and Experiment in 'The Waste Land' These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo’s mad againe. Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. Shantih shantih shantih --- evoking rituals CR ________________________________ From: Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> To: [log in to unmask] Sent: Thursday, September 6, 2012 10:05 AM Subject: Re: Ritual and Experiment in 'The Waste Land' Thanks for that most valuable pointer, Rickard. Incidentally, a most cogent and lucid exposition of the poem, in this regard, remains one by David Chinitz. One may not entirely agree with his view of the poem's closing section, though. Well, here's a link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/92465588/17/T-S-Eliot-The-Waste-Land an excerpt Eliot’s Notes on The Waste Land explain “the title,...the plan, and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem” by referring readers to the legend of the Holy Grail, whose history was traced in Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance, and to the fertility rites inventoried in James G. Frazer’s The Golden Bough. Most treatments of the poem since the 1970s have downplayed the importance of this material to the extent that earlier readings made it central. That much of the Grail-quest material was added late, and that it hardly underlies a “plan” for the entire poem, is demonstrable, and Eliot himself expressed “regret [for] having sent so many enquirers off on a wild goose chase” after his sources (1957: 110). The fact remains, though, that Eliot’s use of symbolism drawn from Frazer and other anthropological sources is already visible in the poems, such as “Sweeney among the Nightingales” and “Gerontion,” that precede his composition of The Waste Land. Such material was thoroughly enmeshed in Eliot’s thought and perception, and it is integral to the themes and methods of The Waste Land as well (Crawford 1987: 127–49). --- CR ________________________________ From: Rickard Parker <[log in to unmask]> To: [log in to unmask] Sent: Thursday, September 6, 2012 7:54 AM Subject: Re: Ritual and Experiment in 'The Waste Land' Don't forget the note mentioning Frazer and Weston. They were dealing in ritual. On Wed, 5 Sep 2012 12:45:10 -0700, Chokh Raj <[log in to unmask]> wrote: >Modes of Ritual in 'The Waste Land' One of the radical poetic experiments most obvious in the composition of The Waste Land is to see if the rehearsing of certain rituals imposes patterns of coherence and order on certain chaotic fragments of a wasteland. It is well worth taking into account rituals, implicit as well as explicit, that are discernible in the body of the text. No critical account, I suppose, can afford to set aside such a consideration in any meaningful appreciation of the work. Here's a tentative outline. It is remarkable that these rituals cease to operate in a wasteland, not without, however, making their absence felt rather painfully through their memory. Their invocation is finally answered, though, in terms of rain.