You'll excuse me, Rickard, but IMHO, when a sharp and perceptive mind like Eliot's comes into contact with another language, be it Greek, Latin, French, German, Sanskrit or Pali, it is not just a language per se but through that medium an art, a culture, a way of life that informs his creative mind. He imbibes as well the rhythms of that language, the syntax and structure of its thought, as well as its vision of life. Surely it affects in many subtle ways his music of poetry. I wonder in how many subtle ways Eliot's poetry is informed by such influences.


From: Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]>;
To: <[log in to unmask]>;
Subject: Re: Eliot's Facility with Language
Sent: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 12:52:33 PM

I've been thinking but I haven't come up with any way the Eliot's facility
with foreign languages actually helped his writing poetry in English.

As for his use of the foreign phrases though he often combined several
languages rather close together. Mostly epigraphs but then there is the
closing of TWL.  The quickest switch must be in the later dedication to
Verdenal where he has English and French in the first line and then goes on
to a quotation from Dante in the Italian.

It seems to me to the by using the languages so close together E. was
striving to show a universality in life.

  Rick Parker