Reading on in the passage linked to below, it's arresting how critics miss even the most fundamental action in Eliot's poems, including in his earliest. Eliot's life may have been imperfect (however ridiculous it may be for any of us to stand in that kind of judgement on any other one of us), but the imperfections don't abate when Gordon remarks of "Conversation Galante" that the young woman in it "blocks the truth." It wouldn't be so egregious a critical error were it not that the at the center of the poem's action it is the young woman who at each turn prevents the young man from ensnaring the truth for his own low purposes, allowing it, as it were, to continue to roam free. The young woman does not block knowledge; she foils the young man's attempts to misuse knowledge and seduce her. It is, to quote one of Eliot's favorites, elementary.

With so little facility for even a basic understanding of Eliot's poetic way, it's not surprising that she and critics like her miss and misrepresent so much in Eliot's life and art.

Ken A

On 11/17/2012 10:32 AM, Chokh Raj wrote:
[log in to unmask]" type="cite">
Just one instance of the alacrity, the sensitivity and the pace with which Eliot's sensibility responded to Laforgue's influence. Here's Lyndall Gordon's insightful account: 

p. 42  "At once, on discovering Symons, Eliot ordered three volumes of Laforgue from France. The Oeuvres completes must have arrived in the spring of 1909, certainly in time for Eliot to read them over the summer, and late in the autumn he began to pour out new poems..."