Well, "peculiarly his own" is by definition comparative. It cannot, linguistically, have meaning separate from others. So if you want to say something about Eliot's linguistic background--in itself--or use that has some explanatory or illuminatory value, by all means, do so. And of course that has to mean what is individual and/or "phenomenal" as opposed to simply multi-lingual. Cheers, Nancy >>> P 11/13/12 7:53 PM >>> I didn't say anything about any other writers Nancy. Why bring them in when it is so obvious that many writers were/are/will be polyglots. It would be nice if we could focus on what Eliot's linguistic background did for his poetry besides the very obvious use of words and lines from other languages. It would be a way of actually being on topic! P. Nancy Gish wrote: Well, read Hope Mirlees's poem, Paris--written before TWL and both French and English. Or Read MacDiarmid's A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle; he also used many languages. Eliot's own way of using many languages may be his own, but using them is not. Cheers, Nancy >>> P 11/13/12 4:40 PM >>> My point was that he was able to bring this enviable skill to bear on his poetry. It added a depth and richness that were peculiarly his own. P. Nancy Gish wrote: Unless you have never known many people who have great facility with language, and many do, I do not understand this. There is no marvel at all--he knew Latin and several modern languages: I don't but many do. Nancy >>> Chokh Raj 11/13/12 10:40 AM >>> That facility and through that facility getting at the essence of things. Thus, for instance, not merely learning Sanskrit but through it getting at the heart of ancient Indian wisdom. The marvel ceases not. CR From: Peter Montgomery ; To: ; Subject: OT (sort of) Philology. Sort of. Sent: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 8:35:53 AM Mark Twain once said, "My philological studies have satisfied me that a gifted person ought to learn English (barring spelling and pronouncing) in thirty hours, French in thirty days, and German in thirty years." Eliot seems to have learned them all, all at once, not to mention Latin and Sanskrit. I don't recall our having discussed Eliot's facility with language, which it seems to me to have been quite phenomenal and one of the things that makes his work so incredibly attractive. I know it is gauche on this list to say nice things about Eliot, but there it is. I've done it and I'm very glad.