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On 1/10/2013 12:17 AM, Nancy Gish wrote:
For anyone on this list who cares about Eliot's poetry, I think it 
matters very much to realize the degree to which it has been read 
from many, many perspectives.

  This is an oft repeated truism and hardly needs repeating to people on 
this list, at least to those who post to it. People agree and disagree. 
To varying, not to say maddeningly so, degrees. "But," to quote Artie 
Johnson's German soldier, "vut duz it mean?" Now I realize that "read 
from many, many perspectives" does not have to mean the same thing as
"agree and disagree," at least on the face of it, but it seems to come 
up with great regularity when the need is felt to reign in and tamp down 
some escaping molecule of thought or speculation or assertion that 
might, blush, put Eliot in a positive light. That might even make him 
seem, well, exceptional. That seems to be the cardinal sin. For, as we 
know, views proliferate, people disagree.

  Is entertaining "many, many perspectives" in reading Eliot's poetry an 
end in itself? The reader who rests at that station, which may be 
necessary in some measure to pass through, has everything, potentially, 
and knows nothing. So because I worry about people on this list who 
actually care for Eliot's poetry, let me suggest that the answer to 
Artie Johnson's question when applied to "many, many perspectives" is 
that some people, to varying degrees, get Eliot, and some, to varying 
degrees, don't. Try to affirm the former and move past the latter. The 
truth doesn't lie in consensus.

Ken A