Thanks, friends, for making some very valuable observations. I shall welcome any more light on the subject.
Personally I was thinking of the implications of the dramatic voice in terms of the degree and level of the audience's reception/receptivity of it; a greater degree, I guess, of their involvement in the drama that underlies an utterance -- both a more immediate fascination and a deeper and lasting involvement in the psychological drama inherent in an utterance. And that perhaps accounts for the continued 'dramatic' appeal of Eliot's poetry.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
I would almost agree. I think the poetry is in the resonant intervals between words and
in music. Eliot could control the rhythms with great brilliance because he practiced so much (3 hrs/day?), but he found getting the words was like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube (BBC interview or panel discussion I think?).
Hopefully this is not old hat to everyone.
I think to have poetry in the dramatic
genre you have
to have something besides a scene and a few words encased in quotation marks.
That said, I think the drama in TSE's poetry occurs in the reader's mind and not on the page. TSE's poetry provides a kernel of an idea that blossoms in his reader's mind into a vignette that then approaches drama.
Much as in Pound's Imagism, TSE uses powerful metrical language to trigger dramatic sequences in his readers' minds. To someone just reading the words and not letting his/her mind react to them, this results in a disjointed fractured often jumbled mass of individual poems and that, of course, was not what TSE intended.