No one denies the Christ theme in V--one of three distinct themes. The point is that the use of Christian symbols, among many others, does not entail a Christian persona. Moreover, he wrote Part V in 1921, and it is the only section that does, in fact, have a kind of quest and images from Weston.

But another major section of V is the quotation from Hesse which depicts a destroyed landscape as Eastern Europe and the study Hesse did of The Brothers Karamazov and the character who could have turned out as a saint, or an hysteric and mad man. This cherry picking of images that happen to come from Christian sources could just as easily be cherry picking for a mass of other sources. The point I tried to make was that there is a mass of voices from all sorts of sources.

"Reading" a poem by taking an image or line here and there, sticking them into one's own idea, and constructing a totally personal response is treating it as if no author made any choices about all the rest when writing. The poem is all of it, including the Old Testament, the Greek Tiresias, the mad Hieronymo, the Eastern voice of the Thunder, Albert and Lil, the War. "Reading" is partly subjective but not wholly; there was, after all, someone who selected the words and wrote them down--however one defines an "author"--and long traditions of images and stories and phrases Eliot took from.


>>> Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> 04/13/14 10:32 PM >>>
In poetry you have to have a basis in the poem for what you decipher.  If there are resonances back and forth in the poem for what you see, some at least will see it too. What the Thunder Says opens with the Passion of Christ, as well as his subsequent encounter with his disciples on the road to Emmaus. Eliot points to it in his notes. It is plausible therefore the poem opens on a note of agony vis-a-vis the modern wastelanders' apathy to the spiritual significance of April/Easter.


On Sunday, April 13, 2014, Peter Dillane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I had a mate who was an engineer. He was pretty concrete in his thinking except he felt that Chaucer's Prioress referring to the virgin as the "white lylye flour" was making imaginative connection with cooking flour.  He was cruelly rebuffed by one of our number  with "are you suggesting that the prioress thinks the virgin is a cake?"
I suppose you can take what you want from anything that's written but society can be cruel I fear.

Cheers pete

On 4/14/2014 8:39 AM, Chanan Mittal wrote:
That's how poetry should be. 
I only caught one of the resonances.
There could be many more to it.

On Sunday, April 13, 2014, Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]);" target="_blank">[log in to unmask]> wrote:
On Sun, 13 Apr 2014 11:54:40 -0400, Chanan Mittal <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>The immediate specific justification of a Christian context to the opening
>passage is the passage which immediately follows, saturated with Christian
>allusions to Ezekiel et al.

Sorry, but despite the allusions my reading of that section doesn't contain

   Rick Parker

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