Given that Emily Hale always believed Eliot would marry her if he were free (while still married, and after Vivienne's death that he had taken a vow of celibacy), and that she believed it for many reasons and many years--they corresponded for thirty years, and that he visited her in the US and she visited him in England--and that he then married Valerie without telling her and she learned of it--as I recall--from a newspaper, and that she then had a breakdown, I don't think it is really much of a Valentine story or about love.

The memories CR quotes are from the day Eliot and Emily went to Burnt Norton together. But that did not presage any commitment despite the thirty year relationship (not counting the beginning when he was at Harvard and is reported to have said he loved her) or seem to mean she might at least have been informed of the impending marriage.

This story is tragic, not romantic.

On Thu, Feb 15, 2018 at 7:16 PM, Cox, Carrol <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I haven't read these posts yet, but the subject line echoed something I'd been lazily going over in my head: What was the worst really good poem in the English language.

Here are some of the candidates.

Houseman, Epitaph to an Army of Mercenaries
Yeats, And Irish Airman Forsees His Death
Yeats, Easter 1916
Kipling, White Man's Burden
Rochester, Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover
Cowper, The Castaway
Jonson, To Penshurst
Newbold, Vitai Lampada
Perhaps Cowper, The Castaway

There are possibly other candidates. Aggressively beautiful poems which, in some way, are rotten at their core.


An possibly, Eliot, Portrait of a Lady

-----Original Message-----
From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Rickard A. Parker
Sent: Thursday, February 15, 2018 1:26 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: The Love Song of T.S. Eliot and Emily Hale

Based on the "From the Archives" in the title we probably have already seen this account of Eliot's visit to Emily Hale at Scripps College. It looks like Scripps wanted to add a bit of romance to their website on Valentine's Day.

From the Archives: The Love Song of T.S. Eliot and Emily Hale
By Joseph Maddrey
February 14, 2018

Scripps College (The Women's College)
Claremont, California