Print

Print


To that I posit this sequence: 

She turned away, but with the autumn weather
Compelled my imagination many days,
Many days and many hours:
Her hair over her arms and her arms full of flowers.
And I wonder how they should have been together!

- LA FIGLIA 

—Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence. 

- THE WASTE LAND 

I would meet you upon this honestly. 
I that was near your heart was removed therefrom 
To lose beauty in terror, terror in inquisition. 
I have lost my passion: why should I need to keep it 
Since what is kept must be adulterated? 
I have lost my sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch: 
How should I use it for your closer contact? 

- GERONTION 

CR 

On Thu, Jan 9, 2020 at 10:06 AM Rickard A. Parker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Frances Dickey wrote:

He [Eliot] states his intention to write to her [Hale] regularly now
about his life and hers, and he concludes by recommending to her certain
passages in his poetry that will prove his love for her: the hyacinth
garden scene in The Waste Land and the "Datta" section at the end of
"What the Thunder Said," "A Cooking Egg," and Ash-Wednesday.

What Eliot implies is that Hale is the inspiration behind the hyacinth
girl. What a great way to get a woman to fall in love with you. But
Eliot wrote something else much earlier that should cause one to doubt,
or at least reconsider, this. I'll let the late James Miller present it:

And what of the hyacinth garden? The Waste Land manuscripts connect it
with this recurring Shakespeare line in a revealing passage in Part II,
"A Game of Chess." The nervous lady ("lady of situations") of the
opening upper-class scene exclaims to what we may well take as her
enervated if not impotent husband (the impotent fisher-king of the
cards): "Do you know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember/
Nothing?" Her prodding triggers his meditation (not, surely, a spoken
reply): "I remember/ The hyacinth garden. Those are pearls that were his
eyes, yes!" It is particularly noteworthy that it is the "hyacinth
garden," not the "hyacinth girl," recalled here, reinforcing our
conjecture that there is in reality no such girl in The Waste Land. The
poet vividly links in his memory the hyacinth garden and (through the
line from The Tempest) Phlebas the Phoenician in a single recollection
[...] But in the revision of The Waste Land, "the hyacinth garden" was
dropped from the line, apparently not on Pound's but the poet's own
decision. The published line reads: "I remember/ Those are pearls that
were his eyes." But then a footnote to line 126 (apparently meant for
the line "Those are pearls that were his eyes") reads cryptically: "Cf.
Part I, 1. 37, 48." The curious reader in following out the references
will find line 37: "Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth
garden." And line 48, the parenthetical meditation of the poet's that
follows Madame Sosostris' first Tarot card, the "drowned Phoenician
Sailor": "(Those are pearls that were his eyes. Look!)." What revision
had put asunder was reconnected in the footnotes. G. Wilson Knight,
analyzing this evidence in his 1972 Denver Quarterly essay, reached the
inescapable conclusion: "According to the new text [The Waste Land: A
Facsimile] the 'hyacinth girl' appears to be male."

Box 1: A Confession of Love
02 Jan 2020 9:30 PM | Frances Dickey
https://tseliotsociety.wildapricot.org/news/8459912

James E. Miller, Jr., "T. S. Eliot's Personal Waste Land: Exorcism of
the Demons", pp. 75-6
https://books.google.com/books?id=KobKd2wxA_EC&pg=PA75&lpg=PA75