For some of us Eliot is too irrelevant to be in rebellion against or
conversation with, for others not. I'm not crazy about pineapple
pizza--hell, I think it's a crime against god and man--but I'm not in
dialogue with it either.
For the record, Chaucer appeared to like April, and sprigtime in
general, which, aside from their other allures, would be easy to
understand if one lived in a world without central heating. "Wan
that April with his shoures soote/ the droght of March hath perced to
the rote/ and bathed every veyne in swich licoor/ from which virtu
engendred is the floor..." etc. (I take no responsibility for my
spelling or Chaucer's) He probably got the idea from all them birds
and flowers he talks about. There are endless poems and songs to
spring before that, of course. Eliot is telling us that seeing all
that fecundity reminds him that not only isn't he getting any but he
doesn't care to get any. I may be oversimplifying.
At 04:12 PM 3/28/2006, you wrote:
>All I can say in reply is that poets create in dialogue with each
>other, even if you hate Eliot you are in dialogue through your
>rebelllion (I don't want to start another arguement though!) :-)
>Whitman especially consciously 'speaks' to people in the future.
>Readers are directly addressed by Whitman in "Crossing Brooklyn
>Ferry" : Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I
>felt, / Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a
>crowd, / Just as you are refresh'd by the gladness of the river and
>the bright flow, I was refresh'd." I'd say Eliot was in dialogue
>with the past and the future when he drafted The Wasteland. His work
>is his part of the ongoing dialogue. The 'April is the cruellest
>month' goes right back through Tennyson to Chaucer and who knows who
>gave Chaucer the idea. Some farmer whose crop died in the frost
>maybe. I read in a book about literature and Freud's idea of 'the
>uncanny', (by Nicholas Royle) that it is possible that The Wasteland
>is written from the point of view of a buried corpse.... well, it is
>now if it wasn't then!
>Good luck with your essay, I'd be interested to read it and as for
>your problems with it I'll quote another poet "the answer my friend,
>is blowing in the wind".
>p.s. (think of the heat generated by all your mown grass :-)
>>From: Edmund Hardy <[log in to unmask]>
>>Reply-To: Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and
>> poetics <[log in to unmask]>
>>To: [log in to unmask]
>>Subject: Re: Help! The grass is singing
>>Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 19:23:15 +0000
>>>Thought I'd throw in a few dots to follow if you're interested :-)
>>Yes, Thanks for these dots - much appreciated
>>Whitman is actually the co-subject with Reznikoff of my troubled
>>troubled essay - the grass there is surely the anti-grass of
>>Eliot's dryness - Eliot prays for renewal, but Whitman is sure of
>>it, the cycle - in the Mahler, ewig, ewig...
>>I'm really interested in writers who Create the grass as a style,
>>but then Eliot came in & crashed down on me -
>>Whitman hears a territory singing, but What The Thunder Said hears
>>... grass over the tumbled graves - the dead singing?
>>The Carlyle is v. interesting that he says "grass" and not "grain
>>of sand" - but grass & sand seem to conflate as ideas of "world flesh"
>>My trouble is - if i pursue "grass" as a metaphor it will go
>>everywhere and i'd e the hopeless & hapless mower -