Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cunning Passages

History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors and issues.
T.S. ELIOT, Gerontion

TS Eliot's poetry is difficult (to say the least). Difficult to follow that is - I have no information as to whether or not it was also difficult to write. If you're unfamiliar with his work, then you should be able to have a look at some of his poems via this link:Black Cat Poems - TS Eliot.

A wise lecturer once explained to me that the chief difficulty with discerning what is going on in Eliot's poetry is that he has removed all the scaffolding with which we usually find our way around a poem. The window frames have been removed, leaving the glass floating mysteriously in mid-air. 

Difficult old reprobate. It's also been said that he did this quite deliberately, to prevent the "plebs" from understanding his "oh so sophisticated" work...

Yet the poems themselves are still enormously powerful. 

I guess jealousy makes me nasty.

I have heard the key 
Turn in the door once and turn once only 
We think of the key, each in his prison 
Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison

TS Eliot; What the Thunder Said

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