Ahem! The Teacher Speaks

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I have noted that while there is great concern with matters of universalism and other such esoteric issues, the masses are curiously silent on the Subject of T.S. Eliot. I get the impression some of you may not have done your homework or may not have been listening closely!

Seriously, though, if you wish to read a very important piece of modern poetry and have a well-versed person to assist you in analysis of it, you need to look up Thomas Howard's book. It will give you an opportunity to drop T.S. Eliot's name in your favorite poetry slam, cocktail party, or office luncheon gathering!

In the silence that ensues drop a sewing pin and test the cliché.

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*skulking in the back corner, slouched down behind the tallest students*

Sir, sorry sir, but I did write down the name of the book to look for it, sir. Just haven't got any further than that, not being a student of poetry and all...


Dear Julie,

I'm reformulating my opinion of this work and wondering whether or not it is really good for the "beginner" (I'm not trying to cast aspersions), but I think Mr. howard makes a lot of assumptions about his audience, without even realizing he's making assumptions. So there are places where he is sketchy and might do better to provide more, and places where he goes on at length and could possibly have shortened the whole.

When I've finished reading the two in tandem, I'll post a review and try to make up my mind about the book then.

Nevertheless, I do see there was one attentive student--even if classwork was a bit late. :-D





My mother taught me, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at ALL!"

I had to read The Wasteland in University.


*more silence*

*still more silence*


Dear Talmida,

I know what you are saying and I've always wondered why students are subjected to that poem. Few have any conception of its genesis and few have a strong enough background in poetry to know why it marked a departure or a landmark. Moreover, it is generally unintelligible to one not clued into the pretentiousness and preciousness of some modernist poetry. I had no real problem with The Waste Land, being a member of the pretentious set at the time. (I was the snooty know-it-all in the front row holding a private conversation with the Professor while everyone else drooped to the floor--remember me?) However, I found Four Quartets absolutely opaque because my experience in faith was so shallow at the time. I'm discovering this many years later that it is amazingly lucid, once you have someone point out the poetic "tricks" and dances of the author. It is refreshing.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 3, 2006 8:46 PM.

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