Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Legacy Less Thorny

To continue my notes concerning the shadow of Eliot: what seems to me surprising is that I could be for so long so oblivious to his echoing similarity to Poe.

A suspicion that occurs to me is that I was resisting echoing Eliot's cadences myself to such a degree that I kept myself from hearing those cadences elsewhere.

I think the musical influence, however, was of most significant impact. I responded (albeit with a great deal of incomprehension) to Pound's poetic effluences -- and as I recall Pound had a pivotal role to play in the revival of J.S. Bach -- another writer to whose work I responded (albeit with a great deal of wrong notes and finger-tangling).

"Emotional enervation" -- one of Wilson's descriptors, as I recall, for Eliot's works. How nice not to be young any more, so that even the mere idea of an emotionally enervated poise, for rhetorical purposes, seems ridiculous. And how nice to begin hearing a particular metric without feeling the restraining tug of reservation ... to understand poetic lines in the light of a tradition that included Eliot but which cannot be said to have been his.

Cheers ...

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