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The development and function of the image in the poetry of T.S. Eliot, 1909-1922 Preston, John Frederick 1967

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THE DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION OF THE IMAGE I N THE POETRY OF T. S. ELIOT,1909-1922 by JOHN FREDERICK PRESTON B.A.j The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1964  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master o f A r t s i n t h e Department of English We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y , 1967  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s  in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements  f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,  I agree  t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. thesis  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  this  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head of my  Department or by h.i>s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s  Department of  £M4>tL '7*/ r  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  5E?T£~/7y9&2.  It  i s understood t h a t  copying  f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d  w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n .  Da t e  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of  Columbia  ^ /ft 7  ii  ABSTRACT One  o f t h e most u n i q u e  E l i o t ' s p o e t r y up  and  t o and  striking  features of  T.  S.  is  i t s i m a g e r y . P a r f r o m b e i n g mere d e c o r a t i o n , t h e  i n t h e s e poems p l a y a v i t a l  i n c l u d i n g The  role  i n the process  communication. T h i s paper attempts detail Eliot's tributed  image, t h e i m p o r t a n t  t o i t s development, and  The that E l i o t  Waste  t o examine i n some i n f l u e n c e s which  had  "imagisra" b e f o r e  Observations  t h e o r i e s through  1914,  T h e s e poems r e v e a l E l i o t ' s  using  images—which are mainly  con-  i t s f u n c t i o n i n these Other  i n t o contact w i t h Imagist  images  of poetic  poems o f P r u f r o c k a n d p e r f e c t e d h i s own  Land  poems.  show  coming  E z r a Pound i n  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c method o f  precise renderings of  an  urban s c e n e — a s  " o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e s " f o r a wide  range  of thoughts  feelings,  plight  and  o f t h e poem's s p e a k e r .  i n order to dramatize  I t was  through  the  a c l o s e study  of  such f i g u r e s as C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e , J u l e s Laforgue,  the  Jacobean d r a m a t i s t s , the M e t a p h y s i c a l p o e t s and  philos-  opher H e n r i Bergson, t h a t E l i o t voice. Although n o t a b l y T. Eliqt's  he  knew l i t t l e  E . Hulme, who  was  the  d i s c o v e r e d h i s own b e f o r e 1914  of the  t o i n f l u e n c e h i m much  " i m a g i s m " shows c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s ,  p r a c t i c e , w i t h t h e work o f t h i s  important  poet  own  "Imagism".  Imagists— later—  i n theory and  r e t i c i a n . These s i m i l a r i t i e s a r e examined i n t h i s to help define E l i o t ' s  poetic  theopaper  and  iii A f t e r 1914, E z r a Pound p l a y e d an i m p o r t a n t p a r t i n the development o f E l i o t ' s imagery.  I n g e n e r a l , Pound showed  E l i o t methods f o r e x t e n d i n g t o t h e l i m i t t h e i m p e r s o n a l i t y w h i c h was a l r e a d y a f e a t u r e o f E l i o t ' s p o e t r y . t h r o u g h a mutual i n t e r e s t  This l e d ,  i n t h e poems o f T h e o p h i l e G a u t i e r ,  t o E l i o t ' s s a t i r i c a l poems i n t h e Poems 1920 volume.  These  poems j u x t a p o s e concepts i n t h e . f o r m o f c o n c r e t e images, many o f w h i c h a r e drawn f r o m a wide v a r i e t y sources.  of l i t e r a r y  But E l i o t was r e s t r i c t e d by G a u t i e r ' s rhyming  q u a t r a i n : i n the s a t i r e s , dramatic i n t e n s i t y i s s a c r i f i c e d f o r e x c e s s i v e s u p e r f i c i a l i t y and undue c o m p l e x i t y .  "Gerontion,"  however, marks a r e t u r n t o t h e energy o f t h e P r u f r o c k poems by u s i n g images t o p r e s e n t an awareness o f i n d i v i d u a l and cultural neurosis.  F i n a l l y , The Waste Land marks a c l i m a x  i n E l i o t ' s development b y f u s i n g and h a r m o n i z i n g  methods  p r e v i o u s l y a c q u i r e d , and a c h i e v e s u n i t y t h r o u g h a complex p a t t e r n o f images, many o f w h i c h grow out of. t h e p r e c e d i n g poems.  A t t h e i r b e s t , t h e s e images a r e n o t o n l y p r e c i s e  s e n s u a l e x p e r i e n c e s b u t p o w e r f u l e x p r e s s i o n s o f f e e l i n g s and thoughts.  A s such, t h e y g i v e ample p r o o f t h a t t h e image i n  E l i o t ' s p o e t r y i s t h e p r i m a r y means o f p o e t i c e x p r e s s i o n .  iv  TABLE OP CONTENTS Chapter I. II.  '  INTRODUCTION .  „  . . .  .  .  SOME EARLY INFLUENCES ON ELIOT'S IMAGERY  I I I . • ELIOT AND EZRA POUND . IV.  Page  CONCLUSION .  . .• . . .:10  . . . . . . . . .  ..  ANNOTATED LIST OF WORKS USED . . .  1  50 88  .  .  .  . .  93  CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION  P o e t r y , . • may make u s f r o m t i m e t o t i m e a l i t t l e more aware o f t h e d e e p e r , unnamed f e e l i n g s which form the substratum o f o u r b e i n g , t o w h i c h we r a r e l y p e n e t r a t e ; f o r our l i v e s are mostly a constant evasion of o u r s e l v e s , and a n e v a s i o n o f t h e v i s i b l e and s e n s i b l e w o r l d , — T h e Use o f P o e t r y and Criticism  The  p o e t r y o f T,  S. E l i o t  committed t o p e n e t r a t i n g the to  substratum  o f our b e i n g ,  and  r e m o v i n g t h e vejjLl w h i c h c o v e r s t h e v i s i b l e and s e n s i b l e It i s a  poetry  what we  a r e and  examine t h e n a t u r e  f i n d ourselves. The  term  surroundings, but upon him. calls  which seeks a t a l l times  individual  conscious  1  here  i s not  to refer  to that  only conscious  o f the e f f e c t  t h a t they  of h i s have  T h i s k i n d o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s , w h i c h K r i s t i a n Smidt  from  sharp  consciousness  a major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , • i n f a c t IJoetry.  clarify  I n s h o r t , i t i s a p o e t r y o f awareness.  a "mode o f p e r c e p t i o n , r e l a t e d  distinct  to  o f the u n i v e r s e i n which  "awareness" i s used  p r o c e s s by which a n  The  of  i s a p o e t r y which i s  world.  we  t h e Use  to i n t u i t i o n ,  or p l a i n  and  knowledge", is 1  a d o m i n a n t theme, o f E l i o t ' s  H i s p o e m s / c o n t a i n c h a r a c t e r s whose a w a r e n e s s I s  P o e t r . v and B e l i e f I n t h e Work o f T. H u m a n i t i e s P r e s s , 1 9 6 1 ) , p . 117.  S. E l i o t  (New  York:  the  central  experience  who  are n e i t h e r f u l l y  disembodied  o f t h e poem. developed  v o i c e s , are caught  examination,  as t h e y  i n d i v i d u a l s n o r mere i n moments o f  struggle to achieve  harmony "between t h e m s e l v e s reader  and  their  i s presented w i t h the t o t a l  t h e p e r c e p t i o n s , t h e b e i n g s who limited and  a w a r e n e s s o f how  their  actions.  is limited achieve  environment.  experience,  I t i s mainly because t h e i r  and  is  done n o t  t o and  this  i s t r u d o f a l l h i s poems,  including  images  them l i m i t s  itself  The  Waste L a n d .  but  a l s o because  This the  i n t h e s e poems g e n e r a l l y o c c u r  demands p r e c i s e i m a g e r y .  be  focus  called highly per-  sonal r e l i g i o u s meditation;  the o u t s i d e world,  some o f i t s f o r m e r  importance,  intrinsic  with-  realization  I n t h e l a t e r poems, t h e  t o what may  the  of E l i o t ' s  i n a n a c c u r a t e l y d e p i c t e d u r b a n s e t t i n g , whose  t u r n s g r a d u a l l y inward  poems  image a s t h e m a j o r means o f  only f o r convenience,  experiences presented  awareness  well.  the v a r i o u s f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g  t o t h e poems up  them  i n o t h e r words, t o  d i s c u s s i o n i n the f o l l o w i n g chapters and  their  a wide range o f awareness i n  employs the  Although  as  The  including  characters i n E l i o t ' s  the w o r l d  In order to present  expression.  some s o r t of.;  p e r c e i v e them, a n d  t o t a l harmony; t h e y t e n d ,  h i s poetry, E l i o t  self-  these p e r c e p t i o n s a f f e c t  t h a t none o f t h e  evade themselves  These c h a r a c t e r s ,  losing  seems t o  operate  3 in  t h e main as • symbols . f o r i n n e r e x p e r i e n c e s .  P r u f r o c k a n d O t h e r O b s e r v a t i o n s , t h e Poems 1920  But i n volume,  a n d The W a s t e Land., i m a g e s a r e u s e d i n o r d e r t o c o n v e y 2 d i f f e r e n t degrees o f awareness The his  i n a n i m p e r s o n a l way.  remarks i n E l i o t ' s prose which t o g e t h e r  form  Theory o f I m p e r s o n a l i t y h e l p c l a r i f y h i s idea o f t h e  image, a l t h o u g h the,word i t s e l f  i snever defined.  The  t h e o r y grew o u t o f a c t u a l p o e t i c p r a c t i c e , and hence \yas n o t a r t i c u l a t e d u n t i l w e l l  i n t o h i s career as a poet.  E v e n h i s e a r l i e s t poems, h o w e v e r ,  anticipate his later  i n s i s t e n c e t h a t t h e r e must be a s e p a r a t i o n i n t h e p o e t ' s s e n s i b i l i t y between;"the  man who s u f f e r s a n d t h e m i n d  c r e a t e s " i n o r d e r t h a t h i s m i n d may more p e r f e c t l y and transmute t h e p a s s i o n s w h i c h a r e i t s m a t e r i a l " ; in  o r d e r t h a t e m o t i o n s may b e w o r k e d  which  "digest that i s ,  "up i n t o p o e t r y , t o  express f e e l i n g s which a r e not i n a c t u a l emotions a t a l l . " The not  d i s t i n c t i o n between  emotions and f e e l i n g s i s  made c l e a r i n E l i o t ' s c r i t i c i s m .  I t seems a p p a r e n t ,  L e o n a r d Unger w r i t e s , " t h r o u g h o u t E l i o t ' s w o r k s , the e x p e r i e n c e o f awareness i s i t s e l f o f t e n a v i v i d l y r e a l i z e d image . . -''i'v ." See "T, S. E l i o t ' s Images o f A w a r e n e s s , " T^ 3^ E l i o t : The Man a n d H i s W o r k , e d . "by A l l e n T a t e (New Yoi*£: D e l l P u b l i s h i n g C o . , I n c . , 1 9 6 6 ) , p . 2 1 3 . ;  " T r a d i t i o n and t h e I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t ? (1919).Selected Assays ( L o n d o n : F a b e r a n d F a b e r L t d . , 1 9 5 1 ) , p p . 1 8 , 2 1 , Subsequent q u o t a t i o n s f r o m E l i o t ' s p r o s e w i l l be f r o m t h i s e d i t i o n , unless otherwise noted. 3  4 however, t h a t suffers,"  emotions  a n d f e e l i n g s w i t h " t h e mind w h i c h  Since, as E l i o t receptable phrases,  a r e a s s o c i a t e d v / i t h " t h e man who  also  creates."  s a y s , " t h e p o e t ' s mind i s i n f a c t  f o r s e i z i n g a n d s t o r i n g up n u m b e r l e s s  images, which remain t h e r e u n t i l  which c a n u n i t e  4  a  feelings,  a l l the p a r t i c l e s  t o g e t h e r t o f o r m a new compound a r e p r e s e n t  5 t o g e t h e r , " we may assume t h a t  images a r e among t h o s e  ele-  ments t h a t t h e p o e t . . > e x t e r n a l i z e s a t t h e moment o f c r e a t i o n : The o n l y way o f e x p r e s s i n g e m o t i o n i n t h e f o r m o f a r t i s by f i n d i n g an ' o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e ' ; i n o t h e r words, a | s e t o f - o b j e c t s , a s i t u a t i o n , a c h a i n o f e v e n t s w h i c h s h a l l he t h e f o r m u l a o f t h a t p a r t i c u l a r emotion;«Ssuch t h a t when t h e e x t e r n a l f a c t s , w h i c h must t e r m i n a t e i n s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e , a r e g i v e n , the emotion i s immediately evoked. 6  The  image t h u s a c t s a s a n " o b j e c t i v e  i n E l i o t ' s poetry.  correlative"  I t i s t h e means i n many o f t h e poems  ^ I t i s important t o note t h a t such a s e p a r a t i o n does not i n h i b i t the poet's a b i l i t y t o f e e l ; rather, i t increases h i s awareness o f h i s f e e l i n g s . A s E l i o t says i n h i s d o c t o r a l d i s s e r t a t i o n , c o m p l e t e d i n 1916, " t h e m a j o r i t y o f f e e l i n g s have n e v e r succeeded i n i n v a d i n g o u r minds t o such a n e x t e n t a s c o m p l e t e l y t o f i l l i t ; t h e y h a v e f r o m f i r s t t o l a s t some objectivity, I do n o t mean t h a t t h e y a r e a n y t h e l e s s i n t e n s e f o r t h i s , o r :^that t h e y d i s a p p e a r u n d e r a t t e n t i o n . . . . To s a y t h a t one p a r t o f t h e m i n d s u f f e r s a n d a n o t h e r p a r t i r e f l e c t s upon t h e s u f f e r i n g i s perhaps t o t a l k i n f i c t i o n s . B u t we know t h a t t h g s e h i g h l y - o r g a n i z e d b e i n g s who a r e a b l e t o o b j e c t i f y t h e i r ^ a s s i o n s , and a s p a s s i v e s p e c t a t o r s t o p | n t e m p l a t e t h e i r j o y s a n d t o r m e n t s , a r e a l s o t h o s e who i n f f e r a n d e n j o y t h e most k e e n l y . " Knowledge a n d E x p e r i e n c e i n t h e P h i l o s o p h y o f F . H, B r a d l e y ( L o n d o n : Faber and Faber,  1964J7 p . 23. 5  " T r a d i t i o n a n d The I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t , " p. 19.  6  " H a m l e t " (1919), p._ 145.  5  by which he expresses, i n an impersonal  form, a complex  s t a t e o f m i n d — t h a t o f P r u f r o c k , f o r example—aware o f i t s experience.  Indeed i t c o u l d be s a i d t h a t P r u f r o c k ' s  awareness d e r i v e s from the same s o r t of e x t e r n a l i z i n g p r o c e s s t h a t b r i n g s the poem i n t o b e i n g . o b j e c t i f y i n g c e r t a i n o f h i s own  Eliot,  f e e l i n g s and  by  thoughts,  c r e a t e s a unique c h a r a c t e r ; P r u f r o c k , through a l i k e p r o c e s s , r e v e a l s p a r t s of h i m s e l f t o u s .  E l i o t , o f course,  i s not P r u f r o c k , any more than what i s presented i n t h i s poem i s a f u l l y - r o u n d e d i n d i v i d u a l . S i n c e images are " e x t e r n a l f a c t s , which must t e r minate i n [ o r d e r i v e f r o m ] sensory e x p e r i e n c e , " p e r c e p t i o n pbviously plays a v i t a l role i n their origin.  But  Elipt  does not s i m p l y u s e ^ h i s images t o p r e s e n t p e r c e p t i o n s , however o r i g i n a l , as the poets o f the Imagist Movement, such as E z r a Pound?;and T. E  r  Hulrae, o f t e n do.  Images  i n h i s p o e t r y , as w i l l be shown i n l a t e r c h a p t e r s , always serve a l a r g e r concern than themselves;  P r u f r o c k and  G e r o n t i o n , f o r example, p r e s e n t themselves through what they p e r c e i v e .  Hence E l i o t ' s p o e t r y i s o f t e n more complex  and s u b t l e than much Imagist verse because E l i o t t h a t , as one  c r i t i c has  recognizes  s a i d , "the important p a r t o f the  a c t o f p e r c e i v i n g f o r p o e t r y i s not the u n i f y i n g of  sensory  impressions on a s u b - i n t e l l e c t u a l l e v e l but i s r a t h e r the  6  act of being aware of the accompanying emotions." E l i o t ' s images begin i n perception but move beyond i t into awareness, by exploring the causes and e f f e c t s surrounding the perceptive a c t .  In the Imagist poetry  of Pound and Hulme, however, the presentation of accurate perceptions through precise imagery i s , generally speaking, the main goal.  To put i t another way,  E l i o t ' s poetry  continually searches f o r the meaning which l i e s behind the experience presented; i n the Imagist poem, the experience i s i t s e l f the most important thing.  I t i s necessary,  however, to explore i n d e t a i l E l i o t ' s relationship with itihese two poets.  Then i t w i l l be seen that Hulme, while  npt d i r e c t l y influencing E l i o t ' s poetry as some writers have claimed, d i d share c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s , a discussion of which helps c l a r i f y E l i o t ' s image.  Ezra Pound, on the  other hand, d i d exert an important influence on E l i o t ' s poetry, a f t e r t h e i r f i r s t meeting i n 1914, which caused E l i o t to s h i f t h i s imagistic methods somewhat i n Pound's direction.  This s h i f t l e d E l i o t to a greater imperson-  a l i t y of approach, i n which images served to express s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l l e v e l s ,of awareness. S i s t e r Mary C o s t e l l o , Between F i x i t y and Flux; A Study of the Concept of Poetry i n the C r i t i c i s m of T. S, E l i o t ""^Washington, D, C. :-%he Catholic University of America Press | J c . , 1947), p. 62. 7  R e g a r d l e s s o f the i d e a s which are expressed i n E l i o t ' s p o e t r y , each poem demonstrates h i s c o n v i c t i o n t h a t the image cannot he separated from the "meaning." Thought must undergo a r t i s t i c t r a n s f o r m a t i o n "before i t can "be p o e t r y ; "the poet who who  ' t h i n k s ' i s merely the poet  can express the emotional e q u i v a l e n t o f thought.  The image i s the emotional e q u i v a l e n t , the " o b j e c t i v e correlative",  i n E l i o t ' s poetry.  Hence he  criticizes  S h e l l e y , f o r example, f o r r e l e g a t i n g h i s images t o a f u n c t i o n which i s l a r g e l y one o f d e c o r a t i o n : "When S h e l l e y has some d e f i n i t e statement t o make, he simply says i t ; keeps h i e images oh one s i d e and h i s meanings on the o t h e r . " The p o e t r y o f Swinburne, E l i o t argues, i s d e f e c t i v e "what he g i v e s i s not images and i d e a s and music.  because  . . [but]  one t h i n g w i t h a c u r i o u s mixture o f s u g g e s t i o n s o f a l l three.Here  meaning i s l o s t through a l a c k o f u n i t y ;  the images do not occupy a d i s t i n c t i v e p l a c e i n the t o t a l scheme to whose u n i t y they should c o n t r i b u t e , but l o s e t h e i r i d e n t i t y and p r e c i s i o n i n the g e n e r a l c o n f u s i o n . On . * " S h a k e s p e a r e anet the S t o i c i s m o f Seneca*' (1927), p . 135. 9 v# "A Note on R i c h a r d Crashaw", Por L a n c e l o t Andrewes (New fork: Doubleday, Doran and Co., 1929), p. 136, as quoted i n S i s t e r C o s t e l l o , p. 73. 8  r  1 0  " S i n b u r n e as Poet" (1920), p . W  324.  8 the  other  hand,  Dante,  who f o r E l i o t  poets,  i s p r a i s e d "because  "clear  visual  images"  his  ideas  which are  is  supreme  are  among  expressed  "coherent,  in  i n that  each  11 reinforces  the  Eliot, detailed  his  his  like  pictures  embodiments pf  total  Dante, o f the  of feelings  poems,  ience;  last,"  to  uses h i s  external world, and i d e a s .  objectify,  awareness  itself  complexities of ^ite  and  thoughts.  I n the  one  or  characters—the  several  images  are  also  symbols f o r  large  bodies  But E l i o t ' s vitality because sense,  not  because  they  are  a life  images,  the  and cannot  images they  o r i g i n s are be  achieve are  own.  experof  feelings  revelations poems,  times  their  shorthand emotion;  to  intense  for act  exampleas  they have,  i n the  will.  poet's  He c a n o n l y  most  but in  Dante  n  (1929),  pp.  242,246.  this  intense  own memory try,  when  dp a p p e a r , t o p e r p e t u a t e t h e i r m y s t e r y i n h i s p o e t r y : W h y , f o r a l l o f u s , o u t o f a l l t h a t we h a v e h e a r d , s e e n , f e l t , i n a l i f e t i m e , do c e r t a i n images r e c u r , charged w i t h emotion, r a t h e r than others? The s o n g o f one b i r d , t h e l e a p 1 : L , ,  of  poetic  equations,  P o r many o f t h e  buried  summoned a t  own  way,  fact.  charged w i t h  of their  not  satirical  tending at  of  i n many  dramatic  and i t s  as  concrete  mind undergoing  poems w h i c h a r e  important,  as  They s e r v e ,  environment,  t' •  hut  merely  o n l y p a r t i a l l y aware  the '.<: i?-  not  i n an intense,  of a fictional  a mind w h i c h ; i s  images,  ! they  o f one f i s h , a t a p a r t i c u l a r p l a c e and time, the s c e n t o f one f l o w e r , a n o l d woman on a German mountain p a t h , s i x r u f f i a n s seen t h r o u g h a n open window p l a y i n g c a r d s a t n i g h t a t a s m a l l F r e n c h r a i l w a y j u n c t i o n where t h e r e was a w a t e r m i l l : such memories may have s y m b o l i c v a l u e , b u t o f what we cannot t e l l , f o r t h e y come t o r e p r e s e n t t h e depths o f f e e l i n g i n t o w h i c h we .cannot peer, * 1  The Use o f P o e t r y and t h e Use o f C r i t i c i s m (London: F a h e r and F a b e r , L t d . , 19337T"p. 147.  CHAPTER TWO SOME EARLY INFLUENCES ON ELIOT'S IMAGERY  At the heart of E l i o t ' s approach to poetry, and i n p a r t i c u l a r h i s use of the image, l i e s a reaction against nineteenth century English poetry.  As an undergraduate  at Harvard shortly a f t e r the turn of the century, E l i o t read the poetry of writers such as Shelley, Swinburne and Tennyson, but was soon d i s s a t i s f i e d with what he found there.  He d i s l i k e d , i n p a r t i c u l a r , the tendency of these  ''  poets to force t h e i r emotions and sentiments upon the reader, as i f the very fact that they were poets made such emotions worthy subjects f o r poetry.  He was repelled also  by the moralizing and f a l s e eloquence of much of V i c t o r i a n poetry, by which the often harsh r e a l i t i e s of the p h y s i c a l world were minimized or ignored.  As E l i o t wrote l a t e r i n  an essay on Dante, "everything. . . was cheerfulness, optimism, and hopefulness; and these words stood f o r a great deal of what one hated i n the nineteenth century."  j  E l i o t , of course, was not alone i n h i s antipathy toward the state of English poetry at t h i s time.  One  of  the e a r l i e s t and most important figures i n the Imagist Movement i n London, T. E. Hulme, was also beginning during t h i s period t o write poems from a s i m i l a r anti-romantic standpoint.  It i s therefore helpful i n dealing with  E l i o t ' s early "imagism" to compare h i s theory and practice lH  D a n t e " (1929), Selected Essays (London:  Ltd.,1951),p. 262.  Faber and Faber,  11  with that of Hulme.  But since—as I hope to show later—  Hulme did not directly influence E l i o t ' s poetry, i t is f i r s t necessary, before drawing the above comparison, to examine several writers to whom Eliot turned, and who seemed to influence both the subject matter and the imagistic method of his early poetry. Eliot was quick to adopt, from the poetry of Jules Laforgue, the pessimism and irony, which provided a very useful antidote against romantic sentimentality.  Baudelaire  showed Eliot how a poet, l i v i n g i n a modern, often sordid urban world, could express his awareness of this reality b y using a variety of concrete images drawn from the urban scene.  Eliot was  deeply  impressed as well by Jacobean drama  and the poetry of the Metaphysical poets, especially John Donne, which achieved great intensity and vividness by -fusing together many apparently disparate images. Lastly, Eliot made good use of the theories of the philosopher Henri Bergson, which emphasized, among other things, the complex relationship between perception and memory, and suggested to Eliot the possibility of expressing this relationship through images.  These are some of-the major  figures, then, whose influence contributed to E l i o t ' s f i r s t volume of poetry, Prufrock and Other Observations. Eliot discovered French poetry, and through i t his own voice as a poet, i n Arthur Symons' study, The Symbolist  12 2 Movement i n L i t e r a t u r e .  I n s i s t i n g l a t e r upon t h e impor-  t a n c e o f t h i s work upon h i s own p o e t i c growth,  Eliot  w r o t e , " I m y s e l f owe Mr. Symons a g r e a t debt; hut f o r h a v i n g r e a d h i s "book, I s h o u l d n o t , i n the y e a r 1908, 3 have h e a r d o f L a f o r g u e . "  Moreover, Symons' hook  itself  may have had some e f f e c t on E l i o t ' s p o e t i c method. E l l m a n w r i t e s t h a t E l i o t was p r o b a b l y i m p r e s s e d "by what Symons had t o s a y , i n t h e e s s a y s on N e r v a l and L a f o r g u e , o f t h e method o f s e t t i n g f a m i l i a r and. a p p a r e n t l y a l i e n t h i n g s t o g e t h e r , o f d e t e c t i n g t h e h i d d e n l i n k s o f d i s t a n t and ,4& d i v e r g e n t t h i n g s . " „We f i n d t h i s p r i n c i p l e a t work i n almost a l l o f E l i o t ' s subsequent p o e t r y , b u t perhaps t h e b e s t known example o c c u r s i n t h e remarkable opening image o f "The Love Song o f J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k " : £*] L e t u s go t h e n , y o u and I , "1 When t h e e v e n i n g i s s p r e a d out a g a i n s t t h e s k y . . L i k e a p a t i e n t e t h e r i s e d upon a t a b l e . . . , 5 . /•.).  F i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n 1899 and r e v i s e d i n 1908, and a g a i n i n 1914, The v e r s i o n c i t e d here i s t h e 1908 t e x t , i n c l u d i n g the 1919 a d d i t i o n s , p u b l i s h e d i n New Y o r k by E. P. D u t t o n & Oo., I n c . , 1958, w i t h a n i n t r o d u c t i o n by R i c h a r d E l l m a n . , 2  3  Book Review, C r i t e r i o n , I X ( J a n . 1930),357.  ^ Symons, p. x v . C o l l e c t e d Poems 1909-1962 (London: Faber & Faber, L t d . , 1 9 6 3 ) , p. 13. Subsequent q u o t a t i o n s f r o m E l i o t ' s poems w i l l be f r o m t h i s e d i t i o n , and w i l l be i n d i c a t e d by page numbers i n p a r e n t h e s e s f o l l o w i n g q u o t a t i o n . 5  13 H e r e E l i o t h e r a l d s h i s m e t h o d ; w i t h i n one c o m p r e s s e d i m a g e , t h e t r a d i t i o n a l moods o f s u n s e t , f l a r e before  the day's  t h e t h r e a t o f n i g h t , a r e i n t e n s i f i e d and d i s -  t o r t e d b y t h e image o f p a r a l y s i s and s i n i s t e r The  p a t i e n t i s "spread  own c o n s c i o u s n e s s reader.  will  manipulation.  o u t " and d e f e n s e l e s s , as P r u f r o c k ' s soon be, both  This i s the f i r s t  through  last  t o h i m and t o t h e  o f a p a t t e r n o f images  Eliot's entire poetic creation:  running  t h e images o f  p a r a l y s i s , w h i c h o f t e n merge e f f e c t i v e l y w i t h a n o t h e r dominant p a t t e r n , images o f decay and d e t e r i o r a t i o n .  preEliot  r e p e a t s a n d d e v e l o p s t h e image i n " P r e l u d e s " , w h e r e t h e s o u l o f t h e s t r e e t becomes " s t r e t c h e d t i g h t a c r o s s t h e S k i e s / That fade b e h i n d  a city block"(p.  e n d s w i t h a n image w h i c h e x p r e s s e s kind:  "The w o r l d s  2 4 ) . The poem  a p a r a l y s i s o f another  r e v o l v e l i k e a n c i e n t women /  f u e l i n vacant l o t s " ( p . 2 5 ) .  T h i s image e v o k e s , l i k e t h e  Image o f t h e h o l l o w men p a r a d i n g  dumbly around t h e p r i c k l y  p e a r ( p . 9 1 ) , t h e h o r r o r o f a t i m e l e s s , empty i  Gathering  ritual.  W h i l e s e a r c h i n g f o r new m e t h o d s t o e x p r e s s h i s  y i s i o n o f t h e u r b a n e x i s t e n c e , i t was n a t u r a l t h a t w o u l d be a t t r a c t e d t o J u l e s L a f o r g u e , as E l i o t  read  6  a p o e t i n whose w o r k ,  i n Symons, " t h e o l d c a d e n c e s , t h e o l d e l o -  quence, the ingenuous s e r i o u s n e s s banished."  Eliot  of poetry, are a l l  The e f f e c t o f t h i s a t t r a c t i o n was t w o f o l d . I n  Symons, p . 5 7 .  14 g e n e r a l , L a f o r g u e (and a l s o B a u d e l a i r e ) opened, up f o r E l i o t a whole new w o r l d o f images; i r o n i c a l l y , i t was the  w o r l d around him: I l e a r n e d t h a t the s o r t o f m a t e r i a l t h a t I had, t h e s o r t o f e x p e r i e n c e t h a t an a d o l e s c e n t had had, i n a n i n d u s t r i a l c i t y o f A m e r i c a , c o u l d he t h e m a t e r i a l f o r p o e t r y ; and t h a t the source o f new p o e t r y might "be found i n what had been r e g a r d e d h i t h e r t o as t h e i m p o s s i b l e , the s t e r i l e , t h e i n t r a c t a b l y u n p o e t i c ,  \ ;  7  |  The example s e t by t h e s e two p o e t s encouraged  E l i o t ' s own a b i l i t y t o f i n d the most s i g n i f i c a n t  images  i n h i s u r b a n environment f o r c o n v e y i n g i t s emptiness and f u t i l i t y ; summing up h i s l i f e , P r u f r o c k c o n c l u d e s , " I have measured out my l i f e w i t h c o f f e e spoons" ( p . 1 4 ) . L i v i n g in  a c i t y means s o l i t u d e and l o n e l i n e s s , b u t as E l i o t  r e a d i n Symons, i t i s "one o f the t e r r o r s o f human e x i s t e n c e t h a t we may be l e d a t once t o seek and t o shun s o l i t u d e ; u n a b l e t o b e a r the m o r t a l p r e s s u r e o f i t s emb r a c e , u n a b l e t o endure t h e n o s t a l g i a o f i t s absence," P r u f r o c k s e n s e s t h i s paradox i n h i m s e l f by s e e i n g i t i n others:  i  S h a l l I s a y , I have gone a t dusk t h r o u g h narrow s t r e e t s And watched the smoke t h a t r i s e s f r o m t h e p i p e s Of l o n e l y men i n s h i r t - s l e e v e s , l e a n i n g out o f windows?,.. (p. 15) Here t h e image o f the l o n e l y men l e a n i n g out f r o m t h e i r windows as i f a t t e m p t i n g t o escape f r o m the s e l f - i m p o s e d 7 " T a l k on Dante", A d e l o h i . XXVII ( 1 9 5 1 ) , 107, 8  Symons, p. 1 1 .  15 p r i v a t i o n of t h e i r rooms dramatizes Prufrock's  own  s i t u a t i o n , where a desire f o r v i t a l experience i s countered by a strong fear of i t . In "Rhapsody on a Windy Night", E l i o t employs images of urban decay to represent the speaker's state of mind: A broken spring i n a factory yard, Rust that c l i n g s to the form that the strength has Hard and curled and ready to snap, (p. 27)  left  Like the spring, the mind of the speaker has become hardened into c e r t a i n near-hysterical modes; i t has decayed and l o s t i t s r e s i l i e n c y .  So the images of "twisted things"  which form the back-bone of the poem are an expression of how  the speaker sees h i s world,  "A twisted branch upon  the beach" (p. 26) transforms i t s e l f through association into the knife whose " l a s t twist" (p, 28) s p e l l s the only l i f e that he knows. Among the images of urban l i f e are several of which E l i o t makes frequent use.  One  i s the omnipresent smoke, j  symbol of i n d u s t r i a l contamination, which "*:.,:,slides along the s t r e e t / Rubbing i t s back upon the window-panes"(p. 14), Like the images of fog which often accompany i t , i t i s usuall y associated with a complex of various unpleasant f e e l i n g s , and i s present as a background to the action.  In "The Love  Song of J , A l f r e d Prufrock", i t suggests foreboding,  be-  cause i t i s brought to l i f e i n a "beautiful yet s i n i s t e r  way.  16 And as George Williamson says, with the image of the fog as cat we have another r e f l e c t i o n of h i s Prufrock's mental state: desire which ends i n i n e r t i a . If the cat image suggests sex, i t also suggests the greater desire of i n a c t i v i t y . The speaker sees the evening i n aspects of somnolence, or of a c t i o n lapsing into i n action, both a r t i f i c i a l and n a t u r a l — s l e e p and etherization. The fog's s e t t l i n g down prompts the r e f l e c t i o n that "indeed there w i l l be time" f o r i t s more suggestive act i v i t y , and f o r h i s own,9 In "Portrait of a Lady", the attempted verbal seduction of the young man begins and ends "Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon"(p, 18), The a i r clears only to permit the experience of the poem to occur; the speaker i s l e f t i n the f i r s t agonies of self-doubt at the close, " . . . s i t t i n g pen i n hand / With the smoke coming down above the housetops"(p,22).  The smoke here  seems to symbolize the falseness and obscurity of the s h e l l or mask behind which the speaker hides i n h i s e f f o r t s to avoid the entreaties of the lady.  I t also ;suggests the  screen of politeness that she erects i n front of.a desperate desire, which nevertheless breaks through i n the poem. "Preludes" begins i n a smoky atmosphere of despair and disgust: A Reader's Guide to T. S. E l i o t : A Poem-by-Poem Analysis (New York: The Noonday Press, 1953),""p.60. y  17  The winter evening s e t t l e s down With smell, of steaks i n passageways. Six o'clock. The burnt-out ends of smoky days.(p. 23) This poem can i n fact be seen, with i t s "thousand sordid images"(p. 24) as the "butt-ends" of Prufrock's days, h i s past which he i s unable to get r i d of, or " s p i t out". A second and more complex influence on E l i o t s 1  imagery occurred as the result of the temporary adoption of the Laforguian a t t i t u d e .  Hence the various p r o t a g o n i s t s —  Prufrock, the young man i n " P o r t r a i t " , and e s p e c i a l l y the speakers i n "conversation Gallante" and "La P i g l i a Che Piange"—adopt an i r o n i c mask behind which to hide t h e i r real feelings.  And they w i l l not, as Symons says of La-  forgue himself, permit themselves at any moment the luxury 10 of dropping t h i s mask. The irony i s often self-parody^and i s r e f l e c t e d i n the deliberate choice of what may be termed images of frivolity.  Prufrock, unable even to f l e e from;the lady at  •^Symons, p. 61. Hugh Kenner, i n The I n v i s i b l e Poet: T. S. Ellot(New York: C i t a d e l Press, 1964), p. 16, has observed that i t was because "Laforgue discovered the p o t e n t i a l i t i e s of self-parody not i n poetry at large but i n poetry of a circumscribed era, i n a l y r i c mode c l o s e l y a l l i e d with that of Dowson and Symons, one alone among the possible derivations from Baudelaire: t h i s fact helps explain h i s sudden power-to engulf a man who had been shaping slender l y r i c s at Harvard In the f i r s t decade a f t e r the n i n e t i e s , " 11  18 the top of the s t a i r s , asks i n acute self-mockery: "Do I dare / Disturb the universe?"(p. 14), a l i n e borrowed from 12 Laforgue.  In the " P o r t r a i t " , the speaker shrugs o f f a:  moment of genuine doubt with the forced callousness of "This music i s successful with a 'dying f a l l ' / Now that we t a l k of d y i n g — " ( p . 22). But the image from Twelfth Night, where music i s the "food of love", suggests by i r o n i c contrast the complete absence of love behind the forced politeness of the protagonists. "Conversation Gallante", heavily influenced by 13 Laforgue's "Autre Complainte de Lord P i e r r o t " , i s a complex pyramid of i r o n i c reversals, a poem, as Grover Smith r i g h t l y says, whose "excessive d i f f i c u l t y does not hide  ..14 i t s indignificance."  It i s marred by excessive posturing  and dandyism of tone; yet E l i o t ' s u n f a i l i n g a b i l i t y to choose the correct image i s present even here. The image of the moon as '. . '. Prester John's balloon Or an old battered l a n t e r n hung a l o f t To l i g h t poor t r a v e l l e r s to t h e i r d i s t r e s s . ' ( p . 35) P r o m a l e t t e r to Jules' s i s t e r Marie i n 1881, as quoted i n Warren Ramsey, Jules Laforgue and The Ironic Inheritance (New York: Oxford University Press, 1953),p. 38. 13 Appears complete i n Symons, Symbolist Movement, p. 61. 14 T. S. E l i o t ' s Poetry and Plays: A Study i n Sources and Meaning (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), p. 27. 12  19 underlines by irony the speaker's f a i l u r e to respond with emotion to l i f e , a f a i l u r e only p a r t i a l l y concealed by h i s attempts at wit.  Both he and the g i r l are i n a sense "poor  t r a v e l l e r s " i n a world i n which the romantic l i f e , as symbolized by the fabulous Prester John, can never be r e a l i z e d . The young man's expansive wit and imagery only serve to make him i n the end a rather pathetic f i g u r e .  Here i s  imagery adapted to the purpose of s e l f - i r o n y . The poignancy of f a i l u r e i s e s p e c i a l l y present i n "La P i g l i a Che Piange", where E l i o t , employing the Laforguian device of "doubling himself becomes both the observer of 15  and the p a r t i c i p a t o r i n the action, a heavily Romantic parting of l o v e r s . not  Surprisingly, however, the parting has  a c t u a l l y occurred; i t i s only an act i n the poetic  imagination of the poet-observer or d i r e c t o r .  Yet i t i s  more than that, since the poet, as a p a r t i c i p a t o r , i s forced to hide h i s true feelings of g r i e f through an i r o n i c pose. Hence a contrast i s established between the event-as-real and the event-as-imagined i n the mind of the poet. The poet-participator suffers, as the r e p e t i t i o n of the l o v e l y image of longing t e s t i f i e s : But weave, weave the sunlight i n your hair,(p.36) and the g i r l from whom he has parted compels h i s imagination  1 5  S m i t h , p . 28.  20 many days, Many days and many hours: Her h a i r over her arms and her arms f u l l of flowers.(p. 36) But the poet-director, adopting the i r o n i c mask, w i l l f i n d Some way incomparahly l i g h t and deft, Some way we should "both understand, Simple and f a i t h l e s s as a smile and a shake of the hand.(p. 36) "La P i g l i a " can he viewed as a poem whose subject i s i n fact, the creation of a poem, i n the Laforguian manner, by depriving a s i t u a t i o n of i t s t r a d i t i o n a l Romantic the use of irony.  aurathrough  In the present case, both treatments,  the Romantic and the i r o n i c , are given together. The poem demonstrates i n miniature E l i o t ' s own p o s i t i o n as a poet during t h i s early period, r e j e c t i n g one mode and adopting another. Turning to Baudelaire, we may note that i t i s l a r g e l y i n the matter of imagery that an indebtedness i s evident. Several items composing Baudelaire's stock of images are used by E l i o t , e s p e c i a l l y i n h i s early poems. ' In "Rhapsody", f o r example, the cat which  '  '. . .flattens i t s e l f i n the gutter, S l i p s out i t s tongue And devours a morsel of rancid butter,'(p. 27), and the cat i n "The Love-Song of J . A l f r e d Prufrock", convey the same f e e l i n g of mystery and s l i g h t disgust-1 as do the  21 c a t s i n B a u d e l a i r e ' s "Les C h a t s " who ". . . cherchent l e s i l e n c e e t l ' h o r r e u r des t e n e b r e s . "  Eliot's  "Preludes"  seems t o draw a good d e a l o f i t s i n s p i r a t i o n and i t s imagery f r o m "Le C r e p u s c u l e  du M a t i n " .  B o t h poems d e a l  w i t h t h e hour "ou l'ame, sous l e p o i d s du c o r p s reveche 17 e t l o u r d , / l r a i t e l e s combats de l a lampe e t du j o u r . " Each poem r e l i e s t o a l a r g e e x t e n t on s h o c k i n g l y s o r d i d u r b a n imagery:  t h e woman i n "The P r e l u d e s " c l a s p s  "...  the y e l l o w s o l e s o f f e e t / I n t h e palms o f b o t h s o i l e d hands"(p. 24), whereas i n B a u d e l a i r e ' s poem, "Les femmes de p l a i s i r , l a p a u p i e r e  l i v i d e , / Bouche o u v e r t e , dormaient 18  l e u r s sorameil s t u p i d e . "  . E l i o t , i nfact, translates  Baudelaire's nineteenth century P a r i s — L ' a u r o r e g r e l o t t a n t e en robe r o s e e t v e r t e S ' a v a n c a i t lentement s u r l a Seine d e s e r t e , E t l e sombre P a r i s , en se f r o t t a n t l e s y e u x , Empoignait ses o u t i l s , v i e i l l a r d l a b o r i e u x — i n t o t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y London:  i g  The morning comes t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s Of f a i n t s t a l e s m e l l s o f b e e r Prom t h e sawdust-trampled s t r e e t W i t h a l l i t s muddy f e e t t h a t p r e s s To e a r l y c o f f e e s t a n d s , ( p . 23)  C h a r l e s B a u d e l a i r e , Le F l e u r s du Mal e t Oeuvres C h o i s l e s , ed. W a l l a c e F o w l i e (New Y o r k : Bantam Books, 1964), p. 66. 19  17  B a u d e l a i r e , p. 82. 1 8  B a u d e l a i r e , p. 82.  A  B a u d e l a i r e , p. 82.  22  B a u d e l a i r e ' s p o e t r y was n o t m e r e l y a source-book for  imagery.  L i k e L a f o r g u e , B a u d e l a i r e e x e r t e d a more  profound  i n f l u e n c e on E l i o t t h r o u g h h i s method o f u s i n g  images.  " I t h i n k that from Baudelaire I learned f i r s t , "  w r o t e E l i o t , "a p r e c e d e n t f o r . . , t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f f u s i o n between t h e s o r d i d l y r e a l i s t i c and t h e phantasmag o r i c , the p o s s i b i l i t y o f the j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f the mattero f - f a c t and t h e f a n t a s t i c . "  2 0  This quotation describes, i n  f a c t , t h e b a s i c method o f E l i o t ' s p o e t r y :  the f u s i o n o f  a p p a r e n t l y d i s p a r a t e images t o g e t h e r t o f o r m a whole. I n t h i s way, E l i o t f o u n d i t p o s s i b l e t o convey not o n l y t h e sharp d e t a i l s o f h i s u r b a n e n v i r o n m e n t , b u t a l s o , b y j u x t a p o s i n g t h e s e d e t a i l s w i t h elements drawn f r o m convey h i s awareness o f t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e .  elsewhere,  Baudelaire's  greatness, according t o E l i o t , l a y i n h i s a b i l i t y t o achieve t h i s suggestiveness  i n h i s imagery:  I t i s n o t m e r e l y i n t h e imagery o f common l i f e , not m e r e l y i n t h e use o f imagery o f t h e s o r d i d l i f e o f a great metropolis, but i n the e l e v a t i o n o f s u c h imagery t o t h e f i r s t i n t e n s i t y — p r e s e n t i n g I t a s i t i s , y e t making i t r e p r e s e n t something much more t h a n i t s e l f — t h a t B a u d e l a i r e has c r e a t e d a mode o f r e l e a s e and e x p r e s s i o n f o r o t h e r m e n , 21  Baudelaire's "Spleen"~provides o f such imagery o f f i r s t i n t e n s i t y . 2 0  " T a l k on Dante", p . 107.  2 1  " B a u d e l a i r e " ( 1 9 3 0 ) , p . 426.  s e v e r a l good examples Proceeding by a process  23  o f o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n , B a u d e l a i r e c r e a t e s images here t o r e p r e s e n t h i s f e e l i n g s o f "boredom, i n a way w h i c h combines b o t h "the s o r d i d l y r e a l i s t i c " and "the  phantasmagoric":  P l u v i u s , i r r i t a t e d w i t h the e n t i r e c i t y , P o u r s f r o m h i s u r n i n g r e a t waves a d i s m a l c o l d Over t h e p a l e i n h a b i t a n t s o f t h e n e i g h b o r i n g cemetery And m o r t a l i t y over t h e foggy o u t s k i r t s . My c a t on t h e s t o n e s l o o k i n g f o r a l i t t e r C e a s e l e s s l y moves i t s t h i n mangy body; The s o u l o f a n o l d poet wanders a l o n g t h e r a i n W i t h t h e s a d v o i c e o f a c h i l b l a i n e d phantom.  spout  The b e l l mourns, and t h e smoky l o g Accompanies i n f a l s e t t o t h e wheezing c l o c k , W h i l e i n a pack o f c a r d s f u l l o f f i l t h y o d o r s , The f a t a l b e q u e s t o f a n o l d d r o p s i c a l woman, The handsome knave o f h e a r t s and t h e queen o f spades T a l k d a r k l y about t h e i r dead l o v e , 2 2 The l a s t s t a n z a o f E l i o t ' s " P r e l u d e s " g a i n s i t s e f f e c t o f h o r r o r t h r o u g h a s i m i l a r l y b i z a r r e c o m b i n a t i o n o f images: Wipe your hand a c r o s s y o u r mouth, and l a u g h ; The w o r l d s r e v o l v e l i k e a n c i e n t women Gathering f u e l i n vacant l o t s . (p. 2 5 ) These l i n e s — a l o n g w i t h those w h i c h open "The Love Song o f J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k " — a r e o n l y u n u s u a l  instances  o f E l i o t ' s g e n e r a l image t e c h n i q u e , a c q u i r e d i n p a r t f r o m a study o f B a u d e l a i r e ' s p o e t r y .  But E l i o t a l s o found t h e  method o f image j u x t a p o s i t i o n o p e r a t i n g i n the p l a y s o f t h e Jacobean d r a m a t i s t s , and t h e poems o f t h e M e t a p h y s i c a l Baudelaire, p. 68, t r a n s l a t e d by Wallace  Powlie.  poets  24 he was to claim l a t e r that the "telescoping of images and multiple associations . . .  i s one of the sources of the  v i t a l i t y of t h e i r language." By means of a verse which i s 23  anchored i n the concrete, dramatists l i k e John Webster were often able to create through t h e i r imagery an intense dramatic e f f e c t : Dost thou imagine, thou canst s l i d e on blood, And not be tainted with a shameful f a l l ? Or, l i k e the black and melancholic yew-tree, Dost think to root thyself i n dead men's graves, And yet to p r o s p e r ? 24  In "The Love Song of J . A l f r e d Prufrock", E l i o t uses simil a r extravagant images f o r dramatic purposes;, "I should have been a p a i r of ragged claws / S c u t t l i n g across the f l o o r s of s i l e n t seas "(p. 15). Such dramatic posturing, pathetic i n Prufrock's case, i s the frequent r h e t o r i c a l p o s i t i o n of many of the characters i n Jacobean drama.  At c r u c i a l moments, they  step out of themselves, as i t were, and become conscious of themselves as a c t i n g . As E l i o t says, "the r e a l l y f i n e rhetoric of Shakespeare occurs i n situations where a 25 character i n the play sees himself i n a dramatic light',' 23  " T h e Metaphysical Poets"(1921), p.  283,  2 4  The White D e v i l . IV,iii,120-4, i n Three Jacobean Tragedies, ed. with an introduction by Gamini SalgSdo (London: Penguin Books, 1965)., p. 217, " 'Rhetoric' and Poetic Drama" (1919), p. 39. 2 5  __  2  5  and he c i t e s as examples the f i n a l , and remarkably simil a r , speeches of Othello, Corialanus and Timon.  In the  case of Prufrock there i s the flamboyant and s l i g h t l y r i d i c u l o u s , "I s h a l l wear white f l a n n e l trousers, and walk upon the beach" (p. 17),  E l i o t continually uses i n t h i s  poem extravagant images f o r Prufrock's feelings about hims e l f , as, f o r example; Though I have seen my head (grown s l i g h t l y bald) brought i n upon a p l a t t e r , I am no prophet—and here's no great matter; I have seen the moment of my greatness f l i c k e r , And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat and snicker, And i n short, I was a f r a i d , (p, 16) a l l of which r i n g unmistakably of the Jacobean drama. Yet i t was the i n t e n s i t y of fusion i n the imagery of t h i s drama which interested E l i o t the most, and t h i s i n t e n s i t y i s achieved to an even greater degree i n the verse of the Metaphysical poets.  In h i s essay on these poets,  E l i o t makes several remarks which reveal that he was, i n h i s own  way, attempting to achieve s i m i l a r e f f e c t s through  images i n h i s own poems.  In p a r t i c u l a r , he f e l t that the  Metaphysical poets expressed t h e i r thoughts i n concrete images; they could " f e e l t h e i r thought as immediately as the odour of a r o s e . "  2 6  John Donne's poems are e s p e c i a l l y  remarkable f o r t h e i r sensuous v i t a l i t y . 26  " M e t a p h y s i c a l Poets", p.  287.  This i s often  26  achieved "by the p i l i n g of image upon image or the developing and expanding  of one image, much a3 E l i o t does i n the  following: And I have known the eyes already, known them a l l — The eyes that f i x you i n a formulated phrase, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a p i n , When I am pinned and wiggling on the wall, Then how should I "begin To spit out a l l the butt-ends of my days and ways?(p. 15) But Donne's o r i g i n a l i t y was not, i n E l i o t ' s opinion, so much a matter of technique as i t was a way of expressing r e a l i t y from the point of view of a remarkably aware mind. I t i s obvious, moreover, that E l i o t was anxious to develop such an awareness, which he considered to be a special c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of a poet: an a b i l i t y to amalgamate experiences and express the process of doing so i n h i s poetry. Or, i n E l i o t ' s words; When a poet's mind i s p e r f e c t l y equipped f o r i t s *;;;:••.. work, i t i s constantly amalgamating disparate experience; the ordinary man's experience i s chaotic, i r r e g u l a r , fragmentary. The l a t t e r f a l l s i n love, or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter or the smell of cooking; i n the mind of the poet these experiences are always forming new w h o l e s , 27  We have examined various causes which combined t o produce two main e f f e c t s i n E l i o t ' s imagery:  the shock of  recognition i n images of the sordid modern metropolis, and the p e c u l i a r power produced by combining paradoxical oh The Metaphysical Poets", p . 287  27  elements to produce an image " r i c h and strange".  Images  have been c a l l e d here the product of E l i o t ' s "awareness" rather than of h i s perception, because the l a t t e r term tends to imply an a c t i v i t y i n the present, from the past.  isolated  In r e a l i t y t h i s i s impossible, since what  we perceive i s determined i n part by past experience; Prufrock's "For I have known them a l l already, known them all...  . " (p. 1 4 ) provides a motive f o r a l l h i s perceptions  and actions i n the present of the poem.  This p r i n c i p l e —  the merging of past and p r e s e n t — i s a prevalent concern i n E l i o t ' s poetry, and the name qf_HenriBergson f i g u r e s .prominently  here.  E l i o t had the opportunity of attending Bergson's immensely popular lectures when he was i n Prance from 1910  u n t i l the f a l l o f 1 9 1 1 .  2 8  I t was during t h i s period  that Bergson expounded many of the ideas which had already 29  appeared i n p u b l i c a t i o n , at least i n French; and while i t i s true that E l i o t ' s l a t e r and more profound interest i n P. H. Bradley caused him to mistrust much of Bergson's 30  philosophy, at t h i s e a r l y stage i n h i s development he S m i t h , p. 4 . Bergson was a professor at the College de Prance from 1900 t o 1 9 1 4 . See Harold A. Larrabee's introduction to Selections from Bergson (New York: AppletonCentury-Crofts, Inc., 1 9 4 9 ) , p.xiv. 28  T h a t i s : An Introduction to Metaphysics ( 1 9 0 3 ) , Time and Free W i l l ( 1 8 8 9 ) . Matter and Memory ( 1 8 9 6 ) . Creative Evolution ( 1 9 0 7 ) . See introduction to Selections from Bergson 2 9  30  Kenner, p. 4 6 . Por E l i o t ' s debt to Bradley, Kennerls whole chapter here i s very h e l p f u l .  28 evidently found i t very useful to h i s poetry. According to Bergson, the process of perception i s not unique "but i s l i n k e d inseparably to memory. This i s due to the f a c t that a l l our past experiences are stored i n the recesses of our minds; that i s , they become memories. We are only conscious of them when they become, as Bergson says, of  our  11  detached . . .  from the depth  personality, drawn to the surface by perceptions  which resemble them. "31 Bergson r e f e r s to both the thing perceived and the memory which collaborates with the present as an image: '"While external perception provokes on our part movements which retrace i t s main l i n e s , our memory d i r e c t s upon the perception received the memoryimages which resemble i t and which are already  sketched  out by the movements themselves."32 Thus our personal memories govern our understanding  of what we perceive  even when, according to Bergson, the perceived object i s unfamiliar to us: I f the retained or remembered Image w i l l not cover a l l the d e t a i l s of the image that i s being perceived , an appeal i s made to the deeper and more distant regions of the memory, u n t i l other d e t a i l s that are already known come to project themselves upon these d e t a i l s that remain unperceived.33 31lntroductlon to Metaphysics, trans, by T. E. Hulme., :(New York: Q. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912), p. 10. F r o m Matter and Memory, i n Selections from Bergson, p. 52. A l l future references to Selections w i l l be to. Matter and Memory. 32  33i ^p v -felon to Metaphysics, p. 12. I  0a  ac  29  Perception i s controlled by our past; yet paradoxically, "there are no two i d e n t i c a l moments i n the l i f e of the same conscious being • . • because the second moment always contains, over and above the f i r s t , the memory that the f i r s t has bequeathed to  it."  3 4  The above process i s , i n a sense, r e v e r s i b l e . Bergson distinguishes between "pure memory" that has not emerged through perceptions which resemble i t , but remains hidden from the consciousness, and the memory-image.  In  f a c t , without the process of perception memory cannot be said to e x i s t , since we are unaware of i t : Our perceptions are undoubtedly i n t e r l a c e d with memories, and inversely, a memory . . . only becomes actual by borrowing the body of some perception into which i t s l i p s . These two acts, perception and r e c o l l e c t i o n , always interpenetrate each other . . . . 3 5 The image i s v i t a l i n Bergson s philosophy, since 1  i t i s through the image that the ultimate  goal—the  i n t u i t i o n of duration or f l u x which i s the only r e a l i t y comes nearest to being achieved:  j  It i s true that no image can reproduce exactly the o r i g i n a l f e e l i n g . . . but the image has at least t h i s advantage, that i t keeps us i n the concrete. No image can replace the i n t u i t i o n of duration; but many diverse images, ^ I n t r o d u c t i o n to Metaphysics, p. 12. Selections, p. 48,  "  borrowed f r o m v e r y d i f f e r e n t o r d e r s o f t h i n g s , may, "by t h e convergence o f t h e i r a c t i o n , d i r e c t c o n s c i o u s n e s s t o t h e p r e c i s e p o i n t where t h e r e i s a c e r t a i n i n t u i t i o n t o be seized.36  30  Now s i n c e many o f E l i o t ' s d r a m a t i c poems b e g i n i n medias r e s , t h e y a r e preceded i n o u r i m a g i n a t i o n b y a p a s t f i l l e d w i t h c e r t a i n e x p e r i e n c e s . We c a n g u e s s , for  example, f r o m P r u f r o c k ' s p r e s e n t s t a t e t h a t h i s p a s t  has b e e n l a r g e l y one o f t e d i u m and f r u s t r a t i o n .  But  E l i o t i s n o t concerned w i t h t h i s s o r t o f h y p o t h e t i c a l p a s t ; he i s c o n c e r n e d w i t h memory, and t h e d e t a i l s o f t h i s c o n c e r n s t r o n g l y suggest a B e r g s o n i a n i n f l u e n c e . A t l e a s t one o f t h e e a r l y poems—"Rhapsody on a Windy N i g h t " — d e p e n d s f o r i t s e f f e c t v e r y l a r g e l y on B e r g 3"7  son's t h e o r i e s .  The s p e a k e r b e g i n s by h e a r i n g " W h i s p e r i n g  l u n a r i n c a n t a t i o n s . . . " ( p . 26)  which  d i s s o l v e "the f l o o r s  of memory", p e r m i t t i n g a whole s e r i e s o f memory-images t o come i n t o b e i n g . ian  F u r t h e r m o r e , E l i o t employs t h e Bergson-  v i e w t h a t because o f t h e g r o w i n g wave o f t h e p a s t , e a c h  moment i n a n i n d i v i d u a l l i f e i s d i f f e r e n t from' i t s p r e d e cessor.  The p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h i s v i e w i s a c c o m p l i s h e d b y  s t r i v i n g t o e l i m i n a t e any s u g g e s t i o n o f c o n s c i o u s o r deliberate association.  As Smith says, "the d i s s o l u t i o n o f  o r d e r l y thought i n t o a n i r r a t i o n a l , almost s u r r e a l i s t i c  36 I n t r o d u c t i o n t o M e t a p h y s i c s , pp. 15-6. ^ " P r e l u d e s " may a l s o draw i t s i n s p i r a t i o n f r o m Bergson. I n t h i s poem, t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h p e r c e p t i o n draws f r o m a  31 collage of discontinuous mental impressions obeys the laws of i n s t i n c t i v e consciousness according to Bergson,  1,38  In  the case of the speaker i n t h i s poem, memory i s perhaps better l e f t below consciousness, since the images which do present themselves are distorted and f u l l of horror. But perception draws them out regardless, as i t must. I t i s interesting to notice too that the moon has l o s t her memory, which i n Bergsonian terms i s to be t o t a l l y cut o f f from one's past.  Pictured here as an o l d prostitute (the  memory-image from the actual p r o s t i t u t e of stanza two) , she has indeed l o s t the t r a d i t i o n of beauty and love which i s her past:. "Regard the moon La lune ne garde aucune rancune, She winks a feeble eye, She smiles into corners. She smooths the h a i r of the grass. The moon has l o s t her memory, • , , (p. 27)  store of memory-images i s suggested by the l i n e s : You dozed, and watched the night revealing The thousand sordid images Of which your soul was constituted, , . . (p, 24) Moreover, the fancies curled around "these images" (those i n the poem) suggest memory-images of possible hope and transcendence which do not "appear" but of which the poet i s half-aware. They are borderline images. Page 24,  32 But i t i s the l i n e s just "before the close of the poem— "Memory' / You have the key. . ."(p. 27)—which do most to j u s t i f y a Bergsonian reading.  Not only does the speaker  have the "key" to h i s memory—his present experiences— which, t r a g i c a l l y , he cannot use, "but h i s memory i s the key to the ordering and r e l a t i n g of the fragments of the same present experiences.  E l i o t seems to "be treating the  past here as a trap from which present experience cannot release us; t h i s i s the horror, i n other words, i n the Bergsonian world i n which there i s no present; i n which "when we think t h i s present as going to "be, i t exists not 39  yet; and when we think i t ^ a s e x i s t i n g , i t i s already past." I f our past endures and the s e l f i s a succession of states, or, more accurately, a continuous f l u x , then the r e a l i t y i s mobility, what Bergson c a l l s "things i n the making;"  40  Analysis or conceptualization cannot grasp t h i s f l u x , since they can only substitute t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c o n t i n u i t i e s f o r 41 an actual process.  Only i n t u i t i o n - - " I n t e l l e c t u a l sympathy"—  i s capable of sensing t h i s r e a l i t y , Bergson's account of t h i s i n t u i t i v e process i s very i n t e r e s t i n g , since i t i s much l i k e the a r t i s t i c process i n S e l e c t i o n s , p. 56, 3 9  40  I n t r o d u c t i o n to Metaphysics, p. 65,  I n t r o d u c t i o n to Metaphysics, p. 9 . Bergson l a t e r defines i t as "the metaphysical investigation of what i 8 essential and unique i n the object." 41  33 E l i o t ' s poetry.  A f t e r g a t h e r i n g the sum o f h i s o b s e r v a t i o n s  and e x p e r i e n c e s , a c c u m u l a t i n g them and f u s i n g them t o g e t h e r , the i n d i v i d u a l must make "an o f t e n v e r y p a i n f u l e f f o r t "  to  p l a c e h i m s e l f a t the h e a r t o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e , " t o seek as d e e p l y as p o s s i b l e an impulse"; a f t e r w h i c h he need o n l y l e t h i m s e l f g o . I n a l i k e manner, E l i o t d e p i c t s the p o e t as 4 2  f u s i n g t o g e t h e r i n h i s poem the f e e l i n g s , images, e t c e t e r a , w h i c h f o r m the c o n t e n t s o f the " r e c e p t a c l e " t h a t i s h i s mind. B o t h w r i t e r s seem t o emphasize the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f e x p e r i e n c e and the need t o f u s e t h i s e x p e r i e n c e t o g e t h e r ; and b o t h son and E l i o t would agree t h a t one's " i n t e l l e c t u a l  Berg-  sympathy"  i s the o n l y v a l i d c l u e t o the r e a l i t y o f e x p e r i e n c e . We may as an attempt  go f a r t h e r , i n f a c t , and r e g a r d E l i o t ' s  image  t o c a p t u r e the f l u x , t o f u s e p a s t , p r e s e n t  and f u t u r e t o g e t h e r .  Now,-  s i n c e the image i s c o n c r e t e  i s r e a l l y a n c h o r e d i n t i m e , i t cannot " s t o p " t i m e ; the n e x t b e s t t h i n g , however, by c a p t u r i n g an 43 . s e n s e - i m p r e s s i o n as e x a c t l y as p o s s i b l e .  And  and  i t does  instantaneous according  t o B e r g s o n , as we have a l r e a d y mentioned, the convergence o f the a c t i o n o f a s e r i e s o f d i v e r s e images c a n l e a d us t o an i n t u i t i o n .  The  image can approximate- the f l u x because i t  AO  I n t r o d u c t i o n t o M e t a p h y s i c s , p.  90.  *°T. E, Hulme, much c l o s e r t o B e r g s o n t h a n E l i o t , demands t h a t the p o e t seek t o r e n d e r the " e x a c t c u r v e " o f what he p e r c e i v e s through images, "the v e r y essence o f an i n t u i t i v e language,"See "Romanticism and C l a s s i c i s m " , S p e c u l a t i o n s (London: Routledge & Kegan P a u l L t d * , 1 9 2 4 ) , pp, 132,. 135,  34  contains the past ( i t i s influenced "by memory),the present, (since i t i s an act of perception), and the future ( i t a f f e c t s a l l future action.) B r i e f l y , then, Bergson's philosophy seems to have been present i n E l i o t ' s thoughts when he composed poems such as "The Love Song of J . A l f r e d Prufrock", "Preludes", and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night", which use images to convey, among other things, the passing of time, and the duration of time i n the i n d i v i d u a l .  In other words, the theories of  Bergson helped E l i o t enlarge the scope of awareness i n h i s poetry by permitting both memory and perception to function together. I t i s true also that Bergson seems to have remained a part of E l i o t ' s experience u n t i l " T r a d i t i o n and the Individual Talent", i n which the former's notion of personal duration i s extended to the concept of a l i t e r a r y past whose nature i s altered by the addition of every new work.  In  short, Bergson seems to have provided a system of thought upon which a theory of poetry could r e s t , a theory which could also incorporate similar techniques of composition by such widely d i f f e r e n t poets as the Symbolists and the l a t e r 44  J . '  Elizabethan dramatists. I t i s important to mention here that E l i o t , while using Bergsonian theories of memory and perception, did not share Bergson's b e l i e f as to the nature of r e a l i t y : 4 4  We have no r i g h t , except i n the most provisional way, to speak of my. experience, since the I i s a construction out of experience, an abstraction, from i t ; and the thats, the browns and hards and f l a t s , are equally i d e a l constructions from experience,  35  Having d i s c u s s e d some o f the elements which  found  t h e i r p l a c e i n E l i o t ' s i m a g i s t i c methods i n h i s e a r l y p o e t r y , we may  f u r t h e r c l a r i f y t h i s poetry through a  c o m p a r i s o n w i t h t h e I m a g i s t T. E. Hulme.  The f a c t t h a t  s e v e r a l w r i t e r s have commented upon t h e s i m i l a r i t i e s  ex-  i s t i n g between t h e s e two p o e t s , who began composing p o e t r y at did  about t h e same t i m e , l e a d s t o a q u e s t i o n o f i n f l u e n c e : Hulme's p o e t r y and a e s t h e t i c have any b e a r i n g upon  E l i o t ' s e a r l y "imagism"?  Hulme i s o f t e n honoured as the  f o u n d e r o f the I m a g i s t Movement i n E n g l a n d , a l t h o u g h h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n as a p o e t was  slight.  However, he wrote an  i m p o r t a n t body o f p r o s e b e f o r e h i s d e a t h i n 1917,  including  many remarks on the r o l e o f the image i n modern p o e t r y , and t h i s work has b e e n viewed s u b s e q u e n t l y as a c o n t r i b u t i n g factor i n Eliot's early practice. There i s no d o u b t , f i r s t o f a l l , t h a t E l i o t r e a d some of Hulme's e s s a y s — i n c l u d i n g h i s best-known work, "Romantic i s m and C l a s s i c i s m " — s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e y appeared i n a volume e n t i t l e d S p e c u l a t i o n s , p u b l i s h e d i n 1924,  and  was  as i d e a l as atoms. An e l a n v i t a l , a f l u x , i s e q u a l l y a b s t r a c t e d from e x p e r i e n c e , f o r i t i s o n l y i n d e p a r t i n g from immediate e x p e r i e n c e t h a t we are aware o f such a p r o c e s s . I n s h o r t , we can o n l y d i s c u s s e x p e r i e n c e f r o m one s i d e and t h e n f r o m the o t h e r , c o r r e c t i n g t h e s e . See Knowledge and E x p e r i e n c e i n the P h i l o s o p h y o f F. B r a d l e y ( L o n d o n ; F a b e r & F a b e r , 1964), p. 19.  H.  36 45 impressed by them. He also admired the s i x poems which appeared i n an appendix as "The Complete Poetical Works of T. E. Hulme." the  These include "Autumn", "Mana Aboda", "Above  Dock", "The Embankment", and "Conversion", But, since  these poems appeared as early as 1912 i n an appendix to Ezra Pound's Ripostes, and since many of Hulme's lectures and essays were published during h i s l i f e t i m e as a r t i c l e s i n A, R. Orage's New Age, we must ask i f E l i o t was exposed to,  and influenced by, Hulme's poetry and c r i t i c i s m when  they f i r s t appeared. On the extent to which Hulme's theories may have affected E l i o t ' s p r a c t i c e , c r i t i c a l opinion v a r i e s . claim at least may be disposed of:  One  that of Genesius Jones, 46  who states that E l i o t I h e w Hulme personally, since denied that he ever met Hulme,  47  E l i o t has  But while recog-  nizing t h i s f a c t , Grover Smith remarks that "through Pound ^Speculations: Essays on Humanism and the Philosophy pf A r t , ed. Herbert Read (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd., 1960).According to J . R. D a n i e l l s , i n "T. S, E l i o t and h i s Relation to T. E. Hulme", University of Toronto Quarterly. II ( A p r i l , 1933), 381, E l i o t included i t among a l i s t of books, along with h i s C r i t e r i o n , which i l l u s t r a t e d a tendency toward Classicism. The rest of Hulme's essays and poetic fragments appear i n Further Speculations, ed. by Sam Hynes (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955). 46  . Approach to the Purpose: A Study of the Poetry of T. S. E l i o t (London: Hodder-and Stoughton, 1964), p,157n. L e t t e r to the E d i t o r , Times L i t e r a r y Supplement. August 9, 1957^p. 483b. ~~~ ~~ — ~" • 4 7  37 some of E l i o t ' s early verse had been influenced by Hulme's 48 theories." Both of Hulme's biographers to some extent support t h i s view. According to Michael Roberts, E l i o t ' s 49 poetry " i s f u l l of the sort of imagism that Hulme wanted" and Alun Jones claims that Hulme's theory of poetry "finds i t s most coherent expression neither i n the poems of the Imagists, nor i n h i s own poems, but i n the early poetry of 50 T. S. E l i o t . " K r i s t i a n Smidt adds, more cautiously, E l i o t never met Hulme. . . . But he had long been the center of a group of philosophers, writers and a r t i s t s , and h i s s p i r i t and ideas l i v e d on i n the l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s of London when E l i o t came to the capital.51 Such biographical information as i s available makes any d e f i n i t e conclusion on t h i s matter impossible.  We know  that "Hulme published no a r t i c l e s exclusively concerned with poetics. . . .  but  i n 1914 he was one of a series of l e c -  turers i n Kensington Town H a l l on new developments i n art 52 and l i t e r a t u r e , reading a paper on modern poetry." Eliot was i n London i n the spring of 1914, but only to pass through l '  *°Page 318. 4 9  T.  E  f  Hulme (London:  , Paber & Faber, 1938), p.225.  T h e L i f e and Opinions of Tj_ E^ Hulme (Boston: Beacon Press, 1960), p. 53. 50  P o e t r v and B e l i e f i n the Work of T^ S^ E l i o t (New York: The Humanities Press, 1961), p. 23. 51  S t a n l e y K. Coffman, Imagism: A Chapter f o r the History (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1951, p. 48. This was, no doubt, "A Lecture on Modern Poetry" which, as Hynes says, was probably given as a lecture i n 1908 or 1909, and revised i n 1914, when i t was again delivered. See Further Speculations , E x i i . 52  38 53 on h i s way to a fellowship i n Germany. He returned to London i n September o r very shortly "before: At the outbreak of t h e war I was i n Germany and o n l y succeeded i n making my way to England t h r e e weeks l a t e r . It i s therefore probable that I presented m y s e l f at Mr. Pound's door early i n September, 1 9 1 4 . 5 4  According to Pound, Hulme may have already e n l i s t e d 55 and gone o f f to the war by October. about t h i s , however:  There i s some doubt  Herbert Read, f o r example, i s of the  opinion that Hulme may have remained i n England u n t i l shortly a f t e r Christmas of t h i s y e a r .  5 6  I t i s therefore just pos-  s i b l e that E l i o t may have heard "A Lecture on Modern Poetry,", i f i t was delivered during the l a s t four months of 1914. But E l i o t , who  i s always so scrupulous about acknowledging any  indebtedness to outside influences, makes no mention of i t at a l l . He may,  of course, have read the New Age  articles  which Hulme was w r i t i n g during that year and, indeed,  had  57  been writing since 1909.  —  They are indispensable records of  S m i t h , p. 4. ^ T L S l e t t e r , 1957, p. 507b.  I  53  F r o m an unpublished l e t t e r by Pound, now i n the Yale University c o l l e c t i o n , Quoted by Herbert Newton Schneidau, Ezra Pound's C r i t i c i s m and the Influence of h i s L i t e r a r y Relationships i n London, 1908-1920 (.Ann Arbor. Michigan: University Microfilms, Inc.,1963), p. 238, 55  E £  Speculations, p. x.  S e e "Appendix C: A Bibliography of Hulme's WritingsJ', Further Speculations, pp. 221-3. The "Notebook of T. E. H.}' which appears i n Speculations as "Humanism and the Religious 57  39 Hulme's thought and they f o r m , as we have seen, a l a r g e p a r t o f the two p u b l i s h e d books.  But s i n c e none o f  these  e s s a y s i s devoted t o h i s p o e t i c — t h e y d e a l i n s t e a i w i t h B e r g s o n , t h e o r i e s o f modern a r t , and p h i l o s o p h i c a l spec u l a t i o n — t h e y c o u l d not have been much use t o E l i o t ' s poetry.  I n s h o r t , i t i s reasonable  t o c o n c l u d e t h a t Hulme's  t h e o r y o f the image had no d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e on E l i o t ' s poetry p r i o r to 1924.  5 8  However, even i f E l i o t was  indeed  exposed t o Hulme's t h e o r i e s by Pound, o r t h r o u g h Pound's c r i t i c i s m , E l i o t ' s l a t e r p r a i s e o f Hulme as "a man wrote s e v e r a l r e m a r k a b l e poems h i m s e l f , and who an a p t i t u d e f o r theology','  5 9  who  also  had  d e n i e s by i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t  Hulme's r o l e i n h i s own p o e t r y was  an i m p o r t a n t  one.  A t t i t u d e " r a n , f o r example, i n seven i n s t a l l m e n t s between December 1915 and F e b r u a r y 1916. 58 E l i o t has made a comment t h a t v e r i f i e s t h i s c o n c l u s i o n , w h i l e r a t h e r m y s t e r i o u s l y a d v a n c i n g support f o r the v i e w t h a t he may have i n f l u e n c e d Hulme, i n the TLS l e t t e r c i t e d above. Hulme's essay "Romanticism and C l a s s i c i s m " opens w i t h the p r e d i c t i o n t h a t " a f t e r a hundred y e a r s o f r o m a n t i c i s m , we are i n f o r a c l a s s i c a l r e v i v a l , " E l i o t a d m i t s : " i f he made the p r o p h e c y i n q u e s t i o n d u r i n g the l a s t f o U r months o f 1914, and i f Mr, Pound was i n c l o s e enough t o u c h w i t h him t o have shown him the t y p e s c r i p t o f my poems, t h e n i t i s j u s t p o s s i b l e though h i g h l y i m p r o b a b l e , t h a t he was aware o f my e x i s t e n c e a and had me i n mind," And when Hulme remarked i n "A L e c t u r e on Modern P o e t r y " : "What has found e x p r e s s i o n i n p a i n t i n g as I m p r e s s i o n i s m w i l l soon f i n d e x p r e s s i o n i n p o e t r y as f r e e v e r s e . The v i s i o n o f a London s t r e e t a t m i d n i g h t , w i t h i t s l o n g rows o f l i g h t , has produced s e v e r a l a t t e m p t s a t r e p r o d u c t i o n i n v e r s e . " ( F u r t h e r S p e c u l a t i o n s , p, 72;, he may have b e e n t h i n k i n g o f E l i o t ' s "Rhapsody on a Windy N i g h t " w h i c h was composed i n 1911 and may have been p a r t o f the above t y p e s c r i p t , T h e Use o f P o e t r y and the Use F a b e r & F a b e r , 1 9 3 3 ) , p. 149, 5 9  o f C r i t i c i s m (London:  40 It must be pointed out, however, that when E l i o t composed h i s little-known poem "The Death of St. Narcissus" i n 1912,  at least one of Hulme's poems—"Conversion"—may 60 have been i n h i s mind: CONVERSION Light-hearted I walked into the v a l l e y wood In the time of hyacinths, T i l l beauty l i k e a scented cloth Cast over, s t i f l e d me. I was bound Motionless and f a i n t of breath By l o v e l i n e s s that i s her own eunuch. Now pass I to the f i n a l r i v e r Ignominiously, i n a sack, without sound, As any peeping Turk to the Bosphorus.61 This poem may have appealed to E l i o t because of i t s sophisicated manner and s e n s i t i v e , Prufrockian tone; the f i n a l defeat i n the l a s t three l i n e s seems to be f a i n t l y echoed by the subtle combination of fear and s e l f - p i t y i n We have lingered i n the chambers of the sea By s e a - g i r l s wreathed with seaweed red and brown T i l l human voices wake us, and we drown, (p. 17). Moreover, Hulme's l i n e , "In the time of hyacinths*,'  may  have helped suggest to E l i o t the various hyacinth images i n h i s poetry, culminating i n the hyacinth g i r l episode i n The Waste Land (p. 64). 60  61  S m i t h , p. 3 4 . S p e c u l a t l o n s . p. 267.  41 But such "borrowing says very l i t t l e , since E l i o t incorporates many words and phrases from other sources into h i s own poetry, often without being much concerned with the ideas and techniques which created them; or he sees i n these words a f e e l i n g which has been captured successfully and which he can contrast f o r e f f e c t against a new poetic environment. The kind of influence which i s more important—the  kind ex-  erted, f o r example, by Jules L a f o r g u e — a f f e c t s not only the poetry i t s e l f but the way  i n which i t i s created.  poetry did not influence E l i o t i n t h i s way,  Hulme's  and i n f a c t could  not have done so, because E l i o t and Hulme were separated a difference i n t h e i r whole approach to poetry.  by  But by con-  sidering Hulme's p o e t i c , and i n p a r t i c u l a r h i s ideas on the f u n c t i o n of the image, we can c l a r i f y E l i o t ' s approach to the image. T, E. Hulme began with c e r t a i n c r i t i c a l which he wanted to express or " f i x " which i t was  impressions  a fairly explicit  theory  the purpose of h i s poetry to demonstrate. The  governing p r i n c i p l e behind Hulme's p o e t r y — i n f a c t , behind h i s entire thought—was, as mentioned e a r l i e r , a d i s t i n c t aversion to romanticism, and a desire to reinstate c l a s s i c a l  standards  i n a r t . " I object even to the best of the romantics," wrote Hulme,"I object to the sloppiness which doesn't consider that a poem i s a poem unless i t i s moaning or whining about something or other." "Romanticism and Classicism". Speculations, p. 126. A l l subsequent references to Speculations are to t h i s essay unless othewise noted. 62  42  He e s p e c i a l l y d i s l i k e d the e g o t i s m o f many o f the R o m a n t i c s , who  f e l t t h a t t h e i r p o e t r y was  capable o f i n c l u d i n g , o r even  t a k i n g the p l a c e o f , a l l o t h e r a r e a s o f e x p e r i e n c e : You don!t b e l i e v e i n God, so you b e g i n t o b e l i e v e t h a t man i s a god. You don t b e l i e v e i n Heaven, so you b e g i n t o b e l i e v e i n a heaven on e a r t h . I n o t h e r words, you get r o m a n t i c i s m . . . . R o m a n t i c i s m t h e n , and t h i s i s the b e s t d e f i n i t i o n I can g i v e o f i t , i s s p i l t r e l i g i o n , (p,  us)  Hulme s h a r e d w i t h E l i o t t h e " c l a s s i c a l v i e w , stemming , ,  f r o m a b e l i e f i n O r i g i n a l S i n , t h a t man was  essentially a  l i m i t e d b e i n g and t h a t t h e r e f o r e p e r f e c t i o n was world.  not o f t h i s  But Hulme's g r e a t e r p e s s i m i s m l e d him t o b e l i e v e  "the cosmos i s o r g a n i s e d i n p a r t s ; the r e s t i s c i n d e r s " ( p .  220).  Such a b e l i e f c o u l d o n l y l e a d t o the view t h a t language i s l a r g e l y an a r b i t r a r y and u n s a t i s f a c t o r y system imposed on the f l o w i n g , c i n d e r y chaos o f r e a l i t y .  And  s i n c e language  c o u l d never r e m a i n s t a b l e , p o e t r y c o u l d not hope t o e v e r e x p r e s s p r o f o u n d and permanent emotions o r t r u t h s . T h e r e f o r e , modern p o e t r y "has become d e f i n i t e l y and f i n a l l y i n t r o s p e c t i v e and d e a l s w i t h e x p r e s s i o n and o f momentary phases i n the p o e t ' s mind."  \.\  communication  I t s goal i s , at  b e s t , t o e x p r e s s t h r o u g h images, the e x a c t n a t u r e o f the c i n d e r s , t h e c o n c r e t e w o r l d o f r e a l i t y , p r e f e r r i n g the l i g h t o f o r d i n a r y day t o ~ t h e l i g h t " t h a t n e v e r was  on l a n d  o r seaVCp. 1 2 7 ) . "A L e c t u r e on Modern P o e t r y " , F u r t h e r S p e c u l a t i o n s , p . 72.  43  F o r Hulme, p o e t r y i s an i n t e n s e l y v i s u a l a r t , i n t h a t "each word must "be an image seen , not a  counter." ^  I d e a s are not t o "be t o l e r a t e d u n l e s s t h e y a r e  expressed  through concrete  images,  0  Hulme seemed t o p o s s e s s ,  i n this  r e g a r d , a s i n c e r e , a l m o s t m y s t i c a l " b e l i e f i n the power o f the o b j e c t .  He w r i t e s t h a t "one  might even say t h a t the  a c t u a l p h y s i c a l o b j e c t s o b s e r v e d by men  have a l t e r e d the  c o u r s e o f t h o u g h t . F o r example, the m i r r o r i n the  theory  o f p e r c e p t i o n , and the wheel i n E a s t e r n t h o u g h t , "  The  p o e t ' s t a s k , a c c o r d i n g t o Hulme, i s t o d e a l w i t h o b j e c t s and the emotions t h a t t h e y i n v o k e  i n him.  words, i f he i s "moved by a c e r t a i n l a n d s c a p e ,  these I n other  he s e l e c t s  f r o m t h a t c e r t a i n images w h i c h , put i n t o j u x t a p o s i t i o n i n separate  l i n e s , s e r v e t o suggest and evoke the s t a t e he  66  f e e l s , " Hulme d i s c u s s e s t h i s p r o c e s s f u r t h e r , u s i n g i n t e r e s t i n g analogy:  an .  v  To t h i s p i l i n g - u p and j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f d i s t i n c t images i n d i f f e r e n t l i n e s , one c a n f i n d a f a n c i f u l analogy i n music, A great r e v o l u t i o n i n music when, f o r the melody t h a t i s o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l m u s i c , was s u b s t i t u t e d harmony w h i c h moves i n two. Two v i s u a l images f o r m what one may c a l l a v i s u a l chord. They u n i t e t o suggest ari image w h i c h i s d i f f e r e n t to b o t h . 6 7  Hulme i s a l s o , l i k e Pound, f o n d o f s e e i n g p o e t r y i n s c u l p t u r a l terms. 6 5  p.  He speaks o f the new  p o e t r y m o u l d i n g images  " S e a r c h e s a f t e r H e a l i t y I I : Haldane,"  12.  Further Speculations,  66  "A Lect.u.^ 6 7  F u r t h e r S p e c u l a t i o n s , p.  73.  " A L e c t u r e on Modern Poetry,", F u r t h e r S p e c u l a t i o n s , p.  73.  44 i n t o d e f i n i t e shapes, as w e l l as c h o r d s ; o f b u i l d i n g up a " p l a s t i c " image r a t h e r t h a n h y p n o t i z i n g the r e a d e r w i t h the e f f e c t o f a r e p e a t e d rhythm.  But w h i l e a l l o w i n g f o r  a c e r t a i n degree o f f l u i d i t y i n h i s image s t r u c t u r e s , the p o e t must a t t h e same time seek the " e x a c t c u r v e " o f h i s f e e l i n g s and t h o u g h t s , c o n s t a n t l y c a r v i n g away a l l  un-  necessary m a t e r i a l , since language i s by i t s v e r y n a t u r e a communal t h i n g ; t h a t i s , i t e x p r e s s e s n e v e r the exact t h i n g hut a compromise—that which i s common t o you, me and everybody. But each man sees a l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t l y , and t o get out c l e a r l y and e x a c t l y what he does s e e , he must have a t e r r i f i c s t r u g g l e w i t h l a n g u a g e , whether i t be w i t h words o r the t e c h n i q u e o f o t h e r a r t s . . . .{The a r t i s t ] w i l l get t h e e x a c t c u r v e o f what he sees whether i t be a n o b j e c t o r a n i d e a i n the mind ( p . 132). ;  I t i s easy t o see c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s between Hulme's approach t o p o e t r y and E l i o t ' s .  Both i n s i s t , f o r  example, upon the need f o r c l e a r and e x a c t images; b o t h a r e aware o f the e f f e c t t o be o b t a i n e d by  juxtaposing  images, s t a r t l i n g the r e a d e r i n t o new ways o f r e g a r d i n g h i s w o r l d , and a l s o b i n d i n g the poem i n t o a n o r g a n i c r a t h e r than an a r t i f i c i a l u n i t y .  E l i o t ' s v i e w on t h i s m a t t e r o f  u n i t y c o u l d s e r v e f o r Hulme a l s o : The work o f p o e t r y i s o f t e n s a i d t o be p e r f o r m e d by the use o f images; by a c u m u l a t i v e s u c c e s s i o n o f images each f u s i n g w i t h t h e next;„_or by the r a p i d and unexpected c o m b i n a t i o n o f images a p p a r e n t l y u n r e l a t e d , w h i c h have t h e i r  -  -  45  r e l a t i o n s h i p e n f o r c e d upon them by mind o f the a u t h o r ,  the  6 8  But a n t i - R o m a n t i c i s m , w h i c h i n E l i o t ' s p o e t r y  finds  i t s e x p r e s s i o n i n the g e n e r a l t h e o r y o f i m p e r s o n a l i t y , i s c a r r i e d t o a g r e a t e r extreme i n the poems o f Hulme, h i s e f f o r t s t o prove " t h a t b e a u t y may t h i n g s " ( p . 1 3 1 ) , Hulme d e l i b e r a t e l y  In  he i n s m a l l , d r y s e t s out t o r e v e r s e  the Romantic mode o f a l l - i n c l u s i v e n e s s and i t s tendency t o o p t i m i s m by r e d u c i n g the scope o f p o e t r y .  Such a r e d u c t i o n  i s a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f Hulme's " c l a s s i c a l " v i e w o f the t a t i o n s o f man.  limi-  He d i s t i n g u i s h e s between two v i e w s o f  man's n a t u r e : One, t h a t man i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y good, s p o i l t by c i r c u m s t a n c e ; and the o t h e r t h a t he i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y l i m i t e d , b u t d i s c i p l i n e d by o r d e r and t r a d i t i o n t o something f a i r l y decent. To the one p a r t y man's n a t u r e i s l i k e a w e l l , t o the o t h e r l i k e a b u c k e t . The v i e w w h i c h r e g a r d s man as a w e l l , - a r e s e r v o i r f u l l o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s , I c a l l the r o m a n t i c ; the one w h i c h r e g a r d s him as a v e r y f i n i t e and f i x e d c r e a t u r e , I c a l l the c l a s s i c a l ( p . 117). H i s p o e t r y a t t e m p t s t o r e f l e c t man's l i m i t a t i o n .  A good  example i s the f o l l o w i n g poem: ABOVE THE DOCK Above the q u i e t dock i n m i d n i g h t , Tangled i n the t a l l mast's corded h e i g h t , Hangs the moon. What seemed so f a r away g I s but a c h i l d ' s b a l l o o n , f o r g o t t e n a f t e r p l a y . &  6 8  "Prose  and VerseJ'  69  S t > e c u l a t i o n s . p.  The Chapbook, X X I I ( 1 9 2 1 ) , 266,  9..  46  Hulme, r e f u s i n g t o i d e a l i z e t h e moon i n t h e t r a d i t i o n a l manner a s a symbol o f man's a s p i r a t i o n s , r e d u c e s i t t o a t o y , t a n g l e d and caught i n t h e mast o f a s h i p . p l o y s h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c method h e r e :  He em-  images c r e a t e a n  a n a l o g y by w h i c h g r e a t o b j e c t s a r e compared t o s m a l l and commonplace ones, r e s u l t i n g s i m u l t a n e o u s l y  i n the i r o n i c  and o f t e n humourous r e d u c t i o n i n importance o f t h e f o r m e r , and t h e e l e v a t i o n i n magnitude o f t h e l a t t e r . Now i t i s t r u e t h a t many o f E l i o t ' s images a r e o f common, mundane r e a l i t i e s such as c i g a r e t t e - b u t t s and t h e s m e l l s o f s t e a k s i n passageways.  G e n e r a l l y , however, t h e  purpose o f s u c h imagery i s t o c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e p e r c e i v e r ' s complex s t a t e o f mind and h i s awareness o f i t .  E l i o t o c c a s i o n a l l y employs images b y  which the important  i s rendered  trivial;  i n t h e "Preludes", , 1  f o r example, t h e f o l l o w i n g l i n e s p r o v i d e a n i r o n i c comment a r y on t h e outworn p o e t i c image o f dawn a s " r o s y - f i n g e r e d " o r " i n r u s s e t mantle c l a d " :  j  The morning comes t o c o n s c i o u s n e s s Of f a i n t s t a l e s m e l l s o f b e e r Prom t h e sawdust-trampled s t r e e t . ( p . 2 3 ) . But whereas Hulme a s k s t h e r e a d e r t o r e g a r d w i t h p l e a s u r e and amusement h i s i n v e r s i o n s , E l i o t ' s images, i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e poems i n w h i c h t h e y appear, p r e v e n t u s f r o m r e g a r d i n g them l i g h t l y .  The commonplace, e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e P r u f r o c k  47 c o l l e c t i o n , i s d e c i d e d l y t r a g i c , e v e n — p e r h a p s more s o - — when the tone i s i r o n i c :  " S h a l l I p a r t my h a i r "behind? Do  I dare t o e a t a p e a c h ? " ( p . 17)  E l i o t , i n s h o r t , uses h i s  images t o a c h i e v e a n i n t e n s i t y , a d e p t h o f f e e l i n g , w h i c h i s f o r e i g n t o Hulme's p o e t r y and h i s t h e o r y as w e l l .  Eliot's  " c l a s s i c i s m " does not f o r b i d the e x p r e s s i o n o f deep emotion. On the c o n t r a r y , the e m o t i o n becomes the more p o i g n a n t f o r t h e i r o n i c mode o f e x p r e s s i o n w h i c h c o n t r o l s and u n d e r s t a t e s i t . Hulme a l l o w s a " c h e e r f u l , d r y and s o p h i s t i c a t e d " tone t o mask and even r e p l a c e t h e deeper e m o t i o n a l r e s p o n s e . Hulme's "Autumn" employs the same p r o c e d u r e as "Above t h e Dock": A t o u c h o f c o l d i n the Autumn night;-I walked abroad, And saw the ruddy moon l e a n o v e r a hedge Like a red-faced farmer, I d i d not s t o p t o speak, but nodded, And round about were the w i s t f u l s t a r s W i t h w h i t e f a c e s l i k e town c h i l d r e n , 7 0  T h i s poem s u f f e r s , however, because Hulme f e e l s o b l i g e d t o r e s o r t t o t r a d i t i o n a l p o e t i c d e v i c e s , r a t h e r t h a n images. S i n c e , t o use h i s own words, "the poet must ".• : c o n t i n u a l l y be c r e a t i n g new  images, and h i s s i n c e r i t y may be measured by •'  the number o f h i s imagee|'<: Hulme's poem f a i l s by h i s own s t a n d a r d s , t o o . However  we may q u e s t i o n h i s c r i t e r i a f o r  " s i n c e r i t y ' , ' the f a c t remains t h a t "Autumn" i s i m p r e c i s e and 70  Sx>eculations. p.  265,  4 8  sentimental "by the Imagist'Standards which Hulme contributed. It loses i n t e n s i t y and directness through the use of two similes, the banal "touch of cold", and two rather shopworn adjectives, "ruddy" and " w i s t f u l " .  By contrast, E l i o t ' s  "Preludes",, h i s most "Imagistic" poem, i s v i v i d and powerf u l because i t r e l i e s on concrete presentation and not analogy: The winter evening s e t t l e s down With smell of steaks i n passageways. Six o'clock. The burnt-out ends of smoky days. And now a gusty shower wraps The grimy scraps Of withered leaves about your feet And newspapers from vacant l o t s ; The showers beat On broken b l i n d s and chimney-pots, And at the corner of the street A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps. And then the l i g h t i n g of the lamps(p. 23). It may be argued that the images i n the above poem have as t h e i r basis a structure of implied analogy, as, f o r example, between the day's end and an extinguishing c i g a r ette.  But E l i o t compresses h i s images together with such  force and directness that we are seldom detained by the arrangement i t s e l f .  The images are the experience.  Unless'  the comparison i s so extreme and unusual that i t demands an e x p l i c i t statement—the  f i r s t three l i n e s of "The Love Song  of J . A l f r e d Prufrock", f o r example—Eliot r a r e l y uses similes or other more obvious l i n k s .  Since h i s poetry seeks  49  to reveal the t o t a l i t y of a complex and immediate experience, he chooses rather to juxtapose, to submerge or altogether remove the connecting t i s s u e , i n order to convey with accuracy the operation of the experiencing mind. Hulme, on the other hand, draws attention to the analogy i t s e l f as a r e v e l a t i o n of the poet's own  sophisti-  cation and wit. Coffman i s - r i g h t i n pointing out that E l i o t ' s use of the image " looks toward h i s l a t e r d e f i n i t i o n of the objective c o r r e l a t i v e , which aims at f u l l n e s s of expression and communication rather than merely v i r t u o s i t y and owes more to Pound's 'equations' f o r the emotions than to Hulme's image."fl  1  I  Coffman, p. 220.  CHAPTER I I I ELIOT AND EZRA POUND In the previous chapters, the concern has been mainly with E l i o t ' s poems i n Prufrock and Other Observations i n order to demonstrate that E l i o t was developing a method of imagism independent  of the Imagist Movement.  Little  evidence  e x i s t s to show that E l i o t at t h i s time was at a l l influenced by the writers of t h i s movement.  Even T. E. Hulme d i d not  apparently influence E l i o t ' s poetry, either through h i s theories of the image or h i s actual poetic p r a c t i c e . In spite of c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s between the two, E l i o t reveals a greater complexity and a wider range of awareness i n h i s approach to poetry. E l i o t ' s early "imagism" e a s i l y s a t i s f i e s the theoret i c a l requirements of the Movement.  His images are, i n the  main, precise evocations of concrete objects e x i s t i n g i n the physical world.  They reveal the presence of a keen and  discerning perceiver, who can select and arrange h i s images i n a manner that i s thoroughly appropriate to the experience presented.  But what sets E l i o t apart from the Imagists—  s p e c i f i c a l l y , T. E. Hulme—is the intensity of h i s awareness. E l i o t i s able to combine thought and f e e l i n g i n h i s images, and compress together past, present and future glimpses into the nersonae whose voices speak out i n the poems.  Such a  complex presentation not only enhances our appreciation of the speaker's mental anxiety, but gives the poem as a whole  51 a greater  s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a n a poem w h i c h r e l i e s m e r e l y on  one o r two i s o l a t e d images. "In  Poems l i k e Pound's "Oread" o r  a S t a t i o n o f t h e Metro", f o r example, employ the s i n g l e image and assume t h a t , once e s t a b l i s h e d e f f e c t i v e l y , i t c a n s t a n d upon i t s beauty, or i t s s p e c i a l l y perceived c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , o r upon i t s i n t r i n s i c i n t e r e s t ; E l i o t employed a s e r i e s o f images, each i n t e r e s t i n g b u t f i n d i n g i t s f u l l meaning o n l y as a p a r t o f the e f f e c t o f t h e poem as a w h o l e — a n d the poem !•?. i s not j u s t d e l i c a t e l y c o l o u r e d p i c t u r e s o r a s e r i e s o f s e n s a t i o n s , b u t p i c t u r e s and s e n s a t i o n s w h i c h become a commentary o n the s o c i e t y and e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h produced it.-*But E l i o t ' s p o e t r y w h i c h appears a f t e r 1914 shows a  pronounced change i n method and p u r p o s e .  This resulted  m a i n l y f r o m h i s exposure t o Pound's p o e t r y and h i s t h e o r i e s o f imagism, w h i c h a f f e c t e d E l i o t ' s p o e t r y and h i s h a n d l i n g o f the image.  A b r i e f , d i s c u s s i o n of these t h e o r i e s i s there  f o r e v a l u a b l e - — f i r s t as a b a s i s o f c o m p a r i s o n , and, second, as a n approach t o the Poems 1920 c o l l e c t i o n . I n i t i a l l y ,  how-  ever, i t i s necessary to o u t l i n e the nature o f E l i o t ' s p r e v i o u s c o n t a c t w i t h Pound's-poetry and the I m a g i s t Movement i n g e n e r a l , E l i o t f i r s t met P o u n d — a n d I m a g i s m — o n September 22, 2  1914, s h o r t l y a f t e r h i s a r r i v a l i n London f r o m Germany, S t a n l e y P. Coffman, Imagism: A C h a p t e r f o r the H i s t o r y , o f Modern P o e t r y (Norman, Olclahoma: U n i v e r s i t y o f Oklahoma P r e s s , 1 9 5 1 ) , p. 221. 2 See E z r a Pound's l e t t e r o f t h i s d a t e t o H a r r i e t Monroe, q u o t e d i n Hugh Kenner, The I n v i s i b l e P o e t : T. S. E l i o t (New Y o r k : The C i t a d e l P r e s s , 1964;, p. 73.  52 B e f o r e t h i s , however, E l i o t had r e a d some o f Pound's p o e t r y , "but was not a t t h e time t o o impressed: I was i n t r o d u c e d t o Personae and E x u l t a t i o n s i n 1910, w h i l e s t i l l a n undergraduate a t H a r v a r d . The poems d i d n o t t h e n e x c i t e me, any more t h a n d i d the poetry o f Yeats: I was much t o o e n g r o s s e d i n w o r k i n g out t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f L a f o r g u e . I c o n s i d e r e d them, however, t h e o n l y i n t e r e s t i n g poems by a contemporary t h a t I h a d f o u n d . 3  I t must be n o t e d a l s o t h a t E l i o t makes no m e n t i o n o f h a v i n g r e a d , a t t h i s e a r l y s t a g e , t h e t h r e e famous p r i n c i p l e s o f the I m a g i s t Movement, f o r m u l a t e d by Pound and R i c h a r d A l d i n g t o n , o r Pound's own e s s a y , "A Pew Don'ts by a n Imagistejf < 4 b o t h o f w h i c h appeared i n 1913 i n P o e t r y magazine.  We may  assume t h e n t h a t s i n c e s i x o f t h e poems c o n t a i n e d i n P r u f r o c k and Other O b s e r v a t i o n s were w r i t t e n a good d e a l b e f o r e  this  " 0 n a Recent P i e c e o f C r i t i c i s m ' * , P u r p o s e . X (June 1938),91-2. Pound h i m s e l f h a s s i n c e added support t o t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t h i s i n f l u e n c e on E l i o t d a t e d o n l y f r o m t h e i r f i r s t m e e t i n g . I n a l e t t e r t o t h e e d i t o r o f The Times L i t e r a r y Supplement, J u l y 26, 1957, p . 457b, Pound w r o t e : "Mr. E l i o t had a l r e a d y w r i t t e n P r u f r o c k and o t h e r works o f c o n s i d e r a b l e i n t e r e s t b e f o r e a r r i v i n g a t t h e shadowed p o r t a l s o f 5, H o l l a n d P l a c e Chambers. He e i t h e r d i s a p p r o v e d o f some o f my p r a c t i c e s o r was p u z z l e d a s t o why I committed them. We found c e r t a i n p o i n t s o f agreement." 3  A  These p r i n c i p l e s were: 1. D i r e c t treatment o f t h e ' t h i n g ' whether subjective or objective. 2. To use a b s o l u t e l y no word t h a t does not c o n t r i bute t o t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n . 3. A s r e g a r d i n g rhythm: t o compose i n t h e sequence o f t h e m u s i c a l p h r a s e , not i n t h e sequence o f a metronome.  53 time.^including "Preludes";: which is virtually an. imagestudy, i t is obvious that Eliot did not need the theories of Pound and Aldington to teach him how to compose accurate images. Of more crucial importance here is the fact that while Eliot was composing the earliest of these poems, Imagism as a movement did exist, i n a form which is called by William Pratt "The School of Images, 1908-1909." The 6  schoolmaster was T. E . Hulme, and the movement began as a Poet's Club, later re-forming i t s e l f into a group which 7 f i r s t met at a Soho restaurant i n the spring of 1909. The various members shared a desire to experiment which grew out of a dissatisfaction with the state of English poetry at that time.  In this respect, they were linked i n sympathy  with E l i o t ; i t is highly unlikely, however, that he was aware of this school, since its output was practically non-existent. Pound's "Pew Don'ts" were published i n Poetry, I (March 1913), 200-1, and are here quoted from "A Retrospect", i n Literary Essays of Ezra Pound, ed. with an introduction by T. S. Eliot (London: Faber & Faber L t d . , 1954),p. 3, Subsequent quotations from Pound's criticism w i l l be from this volume unless otherwise noted, These include: "The Love Song of J . Alfred Prufrock"(1910-11), "Portrait of a Lady" (1909-10), "Preludes" (1909,-10,-11), Rhapsody on a Windy Night"(l91l). "Conversation Gallante"(l909), and "La F i g l i a Che Piange" (1911). These dates of composition are those determined by Grover Smith i n T. S_, E l i o t ' s Poetry and Plays: A Study in Sources and Meaning.(Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 1956). 5  W i l l i a m Pratt* The Imagist Poem: Modern Poetry i n Miniature- (New York: E , P. Dutton and C o . , Inc., 1963), p. 14,  ''Pratt, p. 15. F . S. F l i n t was also present at the f i r s t meeting, with Pound appearing i n A p r i l (p. 17).  54  As P r a t t s a y s , "The  'School o f Images' was  i m p o r t a n t more  f o r i t s t h e o r i z i n g t h a n f o r i t s p r a c t i c a l p o e t i c achievement; n e i t h e r the I m a g i s t name nor a n y t h i n g d e f i n i t e i n I m a g i s t f o r m was  t o emerge u n t i l a few y e a r s l a t e r . "  And  Eliot's  own comment on t h i s f o r m a t i v e stage o f the I m a g i s t Movement s u g g e s t s a l s o i t s l a c k o f i n f l u e n c e on him:  "Whether the name  and p r i n c i p l e s o f imagism were Pound's i n v e n t i o n or Hulme's, I do not know, and am not v e r y much i n t e r e s t e d . " I t may  9  i n f a c t he s a i d t h a t t h i s remark i s c h a r a c -  t e r i s t i c o f E l i o t ' s g e n e r a l a t t i t u d e toward the Movement. A p a r t f r o m the s p e c i a l cases o f T. E. Hulme and Pound, E l i o t showed s l i g h t i n t e r e s t i n the Movement p e r se. P r e sumably, he f o u n d l i t t l e i n the p o e t r y o f the o t h e r I m a g i s t s — l i k e "H. D.",  F l i n t o r A l d i n g t o n — t h a t he c o u l d put t o use.  E l i o t had a l r e a d y a c h i e v e d , on h i s own,  the same c o n c i s i o n  and m e t r i c a l v a r i e t y w h i c h the I m a g i s t s were t o demand several years l a t e r . Movement was  But by acknowledging  l a t e r t h a t the  r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the b i r t h o f modern E n g l i s h  p o e t r y , E l i o t d i d show t h a t he was  aware o f i t s c o n t r i b u t i o n ,  w h i l e denying t h a t he had had any p a r t i n the r e n a i s s a n c e : The p o i n t de r e p e r e u s u a l l y and c o n v e n i e n t l y t a k e n , as ; t h e s t a r t i n g p o i n t o f modern p o e t r y , i s the group denominated " i m a g i s t s " i n London about 1910. I was not t h e r e . • • . The p o e t s i n the group seem t o have been :  8  Page  16.  9  " E z r a Pound?, Poetry., LXVI 11 (September 1946),: 329.  55 drawn t o g e t h e r b y a common a t t r a c t i o n towards modern p o e t r y i n F r e n c h , and a common i n t e r e s t i n e x p l o r i n g t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f development t h r o u g h study o f t h e p o e t r y o f o t h e r ages and languages. 1 0  T u r n i n g b a c k t o Pound, we see t h a t , a s a t h e o r i z e r , he i s r e m a r k a b l y  c o n s i s t e n t i n h i s emphasis on t h e importance  o f t h e image i n p o e t r y .  Pounds e s s a y s a r e i n v a l u a b l e i n t h i s  r e s p e c t because t h e y a r e d e l i b e r a t e a t t e m p t s t o o f f e r a p r o gram o f i n s t r u c t i o n f o r t h e young poet w h i c h i s b o t h f o r t h r i g h t and unambiguous. I t seems a p p r o p r i a t e t o b e g i n w i t h Pound's d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e image: A n "Image" i s t h a t w h i c h p r e s e n t s a n i n t e l l e c t u a l and e m o t i o n a l complex i n a n i n s t a n t o f t i m e , I use t h e term "complex" r a t h e r i n t h e t e c h n i c a l sense employed by t h e newer p s y c h o l o g i s t s , such as H a r t . • . . I t i s t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f such a "complex" i n s t a n t a n e o u s l y w h i c h g i v e s t h a t sense o f sudden l i b e r a t i o n ; ' t h a t sense o f freedom f r o m time l i m i t s and space l i m i t s ; t h a t sense o f sudden growth, w h i c h we e x p e r i e n c e i n the presence o f the g r e a t e s t works o f a r t . H Such a c o n c i s e d e f i n i t i o n c a l l s f o r e x p a n s i o n .  Itis vital  t o n o t e , f i r s t o f a l l , t h a t t h e image p r e s e n t s a complex; i t does n o t convey, o r s u g g e s t , o r t r y l i k e t h e a r t i s t t o p a i n t a picture.  "When Shakespeare t a l k s o f t h e Dawn i n r u s s e t 1  " T h e Aims o f E d u c a t i o n " (1950), To C r i t i c i z e t h e C r i t i c and o t h e r W r i t i n g s (New York: F a r r a r , S t r a u s and G i r o u x , 1965), pp. 58-9. 1 0  "A R e t r o s p e c t " (1918), p. 4. Poetry issue previously c i t e d . 1:L  F i r s t appeared i n t h e  56 mantle c l a d / " w r i t e s Pound, " he p r e s e n t s something w h i c h the p a i n t e r does not p r e s e n t .  There i s i n t h i s l i n e o f h i s „12  n o t h i n g t h a t one can c a l l d e s c r i p t i o n ; he p r e s e n t s . " p r i n c i p l e o f p r e s e n t a t i o n l i n k s t o g e t h e r the f i r s t p r i n c i p l e s o f Imagism, the i n s i s t e n c e on " d i r e c t  The two  treatment"  and the w a r n i n g t o e l i m i n a t e a l l u n n e c e s s a r y m a t e r i a l . Only by p r e s e n t a t i o n c a n the d i s t a n c e between the e x p e r i e n c e  and  the poem which r e - e n a c t s i t be, as f a r as p o s s i b l e , reduced. Metaphors and s i m i l e s , Pound would a r g u e , are a t onee remove f r o m the image, s i n c e t h e y operate s t a t e d or i m p l i e d . work o f f i r s t  through a d i s t i n c t analogy,  Images w h i c h are p r e s e n t a t i o n s c r e a t e a  i n t e n s i t y , i n w h i c h the poem and the  experience  which g i v e s i t i t s being are p r a c t i c a l l y i n s e p a r a b l e . Of e q u a l importance i s p r e c i s i o n , w h i c h becomes i n Pound's view not m e r e l y a t e c h n i c a l n e c e s s i t y but a c r i t e r i o n for  artistic  morality.  To be p r e c i s e i s t o be h o n e s t , t o  see  the o b j e c t e x a c t l y as i t i s : T h i s b r i n g s us t o the i m m o r a l i t y o f bad a r t . Bad a r t i s i n a c c u r a t e a r t . I t i s a r t t h a t makes f a l s e r e p o r t s . 1 3  Pound's o b s e s s i o n w i t h p r e c i s i o n i n a r t cannot be  over-estimated.  " A R e t r o s p e c t " , p. 6, Pound does, i t " i s t r u e , c a l l the image "the p o e t ' s pigment"- i n G a u d i e r - B r z e s k a : A Memoir (New York: New D i r e c t i o n Books, I 9 6 0 ) , p. 90, f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n 1916. I n d o i n g so, however, he i s s t r e s s i n g i t s importance as t h e e s s e n t i a l medium o f p o e t r y , 12  1 3  " T h e S e r i o u s A r t i s t " ( 1 9 1 3 ) , p.  43.  57  His  r e p e a t e d — and g e n e r a l l y - u n s u c c e s s f u l — a t t e m p t t o  c r e d i t F o r d Madox F o r d r a t h e r t h a n T. E. Hulme f o r 14 mering t h i s p o i n t o f v i e w "  i n d i c a t e s a concern  "ham-  stretching  h a c k as f a r as 1908, when Pound f i r s t met F o r d .  And  i t was  t h i s same c o n c e r n w h i c h d i r e c t e d Pound towards c e r t a i n early poetic influences:  " I n the a r t o f D a n i e l and C a v a l -  c a n t i , I have seen t h a t p r e c i s i o n w h i c h I m i s s i n the V i c t o r i a n s , t h a t e x p l i c i t r e n d e r i n g , be i t o f e x t e r n a l n a t u r e o r o f emotion.  T h e i r testimony i s of the  t h e i r symptoms a r e f i r s t  eyewitness,  hand."^  T h i s q u o t a t i o n l e a d s t o an i m p o r t a n t w h i c h the d e f i n i t i o n a l s o s u p p o r t s .  distinction,  Pound, l i k e E l i o t  and  u n l i k e Hulme and the I m a g i s t s , does not attempt t o r e s t r i c t t h e image, whether i n t h e o r y o r i n p r a c t i c e , t o c o n c r e t e o b j e c t s drawn f r o m the p h y s i c a l w o r l d .  Such images a r e  c e r t a i n l y v a l i d . But Pound r e c o g n i z e s t h a t the image f u n c t i o n s or  s h o u l d f u n c t i o n , as a complex o f i n t e l l e c t and  and i n t h i s i t s main importance l i e s .  emotion,  I t i s t r u e t h a t the  n a t u r a l o b j e c t , p r o p e r l y chosen and p r e s e n t e d , i s always 16 "the adequate symbol"  i  and can t h e r e f o r e a c h i e v e a d d i t i o n a l '  dimensions o f meaning. But Pound's d e f i n i t i o n i n t e n t i o n a l l y / T h e L e t t e r s o f E z r a Pound 1907-1941. ed. by D. D. Paige/?)' (New York: H a r c o u r t , Brace & W o r l d , I n c . , 1950), p.49n. rr 1 4  15  "A  Retrospect'/, p. 11.  I S G a u d i e r - B r z e s k a , p.  90.  58  permits  images chosen f r o m such d i v e r s e a r e a s as h i s t o r y ,  p o l i t i c s , l i t e r a t u r e o r C o n f u c i a n i s m , when p r e s e n t e d p e r c e i v e d a t " f i r s t hand." veloped  The  as i f  image demands a h i g h l y  de-  i n t e l l e c t u a l sense o f f a c t — a l l f a c t — a n d f a c t s , i n  :  Pound's p o e t r y , become t h r o u g h the p r o c e s s o f p o e t i c c r e a t i o n , no l e s s " r e a l " o r p h y s i c a l t h a n n a t u r a l o b j e c t s .  His  poetry  s e t s o u t , i n o t h e r words, t o animate i d e a s , t o b r e a t h e and e m o t i o n i n t o them.  The  life  image i s t h u s the a r t i s t i c meta-  m o r p h o s i s o f t h e s e f a c t s ; i t f u n c t i o n s , l i k e E l i o t ' s image,' as a n e q u a t i o n f o r the e m o t i o n , and i s not b a s e d upon t h e o r i e s o f a n a l o g y o r metaphor. Pound's use  o f the terra "complex" a l s o r e v e a l s the  comprehensiveness o f h i s d e f i n i t i o n , and be d i s c u s s e d .  should  therefore  He does not e l a b o r a t e upon t h i s term; but  S c h e i d a u , r e f e r r i n g t o the p s y c h o l o g i s t B e r n a r d H a r t ,  defines  "complexes" as systems o f " e m o t i o n a l l y toned i d e a s " w h i c h o p e r a t e unobserved i n the mind t o cause seemingly random a s s o c i a t i o n s and p r o g r e s s i o n s of thought t o t u r n toward one r e c u r r e n t o b j e c t . He [ H a r t } gave the example o f a man i n l o v e whose t h o u g h t s keep r e t u r n i n g t o h i s b e l o v e d even when t h e y s t a r t out on u t t e r l y u n r e l a t e d t o p i c s . The "complex" was an o v e r p o w e r i n g y e t s u b t l e o b s e s s i o n t h a t kept b r i n g i n g up, by n o n - r a t i o n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s , the c e a s e l e s s l y r e c u r r i n g f i x a t i o n s ; whatever most „ d e e p l y d i s t u r b e d or g r i p p e d t h a t p a r t i c u l a r m i n d , ' 1  I n o t h e r words, the s e e m i n g l y random d e t a i l s o f p e r c e p t i o n 1'''Herbert Newton S c h n e i d a u , E z r a Pound's C r i t i c i s m and the I n f l u e n c e o f h i s L i t e r a r y R e l a t i o n s h i p s i n London, 1908-1920 T~Ann A r b o r , M i c h i g a n : U n i v e r s i t y M i c r o f i l m s , I n c . , 1966), p. 28.  !  59 which are presented  a s images a c t as c l u e s t o a v i t a l  a s s o c i a t i o n o f f e e l i n g and t h o u g h t . The image i s a coalescence  i n t h e f o r m o f a p a r t i c u l a r scene, v i s i o n o r  i n s i g h t , o f t h e "system o f e m o t i o n a l l y t o n e d i d e a s . " I t i s c l e a r a l s o t h a t t h e o r d e r i n g f o r m o f Pound's p o e t r y r e l i e s h e a v i l y on t h i s t e r m and t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s c o n t a i n e d w i t h i n i t t o j u s t i f y t h e u s e o f a "balanced j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f images w i t h o u t  connecting matter, a c t i n g l i k e a s e r i e s  o f a p p a r e n t l y u n r e l a t e d c l u e s . I n a poem l i k e Pound's " I n a S t a t i o n o f t h e Metro," f o r e x a m p l e — The a p p a r i t i o n o f t h e s e f a c e s i n t h e crowd; P e t a l s on a wet, "black b o u g h . 1 8  — t h e mind i s f o r c e d t o s o l v e t h e c l u e s , as i t were, and make a n immediate c o n n e c t i o n between statement and image. Then t h e poem b e g i n s t o open out and r e v e a l a p a t t e r n o f w i d e n i n g a s s o c i a t i o n s . The e f f e c t o f t h e image i s n e a r l y instantaneous;  i t i s , t o borrow a t e r m f r o m James J o y c e ,  a v i s u a l "epiphany," a n i n t e n s e moment o f e x p e r i e n c e presented  i n a concentrated  form. A t the heart o f the  I m a g i s t poem l i e s t h e r e a l s u b j e c t — n o t  the p e r c e i v e r ,  or the " o b j e c t , " b u t the a c t o f p e r c e p t i o n At the outset, t h i s f a c t o r supports  <'  itself. the b a s i c d i s -  t i n c t i o n ( a l r e a d y h i n t e d a t ) between Pound's Imagism and E l i o t ' s e a r l y verse. 18  The P o u n d i a n image u t i l i z e s  perception i  S e l e c t e d Poems, e d . w i t h a n i n t r o d u c t i o n by T, S . l E l i o t (London: P a b e r & P a b e r , 1 9 5 9 ) , p . 113. 11  60 t h e p e r c e p t i o n and subsequent r e v e l a t i o n o f "objects',*, whether i n the p h y s i c a l w o r l d o r as o b j e c t i f i e d o r i m p e r s o n a l " f e l t thoughts'!"  I n t h i s process of continuous p e r c e p t i o n ,  Pound's personae a r e e x p e r i m e n t s i n d i f f e r e n t ways o f p e r ceiving reality.  The v a r i o u s and u n i q u e e y e s " o f de B o r n , %  V i l l o n , P r o p e r t i u s , R i h a k u o r Pound h i m s e l f , p o s i n g as the i r o n i c and s a t i r i c commentator on s o c i e t y , a r e a l l  carefully  c o n s t r u c t e d masks w h i c h c o n c e a l t h a t p a r t o f Pound w h i c h c r e a t e s and o r g a n i z e s h i s o b j e c t i v e m a t e r i a l . As we have a l r e a d y seen, E l i o t ' s p o e t r y p r e s e n t s images w h i c h r e v e a l not o n l y the p e r c e i v e d phenomena, but a l s o the complex m e n t a l a c t i v i t y o f the p e r c e i v e r .  That i s ,  t h e p o e t r y i n the P r u f r o c k volume b e g i n s i n p e r c e p t i o n hut 19 seems " t o expand a t once i n t o m e n t a l images." consequence  O f t e n as a  t h e images a r e b i z a r r e and s u r r e a l , t o suggest  i n a d r a m a t i c f a s h i o n the a n x i e t i e s and torments w h i c h m o t i v a t e them.  The s i t u a t i o n w h i c h emerges i n E l i o t ' s poems  i s t h e r e f o r e more i n c l u s i v e , _ a n d conveys more about the n a t u r e o f i n d i v i d u a l e x p e r i e n c e , because i n c o n t r a s t t o t h e p o e t r y o f Pound, i t i s a poetry of e x p l o r a t i o n at another l e v e l a l t o g e t h e r . I t s b a s i s i s t i r e l e s s l y psyc h o l o g i c a l ; hence the unanswerable a u t h o r i t y w i t h \Vhich l i n e a f t e r l i n e r i n g s i n t o the c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f even the h a l f - a l e r t r e a d e r  1  K r i s t i a n S m i d t , P o e t r y and B e l i e f i n the Work o f T. S., E l i o t (New York: The H u m a n i t i e s P r e s s , 1961), p. 117. 1 9  61 y . , .Pound's e a r l y w o r k w i t h p e r s o n a e nowhere r e a c h e s P r u f r o c k l e v e l s o f i n t e n s i t y because i t i s a p r e l i m i n a r y p u r i f i c a t i o n of t h e a r t i s t qua a r t i s t f o r a n i m p e r s o n a l handling. 2 0  The  " c h a r a c t e r s " i n E l i o t ' s poems are' more t h a n new  "but l e s s t h a n l i v i n g " b e i n g s .  They are  eyes,  i n s t e a d complex  s t a t e s o f mind and  f e e l i n g , the p a t t e r n s of which i t i s  the purpose of the  image t o r e v e a l .  P a r t of the  complexity  so r e v e a l e d d e r i v e s f r o m the c h a r a c t e r ' s awareness o f h i m s e l f i n t e r a c t i n g , or f a i l i n g to i n t e r a c t , with h i s But  h i s awareness i s always l e s s t h a n the reader's;  pervading  ironical  distinction. the  Eliot's  poems o r i g i n a t e s i n t h i s  I n s h o r t , P o u n d moves f r o m t h e o b j e c t i v e t o  s u b j e c t i v e by  precise  tone i n these  world.  r e c o r d i n g the process  of perception,  "the  i n s t a n t when a t h i n g o u t w a r d o r o b j e c t i v e t r a n s f e r s 21  itself, by  or d a r t s i n t o a t h i n g inward  seeking A 22 Pound.  and  subjective."  Eliot,  t o o b j e c t i f y an i n n e r s t a t e , works i n reverse  of  Ti  ^ K e n n e r , p.  126.  ^Gaudler-Brzeska,  p.  81.  D o n a l d D a v i e , i n E z r a P o u n d : P o e t a s S c u l p t o r (New Y o r k : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 74, has d e f i n e d t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n very w e l l . I f i t c a n be a s s u m e d , a s we h a v e d o n e , t h a t E l i o t ' s image a c t s a s a n " o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e " , t h e n , " a c c o r d i n g to E l i o t , the a r t i s t , i n c o n s t r u c t i n g h i s o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e o u t o f phenomena o f f e r e d t o h i s s e n s e s , i s n o t a t a l l i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e s e phenomena f o r t h e m s e l v e s , i n t h e i r o b j e c t i v i t y , b u t o n l y t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t t h e y may stand.in f o r t h e s u b j e c t i v e phenomena. . . w h i c h c a n be o b j e c t i f i e d t h r o u g h them. . • . E l i o t ' s t h e o r i e s , l i k e t h o s e o f s u c h symb o l i s t e s as M a l l a r m e and V a l e r y , have the m e r i t o f a c k n o w l e d g i n g t h e d i s c o v e r i e s made b y r o m a n t i c i s m a b o u t t h e c o m p l e x i t i e s o f perception. Gourmont a n d P o u n d a p p e a r , b y c o m p a r i s o n , n a i v e . "  62  T u r n i n g now t o the poems o f E l i o t ' s second volume, we note t h a t , w i t h the e x c e p t i o n o f " G e r o n t i o n , " the drama t i c monologue i s a b s e n t . T h i s may  suggest t h a t E l i o t i s  not here concerned w i t h i n v o l v i n g the r e a d e r i n d r a m a t i c s i t u a t i o n s i n o r d e r t o expose the complex p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e , o r s t a t e s , w i t h i n the poem. The poems a r e , i n s t e a d , the words o f v o i c e s w i t h o u t any s p e c i a l i d e n t i t y , v o i c e s which p r e s e n t c o n c e p t s o r f a c t s t h r o u g h v a r i o u s images. Even Sweeney, who  i s seen more f r e q u e n t l y t h a n P r u f r o c k , remains  l e s s t a n g i b l e t h a n the l a t t e r "because h i s i d e n t i t y seems t o undergo a s i g n i f i c a n t change w i t h each poem i n w h i c h he appears. E l i o t c a r r i e s i m p e r s o n a l i t y t o i t s h i g h e s t l e v e l i n t h e s e poems; he i s w i l l i n g t o s a c r i f i c e any e m o t i o n a l i n v o l v e m e n t on the r e a d e r ' s p a r t f o r the sake o f d e a l i n g w i t h b r o a d e r a r e a s o f e x p e r i e n c e t h a n a r e found i n the P r u f r o c k c o l l e c t i o n . The awareness here i s p r i m a r i l y o f s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l o r d e r s o f t h o u g h t , and the t r e a t m e n t o f these i s p r e d o m i n a n t l y s a t i r i c a l i n t o n e . An e a r l y and r a t h e r t r i v i a l example o f t h i s  new  approach f o r E l i o t i s "The B o s t o n E v e n i n g T r a n s c r i p t , " w r i t t e n i n 1915. I n t h i s poem, E l i o t employs images t o show l i f e l e s s c o n f o r m i t y on a s o c i a l r a t h e r t h a n on a n i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l . "The Love Song o f J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k " may  imply a  c r i t i c i s m o f c e r t a i n s e l f - d e f e a t i n g t e n d e n c i e s common t o many i n d i v i d u a l s , b u t i t i s m a i n l y a s t u d y o f c h a r a c t e r .  63  But the " T r a n s c r i p t " s a t i r i z e s t h a t s u b - c u l t u r e i n anyu r b a n s o c i e t y w h i c h seeks t o p e r p e t u a t e t a b i l i t y " and  dreary  outworn m o r a l c o n v e n t i o n s .  "respec-  S i n c e i t i s the 28  s p e a k e r who, instrument  w e a r i l y mounting the s t e p s ,  b r i n g s the  very  o f t h e s e a t t i t u d e s t o " C o u s i n H a r r i e t " , he  i r o n i c a l l y i n c l u d e s h i m s e l f i n the g e n e r a l s a t i r i c con- . demnation.  P e r h a p s the most e v i d e n t "Poundian" t o u c h i n  t h i s and the o t h e r poems o f 1 9 1 5 — " M o r n i n g a t the Window""Aunt Helen!*. " C o u s i n Nancy" and  "Mr. A p p o l i n a x " — i s  the  dominant tone o f l e v i t y , a l s o p r e v a l e n t i n Pound's L u s t r a , p u b l i s h e d i n 1916. one  The  second s e c t i o n o f "The  o f many s a t i r i c s k e t c h e s  of t h i s special  Social  OrderJ',  i n L u s t r a , i s a good example  tone: II (Pompes P u n e b r e s )  \  This old lady, " Who was 'so o l d t h a t she was an a t h e i s t ' , I s now surrounded By s i x c a n d l e s and a c r u c i f i x , W h i l e the second w i f e o f a nephew ! Makes hay w i t h the t h i n g s i n her house, / Her two c a t s Go b e f o r e h e r i n t o A v e r n u s ; A s o r t of chloroformed s u t t e e , And i t i s t o be hoped t h a t t h e i r s p i r i t s w i l l w a l k W i t h t h e i r t a i l s up, T h e f a m i l i a r image o f upward movement on a s t a i r c a s e , so f r e q u e n t i n t h e P r u f r o c k s e r i e s , i s i n v a r i a b l y used by E l i o t , u n t i l i t s f i n a l development i n "Ash Wednesday," t o a n t i c i p a t e a d e f e a t o r f a i l u r e o f some k i n d . As w i l l be shown l a t e r , E l i o t ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c method o f d e v e l o p i n g a c e r t a i n image p r o g r e s s i v e l y t h r o u g h o u t the p o e t r y i s one o f the i m p o r t a n t ways by w h i c h h i s e n t i r e work a c h i e v e s u n i t y . 2 3  64  And w i t h a g e n t l e , p l a i n t i v e mewing, F o r i t i s c e r t a i n t h a t she has l e f t on t h i s e a r t h No sound Save t h e squabble o f female c o n n e c t i o n s . 2 4  "Mr. A p o l l i n a x " . composed i n 1915, c a n be viewed as a t r a n s i t i o n between E l i o t ' s f i r s t and second c o l l e c t i o n s . A s G r o v e r S m i t h s a y s , E l i o t ' s main t e c h n i q u e here i s one o f " e x a g g e r a t i v e c o n t r a s t " ? a n d t h i s e n a b l e s h i m 5  t o convey t h e s o r t o f i r o n i c c o n t r a s t s t h a t he d i s c o v e r e d i n Pound's L u s t r a . I n " T r a n s c r i p t "  there i s the b a t h e t i c  image o f e v e n i n g "Wakening t h e a p p e t i t e s o f l i f e i n some / And t o o t h e r s b r i n g i n g t h e B o s t o n E v e n i n g T r a n s c r i p t " t p . 30 ), w h i c h has the^ same i r o n i c e f f e c t a s t h e images, much more extreme and even s u r r e a l i s t i c , t h a t o p e r a t e i n "Mr. Apol«* linax": I n t h e p a l a c e o f Mrs. P h l a c c u s , a t P r o f e s s o r ChanningCheetah's He l a u g h e d l i k e a n i r r e s p o n s i b l e f o e t u s , ( p . 33) The b i z a r r e images w h i c h t h e speaker u s e s here i n h i s attempt t o c r i t i c i z e Mr. A p o l l i n a x 's c h i l d - l i k e savagery« i n d i c a t e a mind w h i c h c a n h a r b o u r many extremes a t once, a mind l i k e P r u f r o c k ' s o r t h e speaker i n "Rhapsody on a Windy N i g h t " . But i n t h i s c a s e , t h e main c o n c e r n i s n o t w i t h t h e speaker b u t w i t h Mr. A p o l l i n a x , and t h e c o n t r a s t 2 4  2  S e l e c t e d Poems, pp. 118-9.  5 p a g e 32.  65 between h i s v i t a l i t y , however amusing, and  i t s absence  i n the s p e c t a t o r s . A l t h o u g h the speaker f e e l s  inclined  t o l a u g h , somewhat d e f e n s i v e l y , a t Mr. A p o l l i n a x , whom he t r i e s t o r i d i c u l e i n images o f c o n t r a d i c t o r y mythology, the r e a l s a t i r i c t a r g e t i s ".  . . dowager Mrs.  Phlaccus,  and P r o f e s s o r and Mrs. Cheetah" ( p . 3 3 ) . These f i g u r e s a r e p e r f e c t l y summed up,  i n a l l t h e i r v a c u i t y , i n the  s p e a k e r ' s o n l y memory-image o f them: " I remember a s l i c e o f lemon, and a b i t t e r macaroon" ( p . L i k e E l i o t ' s e a r l y p o e t r y , "Mr.  33). Apollinax"  e s t a b l i s h e s a d r a m a t i c scene w h i c h f u n c t i o n s i n p a r t as a r e v e l a t i o n  o f the s p e a k e r ' s m e n t a l s t a t e t h r o u g h  a s e r i e s of w i d e l y v a r i e d images. But the manipulation  o f o b j e c t s and names, and  a c o n t r a s t between v i t a l i t y and  impersonal  the s u g g e s t i o n  s t e r i l i t y , p l a c e the poem  i n t e c h n i q u e and theme c l o s e t o the Poems 1920 P o r t h e s e poems, i t was  of  E z r a Pound who  volume. provided  the impetus by i n t r o d u c i n g E l i o t t o the work o f the F r e n c h p o e t T h e o p h i l e G a u t i e r when, as Pound p u t s i t , a t a p a r t i c u l a r date i n a p a r t i c u l a r room, two a u t h o r s , n e i t h e r engaged i n p i c k i n g the o t h e r ' s p o c k e t , d e c i d e d t h a t the d i l u t a t i o n o f v e r s l i b r e , Amygism, Lee M a s t e r i s m , g e n e r a l f l o p p i n e s s had gone too f a r and t h a t some c o u n t e r c u r r e n t must be s e t g o i n g . P a r a l l e l s i t u a t i o n c e n t u r i e s ago i n C h i n a . Remedy p r e s c r i b e d 'Emaux e t Camees' ( o r the Bay S t a t e Hymn B o o k ) . Rhyme and r e g u l a r s t r o p h e s . R e s u l t s : Poems i n Mr. E l i o t ' s second volume, not c o n t a i n e d i n h i s f i r s t ' P r u f r o c k ' ( E g o i s t , 1917), a l s o 'H. S. Mauberley'. 26  26«Harold Munro!,' The ?  C r i t e r i o n . £I(April-3uly 1932),590  66  Pound was quick to notice i n Gautier the "hard" i n French poetry, the continuous e f f o r t to "cut i n hard substance," always intent on " the q u a l i t y of the emotion to he conveyed."27 In other words, he found the  •  precise rendering of emotion and the c l a r i t y of thought which he was always a f t e r i n h i s own work. A good part of Gautier's success i n Emaux et Camees i s no doubt due to h i s choice of form; the tight rhyming quatrains permit no l a x i t y or sloppiness, and demand the concision which Pound f e l t was lacking i n much of, the vers l i b r e of the day. I t i s true that the quatrain, with i t s pronounced, unvarying rhythm, cannot handle deep emotion. It i s , however, the i d e a l poetic vehicle f o r s a t i r e , since the rhythm can be made to understate, and thereby increase the effectiveness of, the irony, as i t does in Eliot's  "Hippopotamus": The hippopotamus's day Is passed i n sleep; at night he hunts; God works i n a mysterious way— j The Church can sleep and feed at once. (pp. 51-2)  and i n Pound's Hugh Selwvn Mauberle.v (Life and Contacts): •  A l l things are a flowing Sage Heracleitus says; But a tawdry cheapness Shall outlast our days.  \  8  S^'The Hard and Soft i n French Poetry" (1918), p. 285. 28  S e l e c t e d Poems, p. 174.  67 Eliot  especially  likes  t o p l a y , i n "Burbank w i t h a  B l e i s t e i n with  a Cigar"*, f o r e x a m p l e , o n t h e  t a t i o n s .of t h e  reader, by  o f the  making f u l l  q u a t r a i n t o i n c r e a s e the  use  ironic  Baedecker:  rhythmic  o f the  expec-  resources  impact:  P r i n c e s s Volupine extends A meagre, b l u e - n a i l e d , p h t h i s i c h a n d To c l i m b t h e w a t e r s t a i r . L i g h t s , l i g h t s , She e n t e r t a i n s S i r F e r d i n a n d Klein. Who c l i p p e d t h e l i o n ' s w i n g s And f l e a ' d h i s rump and p a r e d h i s c l a w s ? T h o u g h t B u r b a n k , m e d i t a t i n g on Time's r u i n s , and the s e v e n laws. ( p . 43) Eliot's hardness.  images i n t h e s e poems r e f l e c t  They are u s u a l l y c r e a t e d out  a  Gautier-like  of elements  " p r e s e n t " as p a r t o f a n a t u r a l environment, and very  c o m p a c t n e s s and  share  not  often  their  i m p e n e t r a b i l i t y l e a d t o o b s c u r i t y . They  w i t h P o u n d ' s images i n Mauberle.v a h i g h d e g r e e o f  personality. speakers  Eliot,  however, c a r r i e s t h i s f u r t h e r b y  whose i d e n t i t y d o e s n o t  t h e i r dominant p o i n t s o f view. Gerontion)  no  the  tends  reader  central  really Since  seem t o  there  f i g u r e whose m i n d t h e  is  im-  employing  matter—only (except  images  for  reveal,  to remain at a considerable emotional  disi  tance  f r o m t h e poem.  Images w h i c h seem t o p e r t a i n t o  a r e d i s c o v e r e d , on c l o s e r e x a m i n a t i o n , actions: occurs  a n e x t r e m e example o f t h i s  to simply  sort  persons  present  of. i m p e r s o n a l i t y  i n "Sweeney Among t h e N i g h t i n g a l e s " . , where The s i l e n t man i n mocha b r o w n S p r a w l s a t t h e w i n d o w - s i l l and gapes; The w a i t e r b r i n g s i n o r a n g e s Bananas, f i g s and hothouse grapes;  68  The s i l e n t vertebrate i n brown Contracts and concentrates, withdraws; Rachel nee Rabinovitch Tears at the grapes with murderous paws. . . •  Cp.  Here i t i s remarkable how  59)  an atmosphere of s i n i s t e r mystery  i s evoked i n a scene which i s i t s e l f impossible to exactly delineate. The above poem i s a s i g n i f i c a n t  example of a general  s h i f t i n the function of E l i o t ' s images.  In adopting the  greater impersonality of Pound's method, E l i o t employs juxtaposed images to a greater extent than before.  Even the  names which appear—Sweeney, B l e i s t e i n , Doris—aire..linages,not people; more accurately, they are "not actors i n a r e a l i s t i c drama, but. • .symbolic embodiments i n a c o n f l i c t of values." The images are made to bear -a great weight of meaning i n t h i s c o n f l i c t , f o r they must "bring together the past and the present, not of a single mind, but of a society, a r e l i g i o n , or a culture.  Mirroring i n t h i s respect the Cantos, these  poems concentrate on the f a c t u a l ,  on the i n t e l l e c t u a l , rather  than the emotional component of the image.  As Hugh Kenner  says: P l a i n l y , the quatrain, l i k e Pope's couplets, i s , i n E l i o t ' s usage, primarily a vehicle f o r sudden juxtapositions. • • .These poems c o n s t i tute an attempt to create a s a t i r i c medium f o r  E l i z a b e t h Drew, Tj, E l i o t : The Design of His Poetry (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1 9 4 9 ) , p. 40. 2 9  69 t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y usage, n u r t u r e d by t h e p e r c e p t i o n t h a t s a t i r e i n v e r s e works by a s s e m b l i n g a c r a z y - q u i l t o f d e t a i l , each d e t a i l an u n c h a l l e n g e a b l e f a c t ( e v e r y t h i n g i n Mr. E l i o t ' s Sunday Morning S e r v i c e , f r o m t h e s a b l e p r e s b y t e r s t o the bees' h a i r y b e l l i e s , e x i s t s on the p l a n e o f f a c t ) . 3 0  Whereas the P r u f r o c k poems t e n d t o show the e f f e c t of  an i n d i v i d u a l ' s p a s t upon h i s p e r c e p t i o n s and awareness  of  the p r e s e n t , t h e s e poems examine the complex r e l a t i o n s h i p  e x i s t i n g between t h e c u l t u r a l p a s t and the p r e s e n t of  society.  state  E l i o t does n o t , however, n a i v e l y c o n t r a s t a  glorious past with a corrupt present.  I n s t e a d , he p r o b e s  b e n e a t h t h e s u r f a c e appearances o f l i f e , now  and i n the  p a s t , t o r e v e a l t h e e v e r - p r e s e n t moral sham and h y p o c r i s y . The modern age, E l i o t seems t o be s a y i n g , may  appear,  i t s l a c k o f r e l i g i o u s f a i t h , t o be worse t h a n most.  through But i f  t h e b e a u t i f u l song o f the n i g h t i n g a l e s i n "Sweeney Among t h e N i g h t i n g a l e s " seems a t f i r s t t o s u p p l y an i r o n i c comment upon t h e s o r d i d i n t r i g u e o f the contemporary scene i n the poem, we must remember t h a t t h e s e same b i r d s .  i  . . .sang w i t h i n the b l o o d y wood When Agamemnon c r i e d a l o u d And l e t t h e i r l i q u i d s i f t i n g s f a l l To s t a i n t h e s t i f f d i s h o n o u r e d s h r o u d , ( p .  60)  The n i g h t i n g a l e s , as e t e r n a l o b s e r v e r s , b e a r w i t n e s s t o the h i s t o r y o f man's i m p e r f e c t i o n , E l i o t a v o i d s any s o r t o f d i r e c t , hence o v e r - s i m p l e ,  Page 8 8 .  70 c o n t r a s t i n these poems.  I n "Whispers o f I m m o r t a l i t y " , he  p o r t r a y s the complex s e n s i b i l i t y o f J o h n Donne who,  "expert  "beyond e x p e r i e n c e " , . . .knew the a n g u i s h o f the marrow The ague o f the s k e l e t o n ; No c o n t a c t p o s s i b l e t o f l e s h A l l a y e d the f e v e r o f the bone. ( p . 55) B e s i d e h i s t o r m e n t , G r i s h k i n ' s s e n s u a l s o u l and h e r  "friendly  b u s t " seem c o m p a r a t i v e l y i n s i g n i f i c a n t ; "but the a n i m a l  intensity  o f h e r " f e l i n e s m e l l " i s a t l e a s t more a d m i r a b l e t h a n "our l o t " who  c r a w l "between d r y r i b s / To keep our m e t a p h y s i c s  (p. 56).  I n E l i o t ' s "The  warm"  Hippopotamus," the s i m p l e , u n t h i n k -  i n g b e l i e v e r — a n a b s u r d hippopotamus who  i s "merely f l e s h  and  b l o o d " ( p . 5 1 ) — i s , a f t e r a l l , saved; w h i l e the True C h u r c h , a p p a r e n t l y s e c u r e i n i t s own power and p e r f e c t i o n , "remains below / Wrapt i n the o l d miasmal mist"Cp»  52).  As achievements i n t h e i r own r i g h t , these p o e m s — w i t h the n o t a h l e e x c e p t i o n o f " G e r o n t i o n " — a r e  a  disappointment.  No one c a n q u e s t i o n t h e i r humour and c l e v e r n e s s , but  these  v i r t u e s a r e g a i n e d a t c o n s i d e r a b l e c o s t ; the impact o f t h e s a t i r e i s s p o i l e d by e x c e s s i v e c o m p l e x i t y , e s p e c i a l l y i n the i r r i t a t i n g and r e p e l l a n t "Sunday Morning S e r v i c e " . elsewhere,  Here and  the c o m p l e x i t y i s p a r t l y due t o an i n c r e a s i n g  number o f m y t h o l o g i c a l images whose e f f e c t depends not o n l y upon our i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the source but a l s o our placement o f them i n the modern, i r o n i c p e r s p e c t i v e o f the poem. seems apparent  It  t h a t E l i o t was unable t o f i t h i s images i n t o  71 the s e l f - i m p o s e d r e s t r i c t i o n s o f h i s chosen f o r m — t h e q u a t r a i n a t i t s most r i g o r o u s — a n d  y e t was  u n w i l l i n g to •Sri  r e l a x these r e s t r i c t i o n s as Pound d i d i n Mauberley . The s u b t l e t y o f the E l i o t image s h o u l d have been a l l o w e d  to  d i c t a t e the f o r m i n w h i c h i t a p p e a r s , r a t h e r t h a n v i c e v e r s a . Moreover, E l i o t i s a t h i s b e s t when p r e s e n t i n g images w h i c h o r i g i n a t e i n the c o m p l e x i t i e s o f an a c t i v e , aware mind, del i v e r i n g i t s ov/n monologue.  H i s approach i s l a r g e l y p s y c h o -  l o g i c a l and needs the f o c u s of one o r s e v e r a l c e n t r a l f i g u r e s . The  "Poundian" s o l u t i o n — " t h e i m p e r s o n a l  h a n d l i n g of t h i n g s " —  i s not E l i o t ' s .method, as these poems s h o w . "Gerontion",  32  on the o t h e r hand, i s unique among these  poems i n t h a t i t f u s e s the e a r l i e r d r a m a t i c monologue. •./.••,„*:•••.;:• K. L. Goodwin c o m p l a i n s , i n The I n f l u e n c e o f E z r a Pound (London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966), p. 117, t h a t E l i o t was f o r c e d t o r e s o r t t o " l i n e - f i l l i n g and f l a b b y rhyming". T h i s judgment i s , however, u n d u l y severe; p a r t o f the i r o n i c e f f e c t o f the f o l l o w i n g s t a n z a , f o r example, i s due t o the i n t e n t i o n a l and b a t h e t i c " f o r c e d " rhyme of "Sidney" and "kidney^ a s t a n z a w h i c h Goodwin s i n g l e s out f o r biame: I s h a l l not want Honour i n Heaven P o r I s h a l l meet S i r P h i l i p S i d n e y And have t a l k w i t h C o r i o l a n u s And o t h e r heroes o f t h a t k i d n e y . ° I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to f i n d E l i o t himself i n d i r e c t l y prov i d i n g the b e s t c r i t i c i s m , i n advance, of h i s s a t i r e s . W r i t i n g i n 1917 on the l i m i t s of the A m e r i c a n tendency i n modern v e r s e , E l i o t c r i t i c i s e s i t i n l i m i t i n g i t s forces to an a r r e s t a t the o b j e c t i n view; the A m e r i c a n poet i s f e a r f u l o f b e t r a y i n g any r e a c t i o n beyond t h a t r e v e a l e d i n the c h o i c e and arrangement; the e f f e c t  1  72 w i t h t h e s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l i n s i g h t s o f t h e s a t i r e s .  Grover  Smith n o t e s t h a t i t "combines w i t h a k i n d o f s t r e a m o f cons c i o u s n e s s t h e t e c h n i q u e s o f a l l u s i o n , a l r e a d y used i n "Burbank ,' 1  w h i c h f u l f i l l s E l i o t ' s i d e a o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l sense i n p o e t r y . " I n e f f e c t , i t a p p l i e s t h e i d e a s o f " T r a d i t i o n and t h e I n d i v i d u a l T a l e n t " , p u b l i s h e d i n 1917, by making the p a s t seem p r e s e n t by c o n v e y i n g  i t a s memory-images w h i c h e x i s t i n t h e  "now" o f G e r o n t i o n ' s t h o u g h t s , n o t a s d e s c r i p t i v e images placed i n a past s e t t i n g .  G e r o n t i o n ' s m e d i t a t i o n s a r e complex  and i n c o r p o r a t e many s e p a r a t e e x p e r i e n c e s .  So many, i n f a c t ,  t h a t we must v i e w h i m a s a m e n t a l t r a v e l l e r r a t h e r t h a n a sentient being.  H i s awareness approaches i n scope t h a t o f  T i r e s i a s i n The Waste Land, whose p e r c e p t i o n s a r e n o t l i m i t e d by t i m e , p l a c e , o r sex.  E l i o t o r i g i n a l l y i n t e n d e d t h a t these  two f i g u r e s s h o u l d nierge t o g e t h e r , and i t was o n l y Pound's i n s i s t e n c e which prevented E l i o t from u s i n g "Gerontion" as a 34  p r e f a c e t o t h e l o n g e r work. i s o f a n i n g e n i o u s i f sometimes p e r v e r s e v i s u a l i m a g i n a t i o n i n complete detachment f r o m any other f a c u l t y . See "T. S. E.: R e f l e c t i o n s o n Contemporary P o e t r y , " The E g o i s t , IV, (September, 1 9 1 7 ) , 138. 3 3  P a g e 57.  ^ P o u n d w r o t e E l i o t , " I do not a d v i s e p r i n t i n g 'Gerontion'' as p r e f a c e . One don't m i s s i t a t a l l a s the t h i n g now s t a n d s . To be more l u c i d s t i l l , l e t me s a y t h a t I a d v i s e y o u NOT t o p r i n t ' G e r o n t i o n ' a s p r e l u d e . " See The L e t t e r s o f E z r a Pound 1907-1941, e d . by D. D. Paige.(New York: H a r c o u r t , Brace & W o r l d , I n c . , 1 9 5 0 ) , p.171.  3 3  73 The Waste Land i s a complex u n i t y o f images cont r i b u t i n g t o a dominant e m o t i o n a l  impression;  however, i s a poem o f paradox and a m b i g u i t y .  "Gerontion ,".,. 1  The image i n  the e p i g r a p h f r o m Measure f o r Measure s e t s t h e a p p r o p r i a t e stage:  Gerontion's  "Thoughts of- a ~ d r y ~ b r a i n i n a d r y season"  ( p . 41.) a r e h i s a f t e r d i n n e r s l e e p .  He i s cut I. o f f now i n  h i s mind f r o m e i t h e r t h e c e r t a i n t y o f y o u t h o r t h a t o f comrp l a c e n t o l d age. Many o f t h e images t h e m s e l v e s a r e d e l i b e r a t e l y c o n s t r u c t e d around p a r a d o x e s ;  "depraved May" ( p . 3 9 ) ,  "flower-  i n g j u d a s " ( p . 3 9 ) , " c h i l l e d d e l i r i u m " ( p . 4 l ) . Unable t o reach conclusions, Gerontion's  mind c a n o n l y ". . . m u l t i p l y  v a r i e t y / I n a w i l d e r n e s s o f m i r r o r s . . ." ( p . 4 1 ) .  The  image o f h i s t o r y a s a d e c e p t i v e m i s t r e s s whose "supple  con-  f u s i o n s " ( p . 4 0 ) o n l y b e t r a y man, d e e p l y d i s t u r b s him: Think N e i t h e r f e a r n o r courage saves u s . U n n a t u r a l v i c e s A r e f a t h e r e d by our h e r o i s m . V i r t u e s A r e f o r c e d upon us by o u r impudent c r i m e s . ( p . 4 0 ) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note i n t h e above passage t h e p e r f e c t f u s i o n that E l i o t achieves rhythm.  Gerontion's  abrupt caesuras  i n t h i s poem between mood and  intense u n c e r t a i n t y i s expressed  i n the J  o f E l i o t ' s v a r i a t i o n on Jacobean d r a m a t i c  v e r s e , and h i s c o m p u l s i o n t o t r y and work t h i n g s out r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n t h e command "Think!/  w h i c h he l a t e r r e p e a t s s e v e r a l  times. But G e r o n t i o n cannot u n i f y h i s own v i s i o n s o r p l a c e h i m s e l f i n any secure p o s i t i o n t h r o u g h s u c h p o n d e r i n g .  It  74 i s not, as he says, because he has l o s t h i s passion that he i s doomed.  On the contrary, he has never experienced  r e a l passion: I was neither at the hot gates, Nor fought i n the warm r a i n . • . .(p. 39) That i s , he has never f e l t either the excitement of struggle or  (as the images also suggest), that of sexual love.  emotion has instead "been supplanted by s t e r i l i t y .  Real  The goat,  a symbol of l u s t , i s as s t a t i c as the rest of Gerontion's surroundings; The goat coughs at night i n the f i e l d overhead; Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds. The woman keeps the kitchen, makes tea, Sneezes at evening, poking the peevish gutter.(p. 39) Gerontion waits f o r the r a i n which never comes; the gutter of h i s "draughty house" (p. 40) remains plugged. his  Aware of  impotent state, Gerontion must include himself among the  victims of "Christ the t i g e r " (p. 39), while f a i l i n g to accept t h i s same force as a means to salvation. "Gerontion" derives much of i t s dramatic effect from such imagery as that c i t e d above.  Gerontion, i n f a c t , i s •  l e s s a character than he i s an image of decay. inclusiveness makes him a symbol:  His great  What are contrasted i n t h i s poem are the secular h i s t o r y of Europe, which the l i f e of Gerontion p a r a l l e l s , and the unregarded promise of s a l v a t i o n through C h r i s t . Gerontion symbolizes c i v i l i z a t i o n gone rotten. . . . The overt statements about h i s t o r y weave a f a b r i c of general meaning, a c r i tique of c i v i l i z a t i o n . Though one i s never allowed  i • i  75  to forget the presence of Gerontion, one never r e a l l y knows what kind of man he i s , Prufrock l i v e s as a personality; Gerontion as a recording memory, 35  C i v i l i z a t i o n has gone rotten p a r t l y because of the complete breakdown of t r a d i t i o n a l cultures;  E l i o t ' s Jew, "Spawned  i n some estaminet of Antwerp, / B l i s t e r e d In Brussels, patched and peeled i n London" (p, 39), provides an image of t h i s c u l t u r a l confusion. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , he i s the owner of Gerontion's "decayed house',', an image which suggests both Gerontion's i s o l a t i o n and lack of roots, and the state of h i s own mind as he perceives i t . In short, the i n t e n s i t y and beauty of t h i s poem i s due to E l i o t ' s a b i l i t y here to create images which continually expand into a larger context than that of a s t e r i l e , yet s t i l l questioning, consciousness.  These_images—with  the exception  of those r e f e r r i n g to Gerontion's meager physical surroundingsdo not a r i s e from Gerontion's perception of concrete r e a l i t y . This i s appropriate, since h i s blindness or f a i l i n g v i s i o n (he has to be "read to by a boy") means that h i s world must exist as a mental world.  Many of the images, as a r e s u l t , have  a strange, dream-like q u a l i t y and duplicate the feverish workings of h i s mind by refusing to l i n g e r on the s p e c i f i c and the definable.  In the following passage, f o r example, the  f l e e t i n g memory-images seem to suggest the contamination of 35  S m i t h , pp. 60,63,  76  the Word "by modern o c c u l t p r a c t i c e s , "but i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o say e x a c t l y why  they  do:  I n depraved May, dogwood and c h e s t n u t , f l o w e r i n g judas, To "be eaten, t o "be d i v i d e d , to be drunk Among whispers; by Mr. S i l v e r o With c a r e s s i n g hands, at Limoges Who walked a l l n i g h t i n the next room; By Hakagawa, bowing among the T i t i a n s ; By Madame de T o r n q u i s t , i n the dark room S h i f t i n g the c a n d l e s ; P r a u l e i n von Kulp Who t u r n e d i n the h a l l , one hand on the door. Vacant shuttles Weave the wind. I have no ghosts, An o l d man i n a draughty house Under a windy knob, (pp.-39-40) Such images, c o l o u r e d by the c h a o t i c nature o f Geront i o n ' s r e v e r y , do not a c t i n i s o l a t i o n , but r e l y f o r t h e i r e f f e c t upon the g e n e r a l metaphor they c r e a t e i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h o t h e r images.  I n t h i s r e s p e c t , "Gerontion" a n t i c i p a t e s  i n i t s method The Waste Land.  "Gerontion" a l s o r e l i e s  on  the r e p e t i t i o n o f c e r t a i n i m a g e s — s u c h as t h a t o f the house, as i n the passage j u s t quoted,  t o which Gerontion's mind  h a b i t u a l l y r e t u r n s — t o g i v e the poem a pronounced tone.  ritualistic  I t i s as i f G e r o n t i o n were engaged i n a p r o c e s s o f s e l f -  exorcism, a v a i n attempt deliverance.  t o j u s t i f y h i m s e l f and so o b t a i n  I n a sense, he i s both a scapegoat  symbol f o r  the e r r o r s o f h i s t o r y , and a v i c t i m , l i k e the d y i n g G r a i l king, "waiting f o r r a i n . "  3 6  I t was Pound, as we have a l r e a d y seen, whose i n f l u e n c e p r e v e n t e d E l i o t from u s i n g "Gerontion" as a p r e f a c e t o The Waste Landi; I n t h i s case, however, E l i o t was p r o b a b l y r i g h t t o f o l l o w  77 Turning now  to The Waste Land and i t s imagery, we  notice at the outset that E l i o t i s able, once again, to enlarge the focus of h i s imagery by causing h i s images to "refer", i n various ways, to the enormously s i g n i f i c a n t world of vegetation myth, G r a i l legend, and C h r i s t i a n mythology,  E l i o t ' s main technical method f o r achieving t h i s  enlargement i s the use of a l l u s i o n to many other  sources.  But the process by which, i n h i s work, an image, o r i g i n a l l y a simple presentation, tends to assume metaphoric or even symbolic weight i s , as Wellek and Warren point out i n Theory -  of L i t e r a t u r e , a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n the development of many writers? Is there any important sense i n which 'symbol' d i f f e r s from 'image* and 'metaphor'? P r i m a r i l y , we think, i n the recurrence and persistence of the 'symbol*. An 'image' may be invoked once as a metaphor, but i f i t p e r s i s t e n t l y recurs, both as presentation and representation, i t becomes a ; symbol, may even become part of a symbolic (or mythic) system, • • ,What happens with impressive frequency i s the turning of what, i n a writer's e a r l y work, Is 'property',into 'symbol' i n h i s l a t e r work. Thus i n h i s early novels, Henry James painstakingly v i s u a l i z e s persons and places, while, i n the l a t e r novels, a l l the images have become metaphoric or symbolic, 7 3  This continuity of imagery i s perhaps the main reason Pound's advice, since the r e s u l t i n g gain i n The Waste Land's dramatic effect and concision more than compensates f o r the l o s s i n absolute c l a r i t y . 37  (New  Rene Wellek and A u s t i n Warren, Theory of Literature York: Harcourt, Brace & C o , 1942), pp. 178-9, #  78 for  reading E l i o t ' s poems i n chronological order, as i n  f a c t he urges us to d o ,  38  Each poem, i n e f f e c t , "builds  upon the imagery of i t s predecessor.  The image, f o r example,  of the c i r c u l a r staircase, upon which the speaker i n Ash Wednesday makes h i s purgative ascent, achieves an impressive symbolic significance when we see i t i n the l i g h t of several earlier  'stair-images^, Prufrock wonders i f there w i l l be  time "to turn back and descend the s t a i r , , ."(p. 1 4 ) , but his  fear of being r i d i c u l e d from the upper landing forces him  to go on. In the " P o r t r a i t " ; the image of climbing s t a i r s i s also used to express the speaker's dread and reluctance: "I mount the s t a i r s and turn the handle of the door / And f e e l as i f I had mounted on my hands and knees'.' (p. 2 1 ) , Movement up the staircase i s here p o s i t i v e , but only i n the sense that i t s i g n i f i e s an acceptance of, or approach t o , some kind of experience.  The  experience i t s e l f may be un-  rewarding, as i t i s i n "Rhapsody on a Windy N i g h t " — 'You have the- key, The l i t t l e lamp spreads a r i n g on the s t a i r . Mount, The bed i s open; the tooth-brush hangs on the w a l l , . Put your shoes at the door, sleep, prepare f o r l i f e , '  i  The l a s t twist of the knife, (p. 28) —but  i t i s the d i r e c t i o n of the movement that i s most  " I ' d l i k e to explain i n the f i r s t place that when I read my poems, I read them i n chronological order. They f a l l into c e r t a i n d e f i n i t e periods, between which there are gaps i n d i c a t i n g a sort of state of mental drought when I didn't expect to write anything ever again." "T.S. E. Talks about h i s Poetry", Columbia University Forum, IE (Winter 195*5), 12. 3 8  79  important.  To meet Princess Volupine  Cp. 42), Burbank must  descend, a movement which foreshadows h i s l a t e r " f a l l " . So i n The Waste Land. E l i o t can e f f e c t i v e l y underline the complete araorality of "the young man carbuncular" (p. 72) "by having him f i n d , upon leaving h i s t y p i s t , "the s t a i r s u n l i t " (p. 72). The symbol of the drowned Phoenician s a i l o r i n Part IV of The Waste Land> i s perhaps the most compelling of the image-symbol development i n E l i o t ' s poetry.  instance I t depicts  the theme of metamorphosis, the basis of which i s the concept of "dying into" a new and greater l i f e .  E l i o t went to A r i e l ' s  song i n The Tempest, which profoundly affected him and appears i n much of h i s poetry: ' F u l l fathom f i v e thy father l i e s , Of h i s bones are coral made, Those are pearls that were h i s eyes. Nothing of him that doth fade But doth suffer a sea change , Into something r i c h and strange. (I,iii397-402) The emergence begins i n the moving conclusion to "Prufrock", where the "chambers of the sea" (p. 17) seem to represent a world of innocent beauty and love, perhaps the youth that Prufrock r e a l i z e s has passed him by: We have lingered i n the chambers of the sea By s e a - g i r l s wreathed with seaweed red and brown T i l l human voices wake us, and we drown. Cp» 17) The tragedy here i s that Prufrock envisions a possible "sea change" only i n h i s dreams, which are rudely shattered by  80  the human voices of the " r e a l " world about him. In "Mr. A p o l l i n a x "  5  the image i s used to metaphori-  c a l l y suggest the importance of the poem's subject. Mr. Apollinax i s compared to the old man of the sea, whose laughter mocks the "worried bodies" (p. 33) of the drowned men who " d r i f t down i n the green s i l e n c e , " and whose only change i s decay.  The sea, a metaphor f o r wider areas of  experience than the other party guests are aware of, i s Mr. Apollinax's element. 39 "Dans l e Restaurant"* written i n 1916-17,  amplifies  the image much further, and because the form i n which i t appears here i s v i r t u a l l y translated i n The Waste Land, i t can stand on i t s own i n the l a t e r poem without obvious connecting l i n k s or explanatory notes.  In the French poem,  the emphasis i s on metamorphosis as a cleansing and p u r i f y i n g process;  Phlebas, the drowned Phoenician s a i l o r , i s drawn  by the current ". • .aux etapes de sa v i e anterieure" (p. 54). He acts as the symbolic embodiment of the old, l u s t f u l waiter, to whom the speaker i n "Dans l e Restaurant?; involved by h i s own s i m i l a r memories, gives money f o r the bath.  His fate  i s offered as a warning to renounce desires of the f l e s h : Figurez-vous done, c ' e t a i t un sort penible; Cependant, ce f u t jadis un b e i homme, de haute t a i l l e , (p. 54)  Smith, p. 35.  8iBut  i n The Waste L a n d t h e  complex  fate  of Phlebas  has  e v e n more,  overtones:  H i s d r o w n i n g , a g a i n s t w h i c h Madame S o s o s t r i s has warned h i m , r e - e n a c t s the r i s e and f a l l i n the f l o w e r garden and the r i s e and d e c l i n e t h r o u g h w h i c h , h e a d e d f o r d e a t h , he h a s p a s s e d h i s l i f e , . . . , A n d y e t , o n a n i r o n i c l e v e l , he . i s l i k e C h r i s t ; he i s t h e s a c r i f i c i a l g o d d e scending i n t o the w a t e r s , . . .But f o r Phlebas t h e b a p t i s m i s f o l l o w e d b y no e m e r g e n c e ; his seven days have lengthened i n t o a f o r t n i g h t ; he i s no L y c i d a s , ' s u n k l o w b u t mounted h i g h ' , a n d h i s e y e s l i k e t h o s e o f T i r e s i a s h a v e n o t 1 :e been turned to pearls.40 The e a r l y symbol,  image  of  the  Complex and  is  now a  images,  Land*  also  Eliot  complex  i s more,  rhythms—Eliot  contribute  By a l l u d i n g  to  the  i t  of perspectives  be  feared  means to  possible while  Phlebas,  to  enlarge  a wide.range  for  growing  c o m p l e x i t y o f The  incorporating often  makes  to  redemption.  employs other  comprehensiveness. what  to  impersonal symbols, l i k e  from e a r l i e r  variety  chambers  by which drowning i m p l i e s both a death  a n d a p o s s i b l e means  and,  ses  the  the  retaining  the of  poem's sources—  subtleties  image its  to  Waste  of  their  present  artistic  a  inten-  sity. The example and a  of  sense  opening of this of  "The P i r e Sermon" i s  fusion.  The dominant  irreparable  a  mood i s  brilliant one  of  nostalgia  loss:  The r i v e r ' s t e n t i s b r o k e n ; t h e l a s t f i n g e r s o f l e a f C l u t c h and s i n k i n t o the wet bank. The w i n d Crosses the brown l a n d , unheard. The nymphs a r e departed,  Cp4 0  Smith,  p.  92,  70)  82  The Q u e s t - f i g u r e i s s t a n d i n g "by the hank, about t o r e c a l l the scenes o f empty l u s t which f o l l o w these l i n e s .  The  s e x u a l m o t i f , however, i s a n t i c i p a t e d i n the image o f the r i v e r ' s broken t e n t , which, "not broken would have been composed o f the o v e r a r c h i n g t r e e s t h a t transformed  a reach  o f the r i v e r i n t o a t u n n e l o f l o v e ; the phrase beckons to the mind the broken maidenhead."  41  The archaism " t e n t " even  i n t r o d u c e s , t o some degree, the p r e v a i l i n g a l l u s i o n to Spenser's poeto "Prothalamion."  Summer i s p a s t , the l a n d i s brown and  d e s o l a t e , and "the l a s t f i n g e r s o f l e a f / C l u t c h and s i n k . . . (p»70).  E l i o t invokes the drowning m o t i f a g a i n here, i n o r d e r  to connect  t h i s s e c t i o n t o the p r e v i o u s one by reminding  of Ophelia's death by water. e a r l i e r question:  We  are a l s o reminded o f an  "What are the r o o t s t h a t c l u t c h , what  branches grow / Out  of t h i s stony r u b b i s h ? " ( p . 63).. „ Since  the nymphs have departed the speaker of the i d e a l love immortalized gone.  The  us  i s alone; but the beauty  i n Spenser's poem has a l s o  r i v e r Thames, while empty of d e b r i s , i s by no means  pure; '!  The r i v e r b e a r s no empty b o t t l e s , sandwich papers, S i l k h a n k e r c h i e f s , cardboard boxes, c i g a r e t t e ends Or o t h e r testimony o f summer n i g h t s . The modern nymphs, who  appear l a t e r , were merely engaged i n  c a s u a l sexual encounters w i t h t h e i r e q u a l l y amoral f r i e n d s , 4 1  K e n n e r , p.  165.  ;'  83  "the l o i t e r i n g heirs of C i t y directors",, who,  i n fear of the  repercussions that might r e s u l t from unwanted pregnancies, have departed, leaving no addresses.  The f e e l i n g of l o n e l i -  ness and e x i l e i s then once more suggested: By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept. . » Sweet Thames, run s o f t l y t i l l I end my song, Sweet Thames, run s o f t l y , f o r I speak not loud or long. But at my hack i n a cold "blast I hear The r a t t l e of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear. (p.70) The image of the waters of Leman fuses the misery of the AO  Babylonian c a p t i v i t y with that of Byron's prisoner of C h i l l o n but there i s no release from t h i s prison.  The wind the speaker  hears i s not the wind of the S p i r i t but a "cold b l a s t " b r i n g ing a death divorced from the grandeur of Marvell's "winged chariot" of Time.  The f i n a l l i n e gives a dramatic emphasis  upon the horror of death and decay without r e b i r t h and perhaps anticipates physical l u s t by suggesting E l i o t ' s "Whispers of Immortality", where "breastless creatures under ground / Leaned backward with a l i p l e s s g r i n , " (p. 5 5 ) . Imagery b u i l t upon e a r l i e r poems (and upon e a r l i e r sections of t h i s poem), and images drawn from other sources are the two main elements by which E l i o t achieves i n t e n s i t y and comprehensiveness In The Waste Land.  I t i s by means of  i t s imagery that the poem also expresses i t s e l f as a u n i f i e d whole, and not merely as a "heap of broken images". 42  Elizabeth Drew, p. 7 9 .  84 As a key to the means "by which the poem i s bound together, E l i o t ' s note on T i r e s i a s i s usually c i t e d : T i r e s i a s , although a mere spectator and not indeed a 'character', i s yet the most important personage i n the poem, uniting a l l the r e s t . Just as the one-eyed merchant, s e l l e r of currants, melts into the Phoenician S a i l o r , and the l a t t e r i s not wholly d i s t i n c t from Ferdinand Prince of Naples, so a l l the women are one woman, and the two sexes meet i n T i r e s i a s . What T i r e s i a s sees, i n f a c t , i s the substance of the poem. (p. 82) At best, t h i s note explains why E l i o t chose the figure of T i r e s i a s ; i t does not suggest, however, how the poem gives an impression, though tenuous, of unity and emotional oneness.  Moreover, the desired "melting" of the various characters  i s not, i n the experience of most readers, a feature i n t r i n s i c to the poem.  I t i s a mechanical, and somewhat over-simplified  system which i s part of the poem's complex structure rather than part of the poem as a poetic creation.  Similarly, a  complete grasp of the notes t e l l s only of the knowledge of which the poem partakes.  E l i o t once i n s i s t e d , i n f a c t , that  the notes came about because book p u b l i c a t i o n of the poem forced the enlargement—for reasons of s i z e ~ o f the o r i g i n a l sources of quotations used, which themselves aimed at "spiking the guns" of c r i t i c s of h i s earlier_poems, who had accused 43 him of plagiarism. T h e Frontiers of C r i t i c i s m : A Lecture by. T^ C E l i o t , Delivered at the University of Minnesota Arena on A p r i l 30, 1956 (University of Minnesota, 1956), p. 10. 43  t  85  Perhaps more r e l e v a n t t o The Waste Land i s E l i o t ' s comment i n t h e p r e f a c e t o P e r s e * s A n a b a s i s : Any o b s c u r i t y o f t h e poem, on f i r s t r e a d i n g , i s due t o t h e s u p p r e s s i o n o f ' l i n k s i n t h e c h a i n of e x p l a n a t o r y and c o n n e c t i n g m a t t e r , and not t o i n c o h e r e n c e , o r t o t h e l o v e o f cryptogram. The j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f such a b b r e v i a t i o n o f method i s t h a t t h e sequence o f images c o i n c i d e s and concent r a t e s i n t o one i n t e n s e i m p r e s s i o n , . . .The r e a d e r has t o a l l o w t h e images t o f a l l i n t o h i s memory s u c c e s s i v e l y w i t h o u t q u e s t i o n i n g t h e r e a s o n a b l e n e s s o f each a t t h e moment; so t h a t , a t t h e end, a t o t a l e f f e c t i s p r o d u c e d . 1  ., .  4 4  T h i s method, what E l i o t c a l l s t h e " l o g i c o f p o e t r y , " m a k e s 4  i t p o s s i b l e f o r t h e l o n g poem, when i t i s not based on a d e f i n i t e plot-3tructure l i k e Paradise Lost or r e s t r i c t e d a t a l l by b a r r i e r s o f time and p l a c e , t o cohere i n some way without l o s i n g i t s p o e t i c v i t a l i t y . E l i o t shares w i t h P o u n d — who was o f c o u r s e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e f i n a l , g r e a t l y  condensed  f o r m o f The Waste L a n d — t h e b e l i e f t h a t t h e poem must be a p r o c e s s and not ^ s t a t i c t h i n g . Hence i t i s n a t u r a l t h * images, i n E l i o t ' s p o e t r y u n i t s i n themselves, should form the b a s i s f o r The Waste Land's t o t a l e f f e c t o f meaning and emotion, a n e f f e c t w h i c h need not be t h e same f o r e v e r y r e a d e r , o r r e m a i n c o n s t a n t . The Cantos c a r r y t h i s method t o extremes, but t h e impact i s deadened-because  many o f t h e images i n t h e  poem a r e themselves i n s i g n i f i c a n t and cannot s t a n d a l o n e . I n an organism, the p a r t — v i t a l i n i t s e l f — m u s t c o n t r i b u t e t o the E l i o t ' s 1930 P r e f a c e C p . 10) t o S t . - J o h n P e r s e ' s A n a b a s i s , t r a n s , by E l i o t ( N e w York: H a r c o u r t , Brace & Co., 1949). 4 4  4  5 A n a b a s i s . p.  11.  86  whole; t h i s unity i s what makes E l i o t ' s poem so dynamic. The Waste Land achieves unity i n a larger sense, too, since i t marks the conclusion i n a series of lesser poetic explorations into aspects of what might "be termed the "waste land" of twentieth-century experience.  At the same time, i t  embraces within i t s awareness many of these same aspects i n modified forms:  the modern c i t y , with i t s cigarette butts,  newspaper scraps, smoke and fog; the sophisticated boredom of those who,  attempting to ignore these and other grim r e a l i -  t i e s , pass t h e i r time i n empty conversation and s t e r i l e love a f f a i r s ; and the misery, f r u s t r a t i o n and loneliness of the i n d i v i d u a l s , l i k e Prufrock, who are caught between these two worlds but sense some meaning, some glory l y i n g somewhere beyond the horror and boredom of t h e i r existence.  The poem  i s a comprehensive expression of E l i o t ' s sense of h i s own age, i n r e l a t i o n to past ages; just as the underlying G r a i l legend gives the poem coherence, so the poem acts as a way of g i v i n g shape to the disorder of contemporary h i s t o r y .  That  the poem should achieve so much i s due i n part to the extreme impersonality of i t s approach, as expressed through highly compressed and suggestive images.  Thus i n i t s method also,  The Waste Land i s a conclusion, since i t c a r r i e s e a r l i e r tendencies i n self-effacement to an extreme: In The Waste Land, the development of impersonality that Gerontion shows i n comparison with Prufrock reaches an extreme l i m i t ; i t would be d i f f i c u l t to imagine a completer transcendence of the i n d i v i d u a l s e l f , a completer p r o j e c t i o n of awareness. 46  Leavis, p . 8 0 .  87  It may be said, then, that from Poems 1 9 2 0 to The Waste Land, E l i o t was absorbing some of the imagistic methods of Ezra Pound,  This l e d him to extend to the l i m i t  c e r t a i n tendencies i n impersonality which he had already demonstrated i n h i s imagery of the Prufrock c o l l e c t i o n . The r e s u l t was a greater reliance than before upon the presentation, without comment, of a complex pyramid of images within a single poem, images drawn from a v a r i e t y of mostly l i t e r a r y sources,  E l i o t t r i e d , i n other words, to  achieve i n t e n s i t y through extreme compression.  He also  acquired through Pound—by way of Theophile G a u t i e r — t h e s a t i r i c a l technique of manipulating f a c t s i n the form of concrete images w i t h i n the s t r i c t formal measure of the quatrain.  Fortunately, i n Gerontion and l a t e r i n The Waste  Land, E l i o t r e a l i z e d the hampering e f f e c t of t h i s style and returned to h i s own unique rhythmical vers l i b r e , allowing h i s images to express t h e i r f u l l dramatic power.  CHAPTER POUR CONCLUSION It i s appropriate i n a discussion of E l i o t ' s imagery to concentrate on the poems up to and including The Waste Land, f o r i t i s i n these poems that E l i o t r e l i e s most heavily on the image to o b j e c t i f y a complex range of experience, to render c e r t a i n thoughts and feelings i n an impersonal way. Beginning with the world of the senses—most often the urban s c e n e — h i s images quickly expand into a complex inner world, so as to present a conscious mind at work.  This con-  sciousness may belong to an i n d i v i d u a l , l i k e Prufrock, at odds with h i s own surroundings; or i t may belong to "characters l i k e Gerontion or T i r e s i a s who, with t h e i r broader f i e l d s of awareness, probe cultures and s o c i e t i e s to question the nature of moral decay and the disappearance of love and f a i t h . In the poems we have discussed, the major tendency i n the development of the image i s an increase i n impersonality. E l i o t , d e l i b e r a t e l y setting out to free h i s poetry from the r e s t r i c t i o n s of personality, creates images which act as "objective c o r r e l a t i v e s " .  They are the concrete facts!J.  the a r t i s t i c rendering of thoughts and f e e l i n g s .  M  So success-  f u i has E l i o t been, i n f a c t , i n o b j e c t i f y i n g emotions— "working them up into poetry"^"—that h i s poems are often accused of lacking emotion, usually by readers who, nurtured ^ ' T r a d i t i o n and the Individual Talent" (1919), p. 21.  89  on the Romantic poets, i d e n t i f y emotion with the appearance of words l i k e "happy" or "sad".  But E l i o t ' s poems prove, on  the contrary, that i t i s only through images that the most d e l i c a t e shades of f e e l i n g can he expressed.  They also show  that the image i s capable of moving "beyond the ornamental to express a wide range of meaning. Imagery continues to play an important part i n the poems written a f t e r The Waste Land.  But whereas the image  formerly e x i s t s i n a "pure" s t a t e — t h a t i s , i t i s inseparable from the experience-of awareness i t seeks to p r e s e n t — i n the l a t e r poems i t tends to act at times symbolically, to "stand for"  other areas of experience, areas which are primarily  r e l i g i o u s i n nature.  This change i s coincident with E l i o t ' s  own struggles to harmonize the l i f e of the a r t i s t with that of the Christian; a f t e r h i s decision to become an Anglo-Catholic i n 1927, the poems r e f l e c t , with an increasingly personal f l a vour, t h i s new i n t e r e s t .  Even The Hollow Men, although written  i n 1925, presents (through images and symbols derived i n part from The Waste Land) an emptiness which i s e s s e n t i a l l y personal and s p i r i t u a l .  In e f f e c t , t h i s poem i s E l i o t ' s "dark night ,''  of the soul",- and thus i t anticipates the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n f i n a l l y achieved i n the complex and powerful Four Quartets. Perhaps the most obvious way that E l i o t ' s l a t e r poetry mirrors the change i n h i s l i f e i s through i t s imagery.  Formerly  images were used to present the often sordid r e a l i t y of the modern world; i n the l a t e r poems, the images,are used to  90  transcend r e a l i t y , to provide, as Smidt remarks, a means 2 M  of approaching r e l i g i o u s understanding.*  1  Consequently  we  f i n d , i n Ash Wednesday, f o r example, many images which are l i k e s p i r i t u a l manifestations or miracles: Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper-tree In the cool of the day, having fed to s a t i e t y On my legs my heart -my l i v e r and that which had "been contained In the hollow round of my s k u l l , (p.  97)  Other images convey a f e e l i n g of mystery not through t h e i r esoteric q u a l i t y "but because of t h e i r deliberate suggestiveness: Blown h a i r i s sweet, brown hair over the mouth blown, L i l a c and brown hair; D i s t r a c t i o n , music of the f l u t e , stops and steps of the mind, over the t h i r d s t a i r . • • .(p. 99) Often precise and suggestive images are combined, as i n the following example from Burnt Norton, to present the wonder of a sudden v i s i o n : Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged, And the pool was f i l l e d with water out of sunlight, And the lotus rose, q u i e t l y , q u i e t l y , The surface g l i t t e r e d out of heart of l i g h t , And they were behind us, r e f l e c t e d i n the pool. Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty. Cp. 190)  i  Even i n poems which appear to be more concerned with depicting a natural scene rather than conveying a mystical experience, E l i o t does not t r y to capture and f i x the unusual d e t a i l , as i n h i s early poetry, but emphasizes, i n h i s images, the general f l e e t i n g impression. Page  154.  Intensity i s often s a c r i f i c e d — i n  91 Landscapes, f o r example—for an e f f e c t of casual l y r i c i s m : Children's voices i n the orchard Between the blossom and the f r u i t - t i m e : Golden head, crimson head, Between the green t i p and the root. Black wing, brown wing, hover over; Twenty years and the spring i s over; To-day grieves, to-morrow grieves, Cover me over, l i g h t - i n - l e a v e s ; Golden head, black wing, C l i n g , swing, Spring, sing, Swing up into the apple tree. (p. 152) In short, although many of the images of the e a r l i e r poems recur, they undergo a change i n value and emphasis, to become v i r t u a l l y a new kind of imagery. While lacking the sharp p r e c i s i o n and realism of the e a r l i e r images, the new images, as Helen Gardner notes, are mostly b e a u t i f u l and p o e t i c a l l y suggestive i n themselves, whereas the e a r l i e r imagery was more often grotesque. They are often drawn from nature, where the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the e a r l i e r imagery came from human l i f e l i v e d i n c i t i e s or, i f from nature, from nature i n i t s more s i n i s t e r aspects. Many of the images are t r a d i t i o n a l , common symbols, which have an age-old meaning: the rose, the garden, the fountain, the desert, the yew. The poet accepts t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l imagery, and mingles i t with images , of natural beauty, and with more esoteric images • • , from the world of private myth-making.3 ;  In the l a t e r poems, then, the role of the image becomes d i f f u s e as i t enters into the symbolic world of personal and C h r i s t i a n myth. But the poems that have been The Art of T. S. E l i o t (New York: E. P, Dutton & Co., Inc., 1959), p."100. 2  92 focused upon i n t h i s paper—from "The Love Song of J . A l f r e d Prufrock" to The Waste Land—•triumphantly  demon-  strate that the image i s the supreme means "by which poetry can convey the conscious mind i n the act of being aware of i t s own existence. His images achieve v i t a l i t y  through  t h e i r sensual q u a l i t i e s , but go f a r beyond the sensual i n revealing the s e l e c t i v i t y of perception and the elements of experience which influence i t . E l i o t r e a l i z e s that the nature of a consciousness—what  Prufrock, f o r example,  " i s " — c a n n o t be separated from what i t perceives. At the same time, E l i o t ' s poetry does more than simply validate the existence of mechanisms which operate when an i n d i v i d u a l encounters h i s world. His images are often suggestive of feelings l y i n g beneath the l i m i t s of consciousness, and behind the masks we construct to avoid "the awful daring of a moment's surrender" (p. 78). By seeking to explore the "substratum of our being?. E l i o t ' s poetry—and  the complex of images which gives  i t l i f e — m a k e s us aware- of these f e e l i n g s , and creates i n us the capacity to be aware of them i n others.  ANNOTATED LIST OP WORKS USED  I.  PRIMARY WORKS  Baudelaire, Charles. Les Fleurs du Mai et Oeuvres Choisies, ed. with an i n t r o . by,Wallace Fowlie. New York: Bantam Books, 1964, Bergson, Henri. Introduction to Metaphysics, trans, "by T. E. Hulme. New York: G*. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912. . Selections from Bergson, ed. with an i n t r o . by Harold A. Larrabee. New York: Appleton-CenturyC r o f t s , Inc., 1949. E l i o t , T. S. Book Review. The C r i t e r i o n . IX ( Jan. 1930), 333-6. . Collected Poems 1909-1962. London: Paber & ' Paber, 1962. . "Ezra Pound ." Poetry. LXVII (Sept. 1946), 326-38. 1  . The Frontiers of C r i t i c i s m : A Lecture by T. S. E l i o t . . . A p r i l 30. 1956.Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 1956. . Knowledge and Experience i n the Philosophy 23L EJL SA. Bradley. London: Paber & Paber Ltd., 1964. • Letter to the E d i t o r . Times L i t e r a r y Supplement. August 9, 1957, p. 483b. • "On a Recent Piece of C r i t i c i s m " . Purpose, X (June 1938), 90-94. . "Prose and Verse". The Chflpbook.. XXII ( A p r i l 1921), 3-10. • Selected Essays. London: Paber & Paber Ltd., 1951. . " Talk on Dante". Adelohl. XXVII ( F i r s t Quarter 1951), 106-14.  94 . To C r i t i c i z e the C r i t i c and Other Writings, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1965. . "T. S. E.: Reflections on Contemporary Poetry* . The Egoist. IV (Sept. 1917), 133-4. 1  "T. S. B. Talks about h i s Poetry." Columbia University Forum. I I ( F a l l , 1958), 11-4. Hulme, Thomas Ernest. Further Speculations, ed. by Sam Hynes. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1955. . Speculations: Essays on Human!sm and the Philosophy, of A r t , ed. by Herbert Read. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, L t d . , 1960. Perse, St.-John. Anabasis, trans, and with an i n t r o . by T* S. E l i o t . New York: Harcout, Brace and Co., 1949. Pound, Ezra. G-audier-Brzeska: A Memoir. New York: New D i r e c t i o n Books, 1960. "" . " Harold Monro". The C r i t e r i o n . XI ( A p r i l - J u l y 1932), 4. . L e t t e r to the E d i t o r . Times L i t e r a r y July 26, 1957, p. 457b.  Supplement.  . The Letters of Ezra Pound 1907-1941. ed. by D, D, Paige. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., 1950. . L i t e r a r y Essays of Ezra Pound, ed, with an i n t r o . by T. S. E l i o t . London: Faber & Faber Ltd.,'1954. . Selected Poems, ed. with an i n t r o . by T. S. E l i o t . London: Faber & Faber Ltd., 1959. Three Jacobean Tragedies, ed. by Salgado Gamini. London: Penguin Books, 1965.  95 2.  SECONDARY WORKS  Coffman, Stanley K. Imagism: A Chapter f o r the, History of Modern Poetry. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1951. The best study of Imagism to date, since i t provides both the available h i s t o r i c a l data and a detailed discussion of the works of the poets involved. Coffman c r e d i t s T. E. Hulme with l a y i n g down the foundations of the movement, C o s t e l l o , S i s t e r Mary. Between F i x i t y and Flux: A Study of the Concept of P o e t r y i n t.hftfir11.1n1 RTTI o-E S.. S. E l i o t . Washington, D. C : The Catholic University of America Press, Inc., 1947. Examines E l i o t ' s c r i t i c i s m i n d e t a i l i n order to derive from i t h i s theory of poetry. Not enough attention paid to the poems themselves, however. D a n i e l l s , J . R. "T. S. E l i o t and h i s Relation to T. E. Hulme". University of, Toronto Quarterly. I I ( A p r i l 1933), 380-96. Shows how E l i o t ' s poetry, l i k e Hulme's, i s characterized by concrete language and v i v i d l y presented sensations. Both poets avoid the conventional i n t h e i r search f o r new images and metaphors. D a n i e l l s tends, however, to exaggerate t h e i r s i m i l a r i t i e s . Davie, Donald. Ezra Pound: Poet as Sculptor. New York: Oxford University Press, 1964. A very perceptive study of Pound's writings, caref u l l y defined against the background of poets such as E l i o t . Drew, E l i z a b e t h . T. S, E l i o t : The Dealgn h i s Eaejkcy.. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949. A Jungian approach to E l i o t ' s poetry, which analyses the poems i n terms of c e r t a i n basic archtypal symbols giving them continuity. I t s implications f o r poetry i n general are often ••. more valuaole than the aotual discussion of the poems. Gardner, Helen. The A r t of T. S. E l i o t . New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Ltd., 1950. A very i n t e l l i g e n t study of E l i o t ' s poetry, using the Four Quartets as the focus and culmination of his efforts.  96 Goodwin, K. L. The Influence o.f. E^na Pound. London: Oxford University Press, 1966. A scholarly, unimaginative treatment of Pound's influence on h i s contemporaries and l a t e r writers, such as Yeats, E l i o t , William Carlos Williams, Archibald Macleish, John Cournos, John Rodker and B a s i l Bunting. The Pound-Eliot chapter i s the most i n t e r e s t i n g discussion of t h i s relationship so f a r . Jones, Alun. The L i f e and Opinions of £. J£. Hulme. Boston: Beacon Press, 1960. The "best and most comprehensive f u l l - l e n g t h study of Hulme, I t i s valuable also f o r i t s appendix containing many of Hulme*s unpublished poetic fragments and short poems. Jones, Genesius. Approach to the Purpose: A Study of the Poetry. of". T. S. E l i o t . London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1964. Approaches E l i o t ' s poetry from a predominantly C h r i s t i a n b i a s , but f a i l s to provide any new insights into the poems, e s p e c i a l l y those written before The Hollow Men. Kenner, Hugh. The I n v i s i b l e Poet: T. S. E l i o t . New York: C i t a d e l Press, 1964, While c e r t a i n l y the most b r i l l i a n t and perceptive of a l l the books on E l i o t , The I n v i s i b l e Poet puts too much weight on i t s main thesis: that E l i o t deliberately-sets out to "hide" behind h i s poetry. P r a t t , William. The Imagist Poem: Modern Poetry i n Miniature. New York: E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., 1963. A c o l l e c t i o n of the best verse by poets of the Imagist Movement, and others such as Williams, D. H. Lawrence and Wallace Stevens. The introduction provides a very compact and useful h i s t o r y , defines the image, and makes some important d i s t i n c t i o n s between Imagism and Symbolism. Also includes a bibliography of Imagism. Ramsey, Warren. Jules Laforgue and the Ironic Inheritance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1953, The most important and exhaustive treatment of t h i s fundamental aspect of modern poetry. Includes major and minor twentieth-century poets.  97 Roberts, Michael. T. E. Hulme. London; Paber & Paber, 1938. The pioneer study of Hulme, now l a r g e l y superseded by the work of Alun Jones. Schneidau, Herbert Newton. Ezra Pound s C r i t i c i s m and, the Influence of h i s L i t e r a r y Relationships i n London. 1908-1920. Ann Arbor, Michigan: U n i v e r s i t y Microfilms, Inc., 1966. Examines i n d e t a i l Pound's aesthetic and i t s influence on those who came into contact with i t . In h i s chapter on E l i o t , Schneidau shows how both Pound and E l i o t p r o f i t e d from t h e i r mutual contact. 1  Smidt, K r i s t l a n . Poetry and B e l i e f i n the Work of T. S. E l i o t . New York: The Humanities Press, 1961. ~" ~" A comprehensive examination of the central b e l i e f s underlying E l i o t ' s poetry. The discussion of E l i o t ' s images and the role of perception i n h i s poetry i s e s p e c i a l l y u s e f u l . Also contains the most d e t a i l e d ! • biography to date of E l i o t ' s early l i f e . Smith, Grover. T. S. E l i o t ' s Poetry and Plays: A Study i n Sources and Meaning. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956. Apart from being an indispensable study of the many sources upon which E l i o t ' s poetry r e l i e s , t h i s book i s f u l l of sound c r i t i c a l judgements.. Sometimes, however, Smith overstresses E l i o t ' s reliance on the work of others. Symons, Arthur. The Symbolist Movement i n L i t e r a t u r e . New York: E, P. D u t t o n & C o . , Inc., 1958. This pioneer nineteenth-century study of the French Symbolists contains many acute observations and much fascinating biography. I t i s weak, however, when l t attempts to draw general conclusions. T. S, E l i o t : The Man and h i s Work, ed. A l l e n Tate. New York: D e l l Publishing Co., Inc., 1966. A commorative c o l l e c t i o n of twenty-nine essays, Including reminiscences, analyses, and general comment. Some of the contributors include I. A . Richards, Herbert Read, Stephen Spender, Bonamy Dobree, Pound, C . Day Lewis and Conrad Aiken,  98 Wellek, Rene and Austin Warren. Theory of L i t e r a t u r e . New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1942, pp. 175-200. This chapter, e n t i t l e d " Image, Metaphor, Symbol, Myth, makes many important and far-reaching d i s t i n c t i o n s between these terms, and suggests how a r t i s t s progress between them i n t h e i r work. 11  Williamson, George. A Reader's Guide to T. S. E l i o t : A Poem-by-Poem Analysi s .""New Yofek: The Noonday Press, 1953. A d e t a i l e d analysis of the poems which manages to s t r i k e a balance between pure i n t u i t i o n and exhaustive source-hunting.  

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