Showing posts with label T.S. Eliot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label T.S. Eliot. Show all posts

A Long, Long Time Ago (Monday Love)


A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How Kaltica v. TomWest used to make me smile.
And I thought if I knew my Poe
That I could make those people know
And they'd be enlightened for awhile.

But T.S. Eliot made me shiver
With every paper he'd deliver.
Griswold on the doorstep;
I couldn't take one more step.

I can't remember if I cried
When I read how Greeley's Tribune lied,
But something touched me deep inside,
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, Poets.Org,
Sang my song to Kaltica,
He's just a cyborg,
All the mods were thinkin' it's Houlihan's pie,
Singin' Christopher, you have to die!
Christopher, you have to die.


Borg Queen's First Appearance



Did you write the book on Poe,
And do you have faith in God below,
If the Raven tells you so?
Do you believe New Critical
Can save your reading soul,
And can you teach me how to read real slow?

Well, I know that you're in love with Poe
'cause I saw you rhymin' at the Go-Go.
You both read his prose as well
All was fine until he fell.

I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a notebook of poems and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

I startin' singin',
Bye-bye Shelley's music and Poe,
The Raven was the maven
Now it's college and Crowe,
Ezra Pound made it new,
But the new it won't go,
And the Fugitive boys are sadly unable
To say why so much depends on a patient etherized upon a table.

Now for a hundred years we're on our own,
And moss grows fat on university stone,
But that's not how it used to be,
When the critic sang honestly
Without Oxford and Harvard's ivy
In a voice that came from you and me.

Oh and while scholars were looking down,
An -Ism stole poetry's radiant crown.
Movements, cliques and schools
Proved at last that all are fools,
And while Eliot scanned the French,
Pound thought on a London bench
To pursue Yeats' used-up wench
The day the music died.

We were singing,
Bye-bye, Shelley's music and Poe,
Hello William Carlos Williams
And the stench of Rimbaud,
Art was once a noble calling,
And now it's all show,
This is the day that we die,
This is the day that we die.

Helter skelter in mid-century swelter,
Pound flew off to an Axis shelter,
Obscenity wins a Bolingen.
Then the troops return to college
Finding the Moderns in charge of knowledge:
John Crowe Ransom's professors win.

But now the Beats and Ginsberg loom,
Festive-counter to New Critic's gloom,
Whitman and Williams take the field,
Modern poets refuse to yield,
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We were singing,
Bye-bye, poetry that is good,
Every animal's a poet in the Sacred Wood,
Society sucks so your sucking is good,
Singin' whatever is me is OK,
Whatever is me is OK.

Oh there was The Waste Land in one place,
e.e. cummings taking up space
As Emerson's Dial started up again.
So come on Pound be nimble, Pound be quick!
Butler Yeats sat on a candlestick
And William James is Emerson's dearest friend.

Oh, and as I watched the Modern stage
Consolidate its little rage,
No poet born in hell
Could break that Harvard spell,
And as the critics made it right,
The moderns won without a fight,
And Emerson was laughing with delight,
The day the music died.

He was singing,
Bye-bye Mr. Jingle Man,
England's my ruler and New England's my land,
There's a Golden Dawn coming that you don't understand,
My disciples call the shots, and I'll tell you why:
They made sure that you died,
They made sure that you died.

The 20th century sang the blues
While Eliot talked against the Jews
And Hugh Kenner knocked Millay.
I went down to the ancient store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But Vendler said the music wouldn't play.

Then all prayed to the Cred Machine,
The platitudes grew and the poets schemed,
Only blurbs were spoken,
Great poetry was broken.
And the three men I admire most:
Shakespeare, Pope, and Plato's Ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And they were singin',
Bye-bye to Genius and Poe,
Brought Shelley to my teacher
But he wanted Rimbaud,
Warren, Tate, and Ransom
Crashed the Chevy below,
Singin' this is how we'll all go,
This is how we'll all go.

I started singin'
Bye-bye, Shelley's music and Poe,
The Raven was the Maven,
Now it's Workshop and Crowe,
Ezra Pound made it new
But the new it won't go,
Singin', "this'll be the way that we go,
this'll be the way that we go."


More Borg Queen

CoyoteFitzy says,

Borg Queen, lonely at the top? The song is "Stop Coming to My House," by Mogwai. STAR TREK and all related images/media are owned by Paramount.


Classic Poetry: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" Animated Reading by T.S. Eliot


S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.


T. S. Eliot "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" Poem Movie


Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
--So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
--And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress 65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
--And should I then presume?
--And how should I begin?


Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.


And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
--Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
--That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
--“That is not it at all,
--That is not what I meant, at all.”


No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

The Four Parts: Song + Story. Reality + Inference (Monday Love)

T.S. Eliot--Photo from Wikipedia


On the forum, Jepson said:

I read in one of the blogs an argument about performance poetry. One person argued that there is no such thing. They argued that performance poetry is a cheap tactic needed because the poetry is so bad. I don't think it has to be that way. I think if you start with well written poetry on paper then it will make everything else easier. I think we need to breathe some life back into poetry, and that needs to start before we ever go knocking on the publisher's door.

Poetry has become stuffy. It's mutated into this thing we tote around in university textbooks so that academics can browbeat it all day long. We might as well be selling long division. We need to motivate, uplift, piss off, and inspire our audience. It needs to move beyond the 'poets who love poets' club and start a grassroots movement of new readers.

You find an audience who wants to read/hear your work and there won't be any need to enter publishing 'contests.' The publishers will come to you.

Monday Love's response to Jepson:

I think you are speaking to the heart of the matter. The young Philip Sidney was a rock star before there was such a thing.

I hate to blame TS Eliot, because there's many people to blame, and TS Eliot couldn't help it that he wrote a great poem (Prufrock) and then grew old, but...Eliot with his 'difficulty' agenda and his reading/speaking fame which coincided with his old age did a lot of damage to poetry as an exciting art for the young.

Fame has to be carefully crafted before it 'explodes.' The conditions have to be right. The manufacture of Poetry Fame has been handled very badly in the last couple hundred years. It hasn't really been handled at all. Poetry needs cunning Managers.

I've been listening to the 'Poetry Speaks' series of CDs of famous poets reading their work, introduced by Charles Osgood. Anyway, what one notices is the voices are those of old men who sound like frogs or business executives. This is mostly due to the fact that poets don't acquire the fame to get themselves recorded until they are old, and recording technology was just beginning as poets born in the 19th century were getting old.

Of course old men and women should write and read their poetry. Don't get me wrong. But let's be frank about what it takes to get crowds lining up around the block to 'see' poetry. Old TS Eliot could get such crowds, though I think this was mostly at universities. TS Eliot's best stuff also was not 'difficult.' "Prufrock" and "Hollow Men" and a few others are anything but 'difficult.' Eliot had it, whatever it was, although he was a depressed person, beset with personal issues, and so he couldn't bring it very often, I suspect.

If we divide the world into four parts, we have song and story in the 'fiction' realm and info and inference in the 'reality' realm. The two sides of existence, fiction and reality, each have two distinct parts which are exact opposites of each other.

Song is brief and bounded, but its pleasure is indefinite. Story is long, and its pleasure is more definite. Story's popularity (think of novels and film) is based on the fact that the audience becomes immersed in the story of other human beings--the pleasure is based on an acute identification with another human reality. You watch a good play or movie and you are totally absorbed by character and what will happen to them and what they might do to each other. It is the replication of life which we enjoy, and we escape into its existence.

Song, on the other hand, or the poem, allows our minds to wander. Who has not experienced this at a poetry reading? You find yourself thinking of other things. Or sitting at a concert, listening to a piece of music? We free-associate as we listen to the music, whereas if you are watching a good play or film, you are fixated on the protagonist and watching his every move. Even a simple pop song begins a little concert within our own bodies, a sensual pleasure that is not grounded on exact information, but on indefinite feelings. A good play or movie has you interested in what is happening on the stage/screen. A song affects us differently.

So 'song' produces an indefinite pleasure, while 'story' produces a definite one. And songs are not 'difficult.' I was just listening to the current best-selling rock act, "The Black Keys:" their new album, "Attack and Release." It's new, the band is young, it's selling well, but it's just the blues! Their songs are not 'difficult.' Your mind is allowed to wander as you listen to it. Their songs do not demand you pay attention to every note. The chord changes are terribly obvious (it's the blues!) and the drums are obvious and the lyrics are dreamy and simple.

Let's now examine the other realm. In 'reality,' the info is like the 'song,' since it is brief and has definite attributes and a certain internal logic, but here a 'definite' thing is expressed--the information. "Here's how you fix a roof or bake bread." "Would you hand me that hammer, please?" This is how we convey information to each other: through clear, step-by-step, "information-songs." 'Story' is definite in the fiction realm, but indefinite in the reality realm, for here 'story' stands for all the random bits and sensations and speculations and gossip of which life is comprised. 'Story' is the free, random, immersion aspect of 'reality.' It is indefinite.

So Fiction = Song (brief, indefinite) + Story (long, definite). Reality = Info (brief, definite) + Inference (long, indefinite)

The poets erred with the 'difficult' poem. For as the mind strives to understand the 'difficult' poem, it cannot possibly enjoy the song-pleasure. The song-pleasure never forces the mind to think; on the contrary, it frees the mind and allows the senses to enjoy the song (poem). When I listen to Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens read their poetry aloud in these recordings, I don't find I enjoy it at all. Both men strive to be philosophical and thoughtful in their poems and to listen to them read is just a huge bore. And I like these two guys on the page.

But listening to them made me realize something.



Source: Publishers' Reading Fees: Pro or Con? (Make your comments there)

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