Quakers around Shoreditch and life around Bunhill

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Louis, Missouri, the seventh and last child of Henry Ware Eliot, a brick manufacturer, and Charlotte (Stearns) Eliot, who was active in social reform and was herself a not-untalented poet.

T.S Eliot was a pre-eminent figure in modernism publishing many important works of prose and poetry in his lifetime.
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John Keats’ poetry is written in clear language with the ..

Interesting dialogue this, thanks to both of you. It was absolutely true that many in the lower streams at HCS felt they weren't really valued by the meritocratic elitist regime of the late 50's - mid-60's (my time there), the huge respect given to the very few teachers who showed they cared for these pupils - Lafferty (English) being a prime example - serving to confirm the general, negative rule. Even now, I personally know two 'old boys' of that era who still bitterly resent such discrimination (as well as other oppressive aspects of the school), one even refusing to discuss his schooldays, regarding them as an utter 'nightmare'. Such disrespect for young people is rightly described as 'criminal', Peter Ward making a telling point that, most paradoxically, it created another flawed system of 'winners' and 'losers', under the guise of ambition to challenge the pre-existing unjust educational and hence social status quos. Re the similarly divisive, resentment-generating Grammar-Sec. Mod. set-up, this was well evident to me on a daily basis, the usually quiet road I lived in at the time being a main thoroughfare to the local Sec. Mod., whose pupils tended to give out a tangible sense of general negativity, resigned resentment at their lot, which essentially stemmed from being branded as 'failures' - at age 11, for God's sake! The concerned parents of a friend of mine at that time and later were actually reprimanded by our primary school head for questioning their son's impending 'relegation' to that level with the classic, "Some people have to be dustmen"! Then, when at 16 I and an HCS friend made my first, anxiety-ridden forays into the world of 'boys and girls' (!) at my local Church Youth Club, I found my peers to include a group of the 'educationally unprivileged', ie 11-plus 'failures', who, shall we say, were not exactly 'welcoming' of me and other more fortunate lads, in fact it was clear that they were boiling with resentment, incipient violence when they encountered us. There was no meeting point, it seemed - and no club leader to bring us together. Not a lot of fun there then.

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In the first expedition, Eliot's shape-shifting Sweeney, perhaps aloose adaptation of James Joyce's Leopold Bloom (Ulysses),visits a modernized afterworld that consists of Hell, Purgatory, andHeaven. In Burbank, a miniaturized Inferno set inVenice, Sweeney plays the part of a Jew. Or Eliot uses wittyparallelisms to imply that "Chicago Semite Viennese"Bleistein may be one of Sweeney's personas. Burbank is regardedas not particularly friendly to Jews. In Commedia, Bernard ofClairvaux, the highest saint in Dante's highest heaven, is not hopefulabout Jewish prospects for redemption, especially in Paradiso32, where he explains the meaning of the rose of the ChurchTriumphant. Eliot very probably took his cue from Dante's SaintBernard. But Dante is not Bernard of Clairvaux, any more thanT. S. Eliot is Bleistein. By my reading, each poet is distancinghimself from the anti-Semitism of his day. Eliot points to Dante as aprecedent. Dante points to Saint Paul, not Saint Bernard. Or Danteexpects his own reader to be familiar with rarely-remembered passagesin Romans that Eliot integrates into Waste Land.

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but in almost every language, ..

Eliot , was an extraordinarily influential poet and playwright who captured the true essence of his modern day society, and brought it to life through his various works.

Tradition and The Waste Land - - The Poet's Forum

Dante's reasoning is further removed from our own, and therefore moredifficult to assess. Certainly we should ask, given the tenor of histimes, why his hell includes no wicked Jews punished for poisoningwells or for drinking the blood of Christian children. Maybe Dantereasoned that the slanders were not in the Bible, or that Holy Writcarried more weight. I would be slow to assume that Dante would havebeen ecumenical in any modern sense. The question of whether he"liked" Jews is silly. We have no idea whether he ever metany. Among several possible scenarios, he may have held to theeschatological belief of his day that the end of time would beheralded by the conversion of the Jews. The Savior might notappreciate having his Second Coming fouled up because all Jews hadbeen annihilated in pogroms, leaving none waiting to be baptised. Eventhis seemingly discouraging dénouement leads back to a germ ofhope. If Dante concluded that Christians ought to mind their ownbusiness, and leave judgment to God, this means that hisconception of Christianity excluded what we now callanti-Semitism.

The Sibyl is a metaphor for society, ..

Eliot’s use of fragmentation in The Waste Land operates on three levels: first, to parallel the broken society and relationships the poem portrays; second, to deconstruct the reader’s familiar context, creating an individualized sense of disconnection; and third, to challenge the reader to see...