Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 13. October 4, 1951

Eliot—Poet of an Age of Confusion

Eliot—Poet of an Age of Confusion

In other attacks on T. S. Eliot and through him on other western poets N.G.'s argument is just as specious. He quotes Professor Winston Rhodes: "Imagine T. S. Eliot going, and reading his poems to the London dockers." But whose fault is this?. Must Eliot write down to the level of the widest audience? are Shakespeare and Milton appreciated by the dockers? Surely the dockers, probably through no fault of theirs, are the ones with something lacking?

N.G. may speak of "Eliot and many of his modern cobbers .... esoteric gibberings" but well educated people (even Varsity students) have appreciated Eliot's achievement. His poetry is an ideal vehicle for the expression of the "immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history." He has caught the spirit (interpreted the zelt-Geist—the spirit of your time and place as Miss Mitchison puts it) of a unique age—an age of selfdoubt, self concern and a falling away from the common cause, an age of two world wars. It would be impossible to write intensely of such a complex subject without mirroring its complexity.

Another group, in which N.G. would appear if he were not so Marxist, a group which almost hallowed Eliot's poetry was the leftish intellectuals: Day, Lewis, Macneice, Spender and others.