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Gene Williamson

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On Reading T.S. Eliot...
by Gene Williamson

Friday, August 05, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Gene Williamson
•  befofe the big bang--what?
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           >> View all 258

Even a good dictionary can let you down.

One might think that daunsinge
is a fanciful word for dancing, but in
“East Coker”
it’s Eliot’s way of
signifying matrimony.
Or take periphrastic, defined as a wordy
and  indirect language. To Elliot it is
 …a study in worn-out poetical fashion,
Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle
With words and meanings. 
Though some critics have called the poems
of this
Nobel Prize Winner “incomprehensible,”
when I read “The Love Song of J. Alfred
Prufrock,”
at an age when
I [too] have measured out my life
in coffee spoons,

I am either dumb or dumbstruck
with admiration
and envy.

 

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Reviewed by Jansen Estrup 12/23/2012
With all of this banging and whimpering, and the resurection of Guy Fawkes, Mr. Eliot needs a mass revival - we should be both dumb and dumbstruck. Thanks Gene ...
Reviewed by David Hightower 9/3/2011
Gene - When I first read T.S. I was astounded by some of the images he used. Though I didn't appreciate his later poems as much as the earlier ones, I, like you, am at that age where,

I [too] have measured out my life
in coffee spoons,

I am either dumb or dumbstruck
with admiration
and envy.

Excellent write, as always. - David
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 8/17/2011
... I listened to a reading of The Waste Land and Four Quartets when I was badly ill with'flu earlier this year; it made me feel worse! Perhaps I should have stuck to his Book of Old Possums instead? East Coker, from where his ancestral roots hailed in the 1660s, is a beautiful place not too far from me here, and a far cry from the bleak picture he paints of it in his poetry... In fact, your thoughts on the meaning of "daunsinge" are actually highly appropriate to my scrumpy-swilling near-neighbours! My life is very happily measured out in bags of Earl Grey these days, so, on the strength of your encouragement, I will away again to see if Prufrock yet rocks. Personally, I'm rather keener on the work of a certain G Gulliver Williamson... xx
Reviewed by Axilea MU 8/16/2011
admiration and envy are... enviable. It takes an intelligent and brave person to admit and accept such feeling. But what you are saying here, is a good point for a new beginning, a new approach of the work of T.S.E. or of your own work... Inspiration and challenges are all around.

Axilea
Reviewed by TONY NERONE 8/11/2011
A talented writing about a very talented writer.
Peace
Tony
Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 8/10/2011
A wonderful, thoughtful tribute that inspires me to read what leaves my dear friend "dumbstruck with admiration and envy."
Reviewed by jude forese 8/10/2011
try reading Chaucer ...

informative & well written ...
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 8/9/2011
A particularly insightful and endearing write by a talented writer on another talented author!
Blessings,
Christine
Reviewed by Michelle Mead 8/8/2011
Yes, he was briliant- but then, Gene, so are you xxxxx Michelle
Reviewed by Myrna Badgerow 8/8/2011
I agree totally with your last few lines.. sometimes I scrach my head and think huh? and then at others I think 'damn I wish I'd written that'... great piece Gene.. Myrna
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 8/8/2011
Great information, thanks Gene!

Anna
Reviewed by Sheila Roy 8/7/2011
Reminds me of when I'd first read Romeo and Juliet. I was baffled. Years later I gave it another chance, and, of course, saw the wonderment. Enjoyed.
Sheila
Reviewed by JMS Bell 8/7/2011
SINCE, INDEED, AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE - OUR BEGINNING IS OUR END...AND OUR END IN OUR BEGINNING, I CAN ONLY ADMIRE THE WISDOM ELIOT SHED IN 'COKER' AND IN 'THE LOVE STORY OF J ALFRED PRUFROCK', LOOKING BACK AT OUR OWN WEAKNESSES ALWAYS KEEPS ONE FROM PRESUMING, THE PROBLEM IS VERY FEW OF US WANT TO...'LOOK BACK'...AND...'OWN UP'. THANK YOU, GENE, FOR BRINGING THESE TWO FANTASTIC WORKS UP, I REALLY ENJOYED READING THEM. LOVE, BLESSINGS & FAITH...JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
Reviewed by Charles Neff 8/7/2011
It all depends on the size of the spoon, doesn't it? And how vigorously you stir yourself and otheres.. If dumb and dumbstruck apply at all, you must be talking about someone else!
Charlie
Reviewed by neerja gandhi 8/7/2011
read Prufrock..way back, interesting poems Eliot wrote, i loved all his work..would dig up my shelves to read again....
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 8/6/2011
Thank you for the lesson, Gene. Love and peace to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 8/6/2011
Your writting is brillant, as always Gene...
love and peace, Carole~
Reviewed by Vivian Dawson 8/6/2011
A new word to me ~Gene~ thanks to You!

"Periphrastic" for simplicity that can
suit one better from Eliot's point of view,
and so it is without so many words!!

Lady Vivian
Reviewed by richard cederberg 8/6/2011
It is good when one is moved (so) by another, and, (even moreso) when one can continue to glean life from what has been. Enjoyed your tribute, gene,- impeccably written. peace and continued inspiration to you ... richard
Reviewed by Jon Willey 8/6/2011
Esoteric language more often than not leaves this reader in a state of want searching my limited lexicon for just the perfect semantic revelation. Renown carries with it tremendous responsibilities and Eliot has lived up to his as your rendering here bears testament. What impresses this reader is your interpretive skills as an interpreter of fine literature. That you are rightly taken with Eliot's style and so eloquently relate your admiration impresses. Yes Gene, on reading Gene, I am impressed. Smooth, informative and rich with pragmatic verse. As long as you choose to share I will have resource to many of the finest. I bid you love and peace my dear friend. Jon Michael
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 8/6/2011
Because of your poem, I just re-visted Prufrock, and today, I'll probably re-read some more of his work - thanks.
Reviewed by Amber Moonstone 8/5/2011
Very informative, Gene, thanks, you never disappoint your readers.

Much peace, love and light,
Amber
Reviewed by Lloyd Lofthouse 8/5/2011
Which goes to prove that simple language often has a bigger impact.
Reviewed by John Flanagan 8/5/2011
Speaking - not preaching! - to the converted here,
Gene...those coffee spoons have been one of my measures
since..i can't remember when
but then time past is time present in time future.
Your tribute's pithy, warm, just right.

John
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 8/5/2011
Never have I read the guy, but I love that word, "periphrastic", as I get the feeling that it might describe me to a degree...e
Reviewed by Joy Hale 8/5/2011
I agree. When reading the great poets of long ago, the words they used so elegantly are simply not used today. But, you could start a trend, Gene, therefore encouraging many of us to sharpen our word skills. Thought provoking read; thanks for sharing your views.

Joy L. Hale
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 8/5/2011
It has been a long times since I've tried to read Eliot. I, for one, wasn't impressed, although I knew I was supposed to be. I need to revisit him. Soon.



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