Thursday, 10 September 2009

"So how should I presume?"

You know when there is someone who you think epitomises genius and whose words never fail to blow you away?

I feel like that about T.S. Eliot.

I am no scholar, and I don't always understand what the hell he is on about. And probably his poetry is way out of literary fashion, but to me he is the best poet who ever walked this earth.

You don't need to tell me he was a difficult bastard because I do not care. I believe in separating art and artist. His poems are things detached from who he was. And they are amazing. Here is a sample:

...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?...

(From The love song of Alfred J. Prufrock).

Is that not genius? I could paste endless quotes here and they are all amazing. This dude speaks to me to my core. This poem was published in 1917. Imagine writing something so fundamental that people can identify with it nearly 100 years later?

T.S. Eliot rocks my little worldweary world and if I had a coffee-spooned fraction of his way with words I would be one satisfied seamonkey. Well, that is a lie because it is against human nature to be satisfied. But I would be dissatisfied in a satisfied kind of way.

Who rocks your world? Writer, dancer, banker, boxer, gardener, sinner, saint or otherwise?


Goblin said...

T.S. Eliot is awesome to be sure.

For me it's Oscar Wilde. Although I don't know if he ever did any gardening.

With Shakespeare being a close second.

Kirsty said...

I wrote about "The Waste Land" in my first year English lit exam despite being pretty much told not to because it was too complex. I couldn't help it. I've been a sucker for imagery and complicated word games like his ever since.

LadyFi said...

T.S. Eliot is brilliant - I agree! So is Tagore's poetry.

Tamara said...

Yay for TS Elliot!

Pablo Neruda for poetry; Margaret Atwood for literature.

Ches said...

I feel that way about cyanide and happiness...

Anonymous said...

To be honest I've never read much TS Eliot, but that is an awesome piece!

Like Goblin, I'm an Oscar Wilde fan (you may have picked that up?!) - I would love to have a conversation with him, I think it would be hilarious!

The Divine Miss M said...

I feel that way about Lord Byron. He is my all time favourite poet and I ALWAYS get shivers when I read his poems, especially When we two have parted ...

po said...

Goblin: Oscar Wilde is intriguing, but I think I like his ideas more than his actual words. I just read the Picture of Dorian Gray. Weird. I see they are making a movie of it, and I know I will hate it just by the poster.

Kirsty: yeah, well I would love to read your essay or some kind of study guide to that poem cos it is byond me. I like his simpler stuff.

Ladyfi: Tagore? I do not know that poet. Shameful. 'Will google.

Tamara: oh yeah I like Margaret Atwood too, she has a new book out. I have only read one Neruda translation and it was good, I should find some more!

Ches: that comic is genius, seriously they never seem to have a fail. they are all brilliant!

quartercenturycrisis: I have heard he was a narcissist so it may have been a pretty one sided conversation :)

Miss M: I have not read much Byron except what we read at school, I should try to read more poetry. I am sooo lazy though. Maybe I could read poetry on the train home...

angel said...

I would have to say, Terry Pratchett.
This is from Mort: "Only one creature could have duplicated the expressions on their faces, and that would be a pigeon who has heard not only that Lord Nelson has got down off his column but has also been seen buying a 12-bore repeater and a box of cartridges."

po said...

Angel I love Terry Pratchett! He is one of my literary heroes, I started reading him when I was 14. His humour is beautiful.