Sordid Images: The Poetry of Masculine Desire

By S. H. Clark | Go to book overview

6

‘TESTING THE RAZOR’

T. S. Eliot’s Poems 1920

One error, in fact, of eccentricity in poetry is to seek for new human emotions to express; and in this search for novelty in the wrong place it discovers the perverse. The business of the poet is not to find new emotions, but to use the ordinary ones and, in working them up into poetry, to express feelings which are not in actual emotions at all…Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.

T. S. Eliot, Selected Essays

The familiarity of Tradition and the Individual Talent breeds not so much contempt as staleness. Eliot’s ‘Impersonal theory of poetry’, in which so much was invested by the New Criticism, now seems a known quantity, thoroughly absorbed and largely superseded, and his verse, so readily assumed to vindicate and be vindicated by this aesthetic, has tended, over recent years, to be greeted with a similar weary recognition. Anything so firmly lodged within the canon, it is supposed, can only represent an orthodoxy against which to rebel. I wish to dispel this complacency by stressing what is ‘perverse’ in Eliot’s early poetry, in particular Poems 1920.

For over fifty years, the collection was subject to a virtual conspiracy of silence concerning its violently repudiatory sexuality. Eliot’s ‘persistent concern with sex, the problem of our generation’ (Richards 1926:292) was readily granted a representative and even heroically diagnostic status; Randall Jarrell’s tribute, for instance, is entitled ‘T. S. Eliot as International Hero’ (Schwartz: [1945]

-188-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sordid Images: The Poetry of Masculine Desire
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Note on Texts vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - All This the World Well Knows 35
  • 3 - 'Something Genrous in Meer Lust'? 75
  • 4 - Let Blood and Body Bear the Fault 108
  • 5 - Blake and Female Reason 138
  • 6 - Testing the Razor 188
  • 7 - Get Out as Early as You Can 220
  • Bibliography 258
  • Index 280
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 296

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.