Gotta love those poets- here is Eliot, a contemporary of those other guys I’ve been talking about
Poets and flowers, how cliche! Still, some pull it off in surprising ways. I like Rilke in particular (he inspired this bloodthirsty post of mine somehow).
I’m not here to talk about flowers though. Even if they don’t jive with something, these lefties sometimes make things explicit and we can use that for our own purposes
Benjamin defines fascism as the aestheticization of politics, and it is now quite common to suggest that Yeats, Eliot, and Pound are fascists in this general sense even if they were not all card-carrying members of a fascist party. If the aestheticization of politics is the attempt to resolve in art contradictions that are really economic or political, then the charge against these three is a just one.
Resolutions in art CAN lead to resolutions in economics and politics though. A “final resolution” you might say.
Similar to Yeats, Eliot dedicated one of his most well-known works, The Wasteland, to Pound. He wasn’t just some random guy. These are all people who made an alternative political order beautiful. If you think of the Phases of the Moon idea, this is a very particular type of person in the gyre that does such a thing.
There’s so much fluff on these poets out there. I waste so much time trying to find anything of value. It’s all written by people in one of those Phases of the Moon you don’t want to be in. It’s so nice to find people who are inspiring ya know? And there isn’t much of that in scholarship. The idea of a “living Poundian” makes me laugh, the impossibility of it.
One of the notes from Pound’s revision of the original Waste Land manuscript
“Do something different,” was Pound’s firm advice.
This was about the opening of the third part. You could just say this about everything in the US. I want to see an artwork of the gods battling each other. Why can’t I have that? No, not in a subdued, restrained way either. We’re missing out on so much profundity that will never exist.
Some musing on The Waste Land
a uniform collectivity in which each member is merely a part of a crowd of parts, of “time-ridden faces . . . empty of meaning. . .” … The figural reduction makes them so light they blow aside like trash: “Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind.”
The perception of that wouldn’t stir anyone to be a “fascist” eh? There WAS a “battle of the gods” and the one who won that battle is responsible for this- who else would be? This entire civilization can be looked at and told “Do something different.”
Remember those Dutch? Let’s get some of this going. Hurrah hurrah
You just want me to shut up and absorb into the Blob with you I bet. Oh yeah the Blob where nothing profound happens. That’s to ask me to embrace the phase of descent in the gyre.
the shame of being celebrated by a crowd of fools
Ironically though, the reason people tend to know a lot more Eliot than Pound or Yeats is… use your imagination.
Still though, he’s an honorable poet to discuss