__marcelo (__marcelo) wrote,

To my taste, Eliot is a poet of impossibly perfect phrases embedded in forgettable poems

Although sometimes, e.g. in The Hollow Men, the poem is short enough to be practically built up on those phrases. And, alright, Four Quartets isn't a short poem by any means, yet most of it reads as elegantly unfolded haikus. But you know what I mean.

Anyway, here's in one from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
of insidious intent.

"Tedious argument of insidious intent" is one of those phrases that, by precisely describing something, defines in your mind a new concept that slightly changes how you perceive the world; it gives a label to something, and hence (subjectively speaking) creates something new. That's the magic trick of poetry, mathematics, and pretty much all conceptual work in science.
Tags: poetry, quotes
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