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GG: Eliot/Quartets

WKCaine@aol.com wrote:
>      TS Eliot wrote the following on the back of the record jacket for his
> recording of his own "Four Quartets":
>      "A recording of a poem read by its author is no more definitive an
> 'interpretation' than a recording of a symphony conducted by the composer.
> The poem, if it is of any depth and complexity, will have meanings in it
> concealed from the author; and should be capable of being read in many ways,
> and with a variety of emotional emphases.
>      "A good poem, indeed, is one which even the most accomplished reading
> cannot exhaust.
>      "What the recording of a poem by its author can and should preserve, is
> the way that poem sounded to the author when he had finished it.  The
> disposition of lines on the page, and the punctuation (which includes the abse
> nce of punctuation marks, when they are omitted where the reader would expect
> them) can never give an exact notation of the author's metric.  The chief
> value of the author's record, then, is as a guide to the rhythms.
>      "Another reader, reciting the poem, need not feel bound to reproduce
> these rhythms: but, if he has studied the author's version, he can assure
> himself that he is departing from it deliberately, and not from ignorance."

Thanks for an interesting quote, WKC
and welcome to the List.
I've always really liked those Quartets.