Eliot contains the same ecstatic vision which runs from Münzer to Yeats. However, he retains a grounding in the social reality/order of his time. Facing what he perceives as a choice between ecstatic chaos and lifeless mechanistic order, he accedes to maintaining a separation of asexual purity and brutal sexual reality. And he wears a stoical face before this…. Of course, the dichotomy he maintains is reactionary, but it’s due to a deep fatalism, not ignorance. (Counter him with Yeats or Pound, who, arising from the same milieu, opted to support Hitler and Mussolini.) And this fatalism is born out of the relation between fertility and death, which I touched on in my last letter—life feeds on itself. A fatalism I share with the western tradition at times.
Whoa. That's, like, so deep that it's...a bottomless crock of shite. Sounds pretty impressive, though, if you know nothing about Eliot or Yeats or Pound. Or even about sex and death.
As for "countering" Eliot with Pound--no can do since both were outright Jew-haters (although Pound's anti-Semitism was clearly a derangement--he called the New York Times the "Jew Pork Times"--while Eliot's was largely borne of his high Anglicanism).
Apropos that Eliot poem, Obama has always seemed to me to be "full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse/At time, indeed, almost ridiculous, almost, at times, the fool."