Aye, you can have your Shakespeare and you can have your Joyce, if you
are of Gaelic turn of mind.
You can have your Hobbes and your Locke and Rousseau.
You can have your farmisht Franklin and your bumpkinish Jefferson - if
they would lead you anywhere that you might want to go.
But it is Eliot, ah, brother Eliot, who takes me to the task of
Give me Eliot and only Eliot, to elucidate the captureless life of
"And the trees about me,
Let them be dry and leafless;"
How is this that starts so great a poem - and is this not wooddorking,
in its essence?
"PAINT me a cavernous waste shore
Cast in the unstilled Cyclades,
Paint me the bold anfractuous rocks
Faced by the snarled and yelping seas."
Does this not call us most immediately to eschew the bounds of poly
and paint our projects - such vision!
"Morning stirs the feet and hands
(Nausicaa and Polypheme).
Gesture of orang-outang
Rises from the sheets in steam."
Do not you all feel just the same, my brothers, the Nausea from the
Poly in the early morn?
"This withered root of knots of hair
Slitted below and gashed with eyes,
This oval O cropped out with teeth:
The sickle motion from the thighs"
Ah, the knots, certainly we have had more than surfeit of knots.
"Jackknifes upward at the knees
Then straightens out from heel to hip
Pushing the framework of the bed
And clawing at the pillow slip."
You see, you certainly must see how the misapplied tool can do damage
beyond all reckoning.
"Sweeney addressed full length to shave
Broadbottomed, pink from nape to base,
Knows the female temperament
And wipes the suds around his face"
Hearken now, as Sweeney addresses the stick of Mahogangy in his effort
to reveal those colors all unhidden.
"The lengthened shadow of a man
Is history, said Emerson
Who had not seen the silhouette
Of Sweeney straddled in the sun."
A pox on Emerson, I say - he misunderstands a man that works his wood.
"Tests the razor on his leg
Waiting until the shriek subsides.
The epileptic on the bed
Curves backward, clutching at her sides."
Well, we've al relieved a bit of cunning cross-grained stuff with
sharpened implements. He claims a shriek, we hear a sigh.
"The ladies of the corridor
Find themselves involved, disgraced,
Call witness to their principles
And deprecate the lack of taste"
Do we not see these lumbering netnannies do nothing but so much the
"Observing that hysteria
Might easily be misunderstood;
Mrs. Turner intimates
It does the house no sort of good."
As do we always have complaints from those other than ourselves, when
dust and nasty things incur - where do our loved ones dwell.
"But Doris, towelled from the bath,
Enters padding on broad feet,
Bringing sal volatile
And a glass of brandy neat."
A perfect ending to a day of wooddorking, in my estimation.
After seeing all of this, you must certainly agree, that Master Eliot
doth rule in trades that deal in trees. And isn't he just so
insightful, never barking, never spiteful - speaking only what's
delightful - in the regard of wood.
God bless his soul.
Thomas J.Watson - Cabinetmaker (ret.)
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)