Lines for Cuscuscaraway and Mirza Murad Ali Beg

September 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot!
With his features of clerical cut,
And his brow so grim
And his mouth so prim
And his conversation, so nicely
Restricted to What Precisely
And If and Perhaps and But.
How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot!
With bobtail cur
In a coat of fur
And a porpentine cat
And a wopsicle hat:
How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot!
              (Whether is mouth be open or shut).

– T. S. Eliot

Eliot’s birthday was yesterday (happy birthday). Here is his self-portrait in the style of Lear. Eliot was never as serious as his critics claimed (Virginia Woolf writes of his “marmoreal” face and “four-piece suit”). I love porpentine and wopsicle and their nods to Lear’s own runcible. Cuscuscaraway and Mirza Murad Ali Beg were the names of Eliot’s two cats. The latter is also the name of a little-known 19th-century author who wrote Lalun the Beragun, or, The Battle of Paniput: A Legend of Hindoostan — an obscure entry from Eliot’s reading list, perhaps.

Advertisements

Tagged: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Lines for Cuscuscaraway and Mirza Murad Ali Beg at Ondioline.

meta

%d bloggers like this: