chapter  9
On Free and Latent Semantic Energy
Pages 15

Two passages in this category were taken from T. S. Eliot. Both were again appreciated - though there was a certain difference - because of their 'suggestiveness' and because they provided food for thought. It should be added that the first case may be wellknown to a good many people but were less so to my students: 'Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead, I Forgot the cry of gulls'. Asked to analyse their reactions people said, as they did in the case of the Tempest lines, that the words stimulated the imagination and that it did not much affect their impression that the syntax of one passage was incomplete and the other was not. They pointed out that the words seem to leave something out, but without abandoning the reader to confusion. They constitute a whole, and yet are obviously part of a greater entity. Some readers commented on the contrast between the two foreign names and the majority of one-and two-syllable simple words. I had the impression that the lines made the same kind of impact when they were supplied in their context (as all these passages eventually were).