Robert Jennings Better Than Protest Analysis

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The speaker in “Better than Protest,” another deleted poem, gently cautions the reader to: Remember that the berries and the flowers You look indoors to die Have their own strange recuperative powers. I look them up. They lie Sprouting already in my hands.I ‘m quick To push them in the ground until a tree Drops healing herbs for you, new buds for me. (359) Through the imagery of the healing herbs and the new buds, Jennings suggests the possibility of regeneration and growth. She finds Eliot in finding motives for rejoicing in the choice made, in the effort expended in renouncing false hopes, and in the process of constructing something of true value upon which to rejoice. She is however not motivated by his polemical intent, by his argument for the necessity of religious belief. Robert J. Andreach echoes the assertions of the other critics when he claims “that Eliot is not really interested in spiritual growth that leads to illumination and on to union as much as he is interested in…show more content…
She evokes compassion for Mary by indirection: by focusing attention, not on the religious theme itself, but on the artistry of Michaelangelo who “saw” and was able to represent in stone “what a girl may do for Gods”( “Michaelangleo’s First Pieta”). Through his art, Michelangelo is able to “carve a compassion/ / But more. It is a prayer that he is saying / Wordless.” The statue he carves and the poem which celebrates it are aesthetic objects, and the process of creating these objects can be seen as a form of personal religious experience. The link between religious and aesthetic experience is affirmed in the final line, which suggests the peace normally attained through thought and contemplation of representations of Mary and Christ, and the completion of a work of art: “This girl he is displaying/ Has also brought him rest”
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