We've all benefited in some way or another from the writing of T.S. Eliot. But what was his favorite beverage? What kind of meat did he prefer? Did he see himself as a thinker or lover? Did he ever do it with two women? These are the important questions that nobody bothered to ask while they still had the chance. And since the time of his death, this problem has been like so many blackheads on our visage with no clearacil in sight. Ah, but that's where modern technology rescues us again, unclogging as it cleans. By using the ctrl-F feature in Microsoft Word, we can sift through an entire body of work in minutes and finally get the answers we deserve. The following data are collected from the Wasteland, Four Quartets and the other set of poems on this site.
The first question deals with the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Very important. Did Eliot prefer wine, spirits, beer or ale? The results leave little room for debate:
Wine - 0
But if he were to drink wine, it would have been red (71) hands down over white (11). For caffeine, our favorite ex-pat betrays his British inclinations choosing tea over coffee by six to three. Note, however, that even the combination of tea and coffee, while probably more helpful for writing poems, at least the kind that win awards, did not reach ale's score of 12. With regard to solid food preference, again, fish and chips ruled the day, as meat (i.e. steak) went down to fish by a crisp one to seven. The biggest surprise to most insiders came when cheese failed to poll even one vote.
Spirits - 1
Beer - 1
Ale - 12
Was Eliot a lover or a thinker? The results are unequivocal with a solid sum of forty for mind (10), brain (2), head (7), think (21) compared to only twenty-two for heart (6) and love (16).
Would Eliot support my simply rant? Yes he would with just (1) and simply (0), the deciding line being: it is impossible to say just what I mean.
Was Eliot too optimistic, too pessimistic, or just right? This hotly contested match was fought in three rounds. Round one pitted death-like dryness against the life-giving water elements. Victory went to the forces of wet as dry (16), arid (1), desert (5) and bones (5) fell to wet (2), water (31) and pool (10) by a resounding twenty-seven to forty-three. Round two saw pessimism make a comeback as the duo of broken (12) and empty (13) took down fixed (13), repaired (2) and full (8). It all came down to the third and final round, where death itself was pivotal as the pessimistic combination of death (21) and dying (7) beat out life (12) and living (12) by four points proving that Eliot was indeed, just right.
The idea of counting references was stolen from the Wine Boobs web site.
T.S. Eliot Poems
Art & Lit