As I got to the descriptions of the poetry, I started to be really interested. Primarily because Eliot seems mostly interested in something that always fascinates me - the difference, and conflict, between how one behaves on the outside, and how one feels on the inside. Some of them seem to be saying "I know I'm at a posh, fancy tea party, but I feel like I'm at a carnival riding the bumper cars... anyone going to join me?"
Take this one, which I read over and over because I love it... it's called Hysteria...
As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked tablecloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: 'If the lady and gentlemen wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentlemen wish to take their tea in the garden...' I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.
It describes such a simple moment, a typical everyday moment, but in such an interesting way.
More reasons to love Eliot:
"...the first danger is that of assuming that there must be just one interpretation of the poem as a whole, that must be right... But as for the meaning of the poem as a whole, it is not exhausted by any explanation, for the meaning is what the poem means to different sensitive readers."
"The poet may know the history of [the poem's] composition, the material which has gone in and come out in an unrecognisable form, and he knows what he was trying to do and what he was meaning to mean. But what a poem means is as much what it means to others as what it means to the author, and indeed, in the course of time a poet may become merely a reader in respect of his own works, forgetting his original meaning."
Eliot, from The Frontiers of Criticism
And I think you can apply those thoughts to all kinds of art. I really love artists who are brave enough to put their art out there and let it be open to interpretation; to let people see what they see, and take from it what they need, without judgement.
I like it. I like it a lot. :)