WEBSTER was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin;
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin.

Daffodil bulbs instead of balls
Stared from the sockets of the eyes!
He knew that thought clings round dead limbs
Tightening its lusts and luxuries.

Donne, I suppose, was such another
Who found no substitute for sense,
To seize and clutch and penetrate;
Expert beyond experience,

He knew the anguish of the marrow
The ague of the skeleton;
No contact possible to flesh
Allayed the fever of the bone.
. . . . .
Grishkin is nice: her Russian eye
Is underlined for emphasis;
Uncorseted, her friendly bust
Gives promise of pneumatic bliss.

The couched Brazilian jaguar
Compels the scampering marmoset
With subtle effluence of cat;
Grishkin has a maisonette;

The sleek Brazilian jaguar
Does not in its arboreal gloom
Distil so rank a feline smell
As Grishkin in a drawing-room.

And even the Abstract Entities
Circumambulate her charm;
But our lot crawls between dry ribs
To keep our metaphysics warm.

Analysis, meaning and summary of T.S. Eliot's poem Whispers of Immortality

9 Comments

  1. lee says:

    it talks about the deavil when it says “breastless creatures under ground Leaned backward with a lipless grin”

  2. Mickey says:

    I like how the poem is put together how he talks about death or hell but i didnt like the way he ended it with the jaguar that made no cense. But other then that it was an awsome poem.

  3. Grishkin says:

    A fever of sexual repression and self-loathing dressed up as cultural commentary. Guaranteed to appeal to adolescents, and catchy to boot.

  4. wally says:

    this poem makes no sense, why is he talking about a the ballet dancer that he meet in london and what he trying to tell through this poem.

  5. Sarah says:

    I like the poem. although it is very vintage. it holds a lot of meaning. I think it can be biblical. Because it talks about limbo aka. hell, and the devil ( Breastless Creatures Underground leaned back toward a lipless grin”) which makes sense since some of his other poems are like that.
    sarah-

  6. Chad Lewis says:

    this poem was awesome. i really like the way that it was put together. Thanks for all the help. YOu helped me with a big project.

  7. dylsie says:

    this poem makes no sense…

  8. kurio says:

    The line from the first stanza, “The Skull beneath the Skin” is also the title of a crime fiction novel, by PD James. This is immediately conveyed through the epigraph, which acts as a preface to the responder.

  9. Sonia says:

    Whispers of immortality by T.S.Eliot and also, Burkbank with a baedequer

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