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Biography of T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, of an old New England family. He was educated at Harvard and did graduate work in philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and Merton College, Oxford. He settled in England, where he was for a time a schoolmaster and a bank clerk, and eventually literary editor for the publishing house Faber & Faber, of which he later became a director. He founded and, during the seventeen years of its publication (1922-1939), edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen and about the same time entered the Anglican Church.

Eliot has been one of the most daring innovators of twentieth-century poetry. Never compromising either with the public or indeed with language itself, he has followed his belief that poetry should aim at a representation of the complexities of modern civilization in language and that such representation necessarily leads to difficult poetry. Despite this difficulty his influence on modern poetic diction has been immense. Eliot's poetry from Prufrock (1917) to the Four Quartets (1943) reflects the development of a Christian writer: the early work, especially The Waste Land (1922), is essentially negative, the expression of that horror from which the search for a higher world arises.

In Ash Wednesday (1930) and the Four Quartets this higher world becomes more visible; nonetheless Eliot has always taken care not to become a "religious poet". and often belittled the power of poetry as a religious force. However, his dramas Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Family Reunion (1939) are more openly Christian apologies. In his essays, especially the later ones, Eliot advocates a traditionalism in religion, society, and literature that seems at odds with his pioneer activity as a poet. But although the Eliot of Notes towards the Definition of Culture (1948) is an older man than the poet of The Waste Land, it should not be forgotten that for Eliot tradition is a living organism comprising past and present in constant mutual interaction. Eliot's plays Murder in the Cathedral (1935), The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1949), The Confidential Clerk (1954), and TheElderStatesman(1959) were published in one volume in 1962; Collected Poems 1909-62 appeared in 1963.

45 Poems written by T.S. Eliot

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | Page Views | Comments | [First Lines]

First LineComments
'A cold coming we had of it, Comments and analysis of Journey Of The Magi by T.S. Eliot 99 Comments
(The Dry Salvages—presumably les trois sauvages—is a small Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 3: The Dry Salvages by T.S. Eliot 1 Comment
Mistah Kurtz -- he dead. Comments and analysis of The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot 1301 Comments
Comments and analysis of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot 862 Comments
Comments and analysis of Portrait of a Lady by T.S. Eliot 480 Comments
Similiter et omnes revereantur Diaconos, ut mandatum Jesu Christi; et Episcopum, ut Comments and analysis of The Hippopotamus by T.S. Eliot 48 Comments
And the trees about me, Comments and analysis of Sweeney Erect by T.S. Eliot 103 Comments
En l’an trentiesme do mon aage
Look, look, master, here comes two religious caterpillars.
O quam te memorem virgo... Comments and analysis of La Figlia che Piange by T.S. Eliot 302 Comments
Thou hast nor youth nor age Comments and analysis of Gerontion by T.S. Eliot 580 Comments
Tra-la-la-la-la-la-laire—nil nisi divinum stabile est; caetera fumus—the gondola Comments and analysis of Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
APENECK SWEENEY spreads his knees Comments and analysis of Sweeney among the Nightingales by T.S. Eliot 938 Comments
As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth Comments and analysis of Hysteria by T.S. Eliot 95 Comments
Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones-- Comments and analysis of Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town by T.S. Eliot 25 Comments
EN Amerique, professeur;
GROWLTIGER was a Bravo Cat, who lived upon a barge; Comments and analysis of Growltiger's Last Stand by T.S. Eliot 16 Comments
Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door. Comments and analysis of Gus: The Theatre Cat by T.S. Eliot 104 Comments
I Comments and analysis of Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot 160 Comments
I Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 4: Little Gidding by T.S. Eliot 289 Comments
I Comments and analysis of Preludes by T.S. Eliot 576 Comments
I Comments and analysis of Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot 49 Comments
I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots; Comments and analysis of The Old Gumbie Cat by T.S. Eliot 45 Comments
I OBSERVE: “Our sentimental friend the moon! Comments and analysis of Conversation Galante by T.S. Eliot 110 Comments
ILS ont vu les Pays-Bas, ils rentrent à Terre Haute;
Jellicle Cats come out tonight, Comments and analysis of The Song Of The Jellicles by T.S. Eliot 29 Comments
LE garçon délabré qui n’a rien à faire Comments and analysis of Dans le Restaurant by T.S. Eliot 11 Comments
Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw-- Comments and analysis of Macavity: The Mystery Cat by T.S. Eliot 58 Comments
MALHEUR à la malheureuse Tamise
MISS HELEN SLINGSBY was my maiden aunt, Comments and analysis of Aunt Helen by T.S. Eliot 291 Comments
MISS NANCY ELLICOTT Comments and analysis of Cousin Nancy by T.S. Eliot 3 Comments
Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very notorious couple Comments and analysis of Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer by T.S. Eliot 35 Comments
Old Deuteronomy's lived a long time; Comments and analysis of Old Deuteronomy by T.S. Eliot 10 Comments
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, Comments and analysis of The Naming Of Cats by T.S. Eliot 156 Comments
THE READERS of the Boston Evening Transcript Comments and analysis of The Boston Evening Transcript by T.S. Eliot 39 Comments
The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat: Comments and analysis of The Rum Tum Tugger by T.S. Eliot 12 Comments
The Waste Land Comments and analysis of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot 27 Comments
There's a whisper down the line at 11.39 Comments and analysis of Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat by T.S. Eliot 147 Comments
THEY are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens, Comments and analysis of Morning at the Window by T.S. Eliot 232 Comments
TWELVE o’clock. Comments and analysis of Rhapsody on a Windy Night by T.S. Eliot 295 Comments
WEBSTER was much possessed by death Comments and analysis of Whispers of Immortality by T.S. Eliot 44 Comments
WHEN Mr. Apollinax visited the United States
You ought to know Mr. Mistoffelees! Comments and analysis of Mr. Mistoffelees by T.S. Eliot 238 Comments
You've read of several kinds of Cat, Comments and analysis of The Ad-Dressing Of Cats by T.S. Eliot 262 Comments

Books by T.S. Eliot
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