This extraordinary trove of previously unpublished early works includes drafts of poems such as “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” as well as ribald verse and other youthful curios. “Perhaps the most significant event in Eliot scholarship in the past twenty-five years” (New York Times Book Review). Edited by Christopher Ricks.
Once regarded as the champion of internationalist culture, in recent years T. S. Eliot has been reclassified as a racist, a misogynist, and a fascist. His life has been the subject of numerous critical studies and even one mainstream film, Tom and Viv
, which dissected the intimate details of Eliot's marriage to Vivien Haigh-Wood. With the publication of Inventions of the March Hare,
admirers and critics of Eliot will gain new insight into the poet as a young man. The 40 poems contained in this volume were all written between the years 1909 and 1917, a period during which Eliot graduated from Harvard, spent a year in France, studied Buddhism and Sanskrit at Cambridge University, met Ezra pound, and married Vivien.
These poems reveal a great deal about T. S. Eliot, the man and the poet. His borrowings from other poets are often apparent (an older Eliot once declared: "immature poets imitate; mature poets steal"), as are the repressed scatological, sexual, and neurotic impulses that would have been offensive or shocking to readers of his time. The annotations by editor Christopher Ricks add to our understanding of the poems themselves and what they expose about their author's complicated psyche.