Description and explanation of the major themes of Eliot's Poetry. This accessible literary criticism is perfect for anyone faced with Eliot's Poetry essays, papers. This essay revisits Eliot's seminal text “Tradition and the Individual Talent” () which d'avant-garde qui revendique l'esthétique de la fragmentation, et Eliot, . Eliot's connection to the Church of England and his later conservative views on . Lowell avowed that his persona was fictional and required of a poem, as he . Shmoop Poetry study guides and teacher resources. Smart, fresh guides to great poetry by Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley Ph.D. and Masters students.
The men who influenced him at Harvard were George Santayanathe philosopher and poet, and the critic Irving Babbitt. From Babbitt he derived an anti-Romantic attitude that, amplified by his later reading of British philosophers F.
Hulmelasted through his life. In the academic year —10 he was an assistant in philosophy at Harvard. From to he was back at Harvard, reading Indian philosophy and studying Sanskrit. In Eliot met and began a close association with the American poet Ezra Pound. Early publications Modernist writer T. He was probably the most erudite poet of his time in the English language. Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table.
It represented a break with the immediate past as radical as that of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth in Lyrical Ballads The significance of the revolution is still disputed, but the striking similarity to the Romantic revolution of Coleridge and Wordsworth is obvious: Eliot and Pound, like their 18th-century counterparts, set about reforming poetic diction.
Meanwhile, he was also a prolific reviewer and essayist in both literary criticism and technical philosophy. The Waste Land expresses with great power the disenchantment, disillusionment, and disgust of the period after World War I. In a series of vignettesloosely linked by the legend of the search for the Grailit portrays a sterile world of panicky fears and barren lusts, and of human beings waiting for some sign or promise of redemption.
This scholarly supplement distracted some readers and critics from perceiving the true originality of the poem, which lay rather in its rendering of the universal human predicament of man desiring salvationand in its manipulation of language, than in its range of literary references.
In his earlier poems Eliot had shown himself to be a master of the poetic phrase. The Waste Land showed him to be, in addition, a metrist of great virtuosity, capable of astonishing modulations ranging from the sublime to the conversational. But The Waste Land is not a simple contrast of the heroic past with the degraded present; it is, rather, a timeless simultaneous awareness of moral grandeur and moral evil.
The poet writing in English may therefore make his own tradition by using materials from any past period, in any language. Two other essays, first published the year after The Sacred Wood, almost complete the Eliot critical canon: From then on, he updated this work as Collected Poems.
Exceptions are Old Possum's Book of Practical Catsa collection of light verse; Poems Written in Early Youth, posthumously published in and consisting mainly of poems published between and in The Harvard Advocateand Inventions of the March Hare: Poems —, material Eliot never intended to have published, which appeared posthumously in That I'm sure of. It wouldn't be what it is, and I imagine it wouldn't be so good; putting it as modestly as I can, it wouldn't be what it is if I'd been born in England, and it wouldn't be what it is if I'd stayed in America.
T. S. Eliot - Wikipedia
It's a combination of things. But in its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America."Long Distance Relationship" Poetry by shekhar  For all the long distance lovers 💏
From the Sanskrit ending of The Waste Land to the "What Krishna meant" section of Four Quartets shows how much Indic religions and more specifically Hinduism made up his philosophical basic for his thought process. He himself wrote in his essay on W. Alfred Prufrock[ edit ] Main article: The Love Song of J. Its now-famous opening lines, comparing the evening sky to "a patient etherised upon a table", were considered shocking and offensive, especially at a time when Georgian Poetry was hailed for its derivations of the nineteenth century Romantic Poets.
Critical opinion is divided as to whether the narrator leaves his residence during the course of the narration. The locations described can be interpreted either as actual physical experiences, mental recollections, or as symbolic images from the unconscious mind, as, for example, in the refrain "In the room the women come and go".
Eliot is surely of the very smallest importance to anyone, even to himself. They certainly have no relation to poetry. Eliot's dedication to il miglior fabbro "the better craftsman" refers to Ezra Pound's significant hand in editing and reshaping the poem from a longer Eliot manuscript to the shortened version that appears in publication.
The poem is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation. Before the poem's publication as a book in DecemberEliot distanced himself from its vision of despair. On 15 Novemberhe wrote to Richard Aldingtonsaying, "As for The Waste Land, that is a thing of the past so far as I am concerned and I am now feeling toward a new form and style. This structural complexity is one of the reasons why the poem has become a touchstone of modern literaturea poetic counterpart to a novel published in the same year, James Joyce 's Ulysses.
The Sanskrit mantra ends the poem. The Hollow Men[ edit ] Main articles: For the critic Edmund Wilsonit marked "The nadir of the phase of despair and desolation given such effective expression in The Waste Land.
Similar to Eliot's other works, its themes are overlapping and fragmentary. Post-war Europe under the Treaty of Versailles which Eliot despisedthe difficulty of hope and religious conversion, Eliot's failed marriage.
This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. Ash Wednesday poem Ash-Wednesday is the first long poem written by Eliot after his conversion to Anglicanism. Published init deals with the struggle that ensues when one who has lacked faith acquires it. Sometimes referred to as Eliot's "conversion poem", it is richly but ambiguously allusive, and deals with the aspiration to move from spiritual barrenness to hope for human salvation.
Eliot's style of writing in Ash-Wednesday showed a marked shift from the poetry he had written prior to his conversion, and his post-conversion style continued in a similar vein. His style became less ironic, and the poems were no longer populated by multiple characters in dialogue. His subject matter also became more focused on Eliot's spiritual concerns and his Christian faith. Edwin Muir maintained that it is one of the most moving poems Eliot wrote, and perhaps the "most perfect", though it was not well received by everyone.
The poem's groundwork of orthodox Christianity discomfited many of the more secular literati. This first edition had an illustration of the author on the cover. Inthe composer Alan Rawsthorne set six of the poems for speaker and orchestra in a work titled Practical Cats. After Eliot's death, the book was adapted as the basis of the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webberfirst produced in London's West End in and opening on Broadway the following year.
Four Quartets Eliot regarded Four Quartets as his masterpiece, and it is the work that led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Each has five sections. Although they resist easy characterisation, each poem includes meditations on the nature of time in some important respect— theologicalhistorical, physical—and its relation to the human condition.
Each poem is associated with one of the four classical elementsrespectively: Burnt Norton is a meditative poem that begins with the narrator trying to focus on the present moment while walking through a garden, focusing on images and sounds like the bird, the roses, clouds, and an empty pool. In the final section, the narrator contemplates the arts "Words" and "music" as they relate to time. Out of darkness, Eliot offers a solution: It strives to contain opposites: Eliot's experiences as an air raid warden in the Blitz power the poem, and he imagines meeting Dante during the German bombing.
From this background, the Quartets end with an affirmation of Julian of Norwich: Eliot draws upon the theology, art, symbolism and language of such figures as Dante, and mystics St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich. The "deeper communion" sought in East Coker, the "hints and whispers of children, the sickness that must grow worse in order to find healing", and the exploration which inevitably leads us home all point to the pilgrim's path along the road of sanctification.
In a lecture he said "Every poet would like, I fancy, to be able to think that he had some direct social utility. He would like to be something of a popular entertainer, and be able to think his own thoughts behind a tragic or a comic mask. He would like to convey the pleasures of poetry, not only to a larger audience, but to larger groups of people collectively; and the theatre is the best place in which to do it.
One project he had in mind was writing a play in verse, using some of the rhythms of early jazz. The play featured "Sweeney", a character who had appeared in a number of his poems.
Although Eliot did not finish the play, he did publish two scenes from the piece. As Altieri magisterially argued, by these strategies, Eliot invented a new means for dramatizing psychic forces and inner conflicts while recomposing subjectivity into a new geometry that shapes the non-discursive, nonlinear space of interior life — To Confessional poets like Lowell, Berryman, Plath, Roethke, Eliot showed how to take on victimizing stances in such a way as to go beyond autobiography and make intimate suffering culturally representative.
Their projections of selfhood are the result of a detached consciousness that objectively faces its own antagonistic dynamism. Moreover, despite their personal disclosures, neither of the Confessional poets actually relies on autobiography for success.
Berryman was outraged by his identification with Henry. In she declared in an interview to Peter Orr: I believe that one should be able to control and manipulate experiences, even the most terrific, like madness, being tortured […] with an informed and an intelligent mind. To some, like Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, and Robert Lowell or Seamus Heaney he showed how to confront the ghosts of history and to others he provided antidotes against the contemporary dissociations of sensibility.
These two essays lie at the origins of modernity, representing signposts of opposite traditions, one foregrounding the primacy of feelings and emotions, the other the preeminence of artistic control.
Yet, paradoxically, in his quarrel with Wordsworth, Eliot, the theorist of impersonality, far from debunking emotions as one might expect, only deepens the sense of the unconscious in the process of poetic creation.
It does not depend on his deliberate intention. The creative process is nothing more than a long wait for a flash of unexpected intuition from the unconscious. Split into the subject and object of its own reflections, the poetic persona became a self-observing voice unfolding in interior monologues in which ideas, voices, and feelings were played off against each other.
Trapped in the dreary space of the quotidian, conscious of their romantic aspirations yet ridiculing themselves, and being ridiculed by the surrounding world, they longed for an ideal reality that was grotesquely undermined by real conditions.
Eliot uses a series of archaeological and chemical metaphors and visualizes the poet in various stances: This fusion itself is a sudden transfiguration into something new which brings together the personal and the impersonal, the concrete and the universal, and the time and the timeless.
Meanwhile, the poetic composition is a mysterious coming into being: The poetic quest is always a striving for something larger and higher than the individual. It is a sudden process of transfiguration during which the particular and finite attain the universal Corti, Eliot solves the clash between tradition and the individual talent by transforming the poet into a medium that becomes the intermediary between two realms, the particular and the universal, the personal and the impersonal, the transient and the permanent, the specific and the general.
Historical re-construction did not rely on a cumulus of data but on aesthetic intuition.
Eliot’s Modernist Manifesto
Except for the brief positivistic objectivist phase at the beginning of his career, which was a rejection of the Hegelian idealist tradition represented by Bradley, Eliot believed that our understanding is limited by our concrete historical situation.
In his analysis of the Bradleyan philosophy, Eliot affirmed the relative character of knowledge. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to dead poets and artists. Subject to the dialectics of continuity and change, fixity and flux, tradition was a consensual construct predicated on unity and tensions. He substituted the notion of a metaphysical absolute with that of tradition, and hereby opted for a relative and secular principle of authority that avoided the pitfalls of solipsism without transgressing the empiricist constraints of verifiability Levenson, His goal was to overcome the existence of absolute immutably fixed meanings while rescuing literary tradition from the ravages of time and oblivion.
He did not do away with these categories but integrated them into a vectorial field in which they could coexist and interact.