He lived in St. Louis during the first eighteen years of his life and attended Harvard University.
One major difficulty is that Eliot himself helped dictate the rules for how critics interpret poetry. He did this through his many influential essays on poetry, beginning with those in The Sacred Woodand through the way he transformed the style of modern poetry.
Every young poet writing in English after Eliot has had either to imitate or to reject him often both. Eliot as a thinker was profoundly interested in the role of literary tradition—the impact of earlier great writers on later ones.
However, he himself in a sense started from scratch. During this time, he had been reading the French Symbolist poets, who had flourished in the last half of the nineteenth century. Eliot was especially drawn to Laforgue, whose dramatic monologues contained a mixture of highly sophisticated irony and an original, difficult style.
The kind of poetry that I needed, to teach me the use of my own voice, did not exist in English at all; it was only found in French. Modernism was an artistic movement that lasted, in American and English literature, from about toalthough most literature since that time continues to be heavily influenced by modernist techiques.
These techniques, first developed largely by Pound and Eliot, involved the use of free verse poetry without regular meter and rhymemultiple speakers or personas within one poem, and a disjointed, nonlinear style.
Prufrock is a citizen of the modern city, an acute observer of its confusion, grime, and poignancy. Eliot and Pound knew that they were creating a literary revolution: Both poets actively furthered the revolution through their essays, articles, and reviews. Two years later, inPoems was published.
The Sacred Wood, a collection of essays, appeared soon after the publication of Poems. Scholars still debate the impact on subsequent literature of these relatively short prose articles, most of which were written for literary magazines or newspapers.
Students of modern English literature agree, however, that these essays, like the poems that preceded them, permanently altered the way readers assessed poetry. Two essays from the collection are particularly important: According to Eliot, the masterful poet, fully conscious of working within the tradition, is very much an instrument of the tradition; that is, he or she is in a way an impersonal medium for the common literary heritage.
Poets were no longer able to join the intellect and the emotions to produce true masterworks.
These three ideas—the impersonal theory of poetry, the objective correlative, and the dissociation of sensibility—certainly changed the way American and British scholars studied poetry: In his next major poem, and his most famous, these ideas were given full play.
The Waste Land is unquestionably one of the most important poems of the twentieth century.
Its importance lies in its literary excellence—its insight and originality—and in its influence on other poets. Although Eliot said that he always wrote with his mind firmly on tradition, The Waste Land broke with the look, the sound, and the subject of most poetry written since the early nineteenth century.
In the poem, allusions to myth, religion, Western and Eastern literature, and popular culture are almost constant; in fact, many stretches of the poem are direct, and unacknowledged, quotations from other sources.
Because no one narrator appears to be speaking the poem, the work seems as impersonal as a crowded London street.
The mood is one of despair, loneliness, and confusion—the central feelings, Eliot believed, of modern city dwellers. At the same time, he was deeply immersed in the study of the great medieval poet Dantewhose poetry and prose seemed to illuminate a way that a poet could approach religion and achieve serenity of spirit.
Accordingly, at the end of the decade Eliot joined the Church of England; from then until the end of his life, he was a faithful to it. In the poem, the speaker is far less impersonal than in earlier works:Eliot’s study of the poetry of Dante, of the English writers John Webster and John Donne, and of the French Symbolist Jules Laforgue helped him to find his own style.
From to he was back at Harvard, reading Indian philosophy and studying Sanskrit. The T.S. Eliot: Poems Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you.
This video introduces T.S. Eliot and his major works. It outlines his early life and move to England, and traces his stylistic evolution over his most famous and significant poems.
This video introduces T.S. Eliot and his major works. it's basically T.S. Eliot poetry in a musical. So that's pretty cool.
That's his lasting legacy. Works, and Style Related Study. T. S. Eliot - Poet - Born in Missouri on September 26, , T. S.
Eliot is the author of The Waste Land, which is now considered by many to be the most influential poetic work of the twentieth century.
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.