Wednesday, September 27, 2006

T. S. Eliot

Someone said: “The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.” Precisely, and they are what we know.

--T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot (1888 – 1965)

Nobel Prize winner Thomas Stearns Eliot is considered the greatest poet of his generation, and a major influence on future generations. Like so many other poets, Eliot received help from Ezra Pound in publishing his first book of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations, in 1917, two years after Eliot had left the U. S. for Europe. In 1927 he became a British subject and converted to Anglicanism, the official Church of England. His major breakthrough was the publication of The Waste Land in 1922. Eliot’s poetry can be difficult for readers because of its use of allusions, foreign and historical terms, and classical and complex images. Mystical ideas appear also, especially in his final volume, Four Quartets (1943), and other late religious poems. The reader is called upon to supply an overall sense to Eliot’s seemingly disorganized structures. The poet expected the reader to approach poetry the way he would listen to music, understanding on an emotional level if not an intellectual one. Eliot insisted that poetry was supposed to be difficult. His Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats became the basis for the musical hit Cats.

--From Poetry Speaks


I received a rejection from RATTLE yesterday.


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