Thomas Stearns Eliot, also known as T.S. Eliot, was a British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary, and social critic.
He was also known to be one of the twentieth centuries major poets. The first of Eliot’s important works, was “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which appeared in Poetry in 1915. His first book of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations, followed in 1917, and the collection established Eliot as a leading poet of his day. While writing poetry and tending to his day job, Eliot was busy writing literary criticism and reviews, and his work in the criticism field would become as respected as his poetry. T.S. Eliot influenced many poets as well as many post modernists because of his indifference in the way that his poetry was set to be.
He used language and many different skills to develop patterns in order to show how they can make sense as a whole, instead of using dictions of poetry to state ideas. T.S. Eliot was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, on September 26th, 1888, but spent most of his life in Europe where he discovered his love for writing poetry. He was an early modernist inventing his own style after a fashion, while also being influenced by many professors studying in poetry, philosophy, and literary criticism. Eliot began a lifelong friendship with American poet Ezra Pound, who immediately recognized Eliot’s poetic genius and worked to publish his work. The rest of his literary career began to form based on these three aspects of writing. His education consisted of attending many different schools including The Smith Academy, Merton College, The Sorbonne, and Harvard University.
During the time he attended Harvard University, he was greatly influenced in his writing styles and subjects he would be writing about. He published his first poetic masterpiece, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” in 1915, and years later in 1921, another one of his most known works, “The Waste Land,” was published during an extremely rough time in his life. The dense, allusion-heavy poem went on to redefine the genre and become one of the most talked about poems in literary history. Although Eliot died January 4th, 1965, his poetry and works continue to influence writers and readers to this day. He left behind a legacy of poetry that differs from many other poets; he was a fierce social critic, educational theorist, literary critic, and influential Christian.
He used many different skills and methods that he implemented into his poems which shows throughout the progress of his works.(biography.com) T.S. Eliot’s first published work of poetry known as “The Love Song of J.
Alfred Prufrock,” is a replica of the modern type of man — overeducated, eloquent, neurotic, and emotionally stilted. Prufrock, the poem’s speaker, seems to be addressing a potential lover, with whom he would like to “force the moment to its crisis” by somehow consummating their relationship. The title of this poem is the first hint that this was not going to be just a normal love poem. J. Alfred Prufrock is a risible character that does not express Eliot’s own emotions as a character in his poems as most poets usually did; it’s actually the opposite. When he wrote this poem in 1909, he was a young man, while in his poem Prufrock could be seen as middle aged. He wrote in his essay Tradition and the Individual Talent, “progress of an artist is a continual self-sacrifice, a continual extinction of personality.” His feelings of the way his poetry should be written had many effects on the real meanings behind his works: I should say that in one’s prose reflections one may be legitimately occupied with ideals, whereas in the writing of verse one can deal only with actuality.
Poetry is the medium par excellence for rendering a total situation—for letting us know what it feels like to take a particular action or hold a particular belief or simply to look at something with imaginative sympathy.From the beginning in Eliot’s poetry, his literary style was exceedingly filled with unhappiness because of the era he was living in, filled with anguish and depression. His works of literature vary from his use of traditional dramatic structure to the use of religious imagery. Eliot’s view of life as nothing more than a struggle is shown in his works by his use of realistic themes such as human isolation and depression, also shown in his work, “The Waste Land.” For example, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a dramatic monologue about love.
On the other hand, “The Waste Land” is more mythical and explains deeper into religion and God. Eliot created his writing style based on his own personal experiences, therefore his poems all show incredible skill. Another one of Eliot’s most known works is The Waste Land, a long poem widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the twentieth century and a central work of his modernist poetry. The poem contains five short stories that are each a reflection of his life during an extremely rough period he was going through: The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water, and What the Thunder Said. At the time he wrote, “The Waste Land,” he was in a painful relationship with his first wife, American-born poet, Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot. Early in their marriage, she had been having an affair with Bertrand Russell which T.
S Eliot chose to ignore. He married Vivienne in 1915, but her mental health took over their relationship. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, dying at the age of 58 in 1947.
In 1938, she was committed to an asylum where she constantly wrote letters to Thomas but he wanted nothing to do with her. He informed his friends to stay away from her if they ever saw her and not to tell her wherever he would be located. He felt that their relationship was effecting his life in a major way, which could have affected his works also. Before her illness, she claimed that her and her husband were incompatible and not meant for each other; Eliot said “that he could not imagine even shaving in his wife’s presence.” The publishing of The Waste Land was a reaction to him and his wife’s separation/divorce from each other, expressing his emotions and feelings during a downfall in his life.
The Burial of the Dead does not begin with the happiest of starts and continues getting drearier throughout the poem. The poems speaker talks about how spring is an awful time of year, bringing up unwanted, old memories and even calling it the “cruelest month.” Many people view spring as a time of love and cheerfulness which is why it may seem strange to readers the way Eliot speaks about the springtime in a negative way. For example, lines 3-4 state, “Memory and desire, stirring, dull roots with spring rain.” The spring rain may normally bring a feeling of new life, but from the speakers view, it only stirs “dull roots.” The following lines speak of winter being a more comforting time of year: Winter kept us warm, covering. Earth in forgetful snow, feeding a little life with dried tuber.
These lines show that when we are feeling bad, its better to be forgetful and numb to emotions, surviving on the little things in life that bring us joy. Descriptions of dead, tangled trees and deserted lands is also mentioned throughout the poem, which is a metaphor of Eliot’s emotions. What grows out of this dead land? There is a feeling of fear and uncertainty, regarding what the future will be like. This can be taken metaphorically as a reference to the devastation Eliot was feeling during the time he wrote these poems, caused by the separation from his wife. He felt that his poetry was a way to let out his emotions, although in his first work, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” he does not relate the character or story line to his life in any way. The Burial of the Dead introduces the diverse themes of despair and disillusionment and carries it on throughout the other poems in “The Waste Land.” This story helps set up ideas behind the poem as a whole.
A Game of Chess is the second section of T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. Overall, this poem differs in meaning from the other four poems written in this book which the reader could examine once they start reading. Eliot uses aspects such as rhythm, imagery, and references to other works or people. These details are what ultimately makes this poem a unique statement, as well as a work of art created by Eliot (Odyssey).
The first half of A Game of Chess speaks of a high-class woman having paranoid thoughts about herself while waiting for a lover to appear in her life. This wealthy woman begins mentally falling apart, seeming very ironic to what happened to his ex-wife, Vivienne. He uses his skills to compare the character to his wife by describing her with the same characteristics she had during their marriage.
This woman could be described as a woman of higher class because of the way Eliot describes her in the beginning of the poem: The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, Glowed on the marble, where the glass, Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines, From which a golden Cupidon peeped out (Another hid his eyes behind his wing). Doubled the flames of seven branched candelabra, Reflecting light upon the table as. The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it, From satin cases poured in rich profusion; In vials of ivory and coloured glass, Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfume