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The Complete Poems and Plays (1952)

von T. S. Eliot

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2,428144,831 (4.4)11
This collection contains the following: Collected Poems 1909-62 Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Poems Written in Early Youth Murder in the Cathedral The Family Reunion The Cocktail Party The Confidential Clerk The Elder Statesman
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Superlative. It's easy to forget today that Eliot's poetry was innovative in both technique and subject matter when originally written. I can do no better than to quote "Tradition and the Individual Talent", an essay from the poet himself: "What happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art that preceded it." Such is the relationship of Eliot's poetry to the canon. ( )
  wyclif | Sep 22, 2021 |
The scholars of THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF ENGLISH LITERATURE judge that T.S. Eliot's "interest in the great middle ground of human experience (as distinct from the extremes of saint and sinner) [was] deficient," while also recognizing Eliot's "poetic cunning, his fine craftsmanship, his original accent, his historical and representative importance as THE poet of the modern Symbolist-Metaphysical tradition".

T.S. Eliot's conversion from Unitarianism to high-church, Catholic Anglicanism discomfited many of the secular literati. Although Eliot expresses a Christian sentiment in much of his writings and rightfully casts fascist totalitarianism as antithetic to the spirit of Christianity, Eliot's work is marred by a few unmistakable, anti-Semitic statements, displaying the effects of the spiritual darkness of the pre-WWII period leading up to Hitler's attempted, global eradication of the Jewish people.

Despite Eliot's apparent antisemitism, Paul Dean concludes that "however much Eliot may have been compromised as a person, as we all are in our several ways, his greatness as a poet remains." ( )
  sagocreno | Aug 2, 2021 |
Probably the only poet I have read the entire collected works of. (Verse work he chose to publish in his lifetime, that is.) Having not been prolific, Eliot achieved an extraordinarily high average standard.
I do not profess to "understand" some of Eliot's more notoriously obscure poems, however, I love them for the sound they make. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
20th Century poetry at its greatest! From post-war chaos and disarray (The Waste Land), through repentance and self-analysis (Ash Wednesday) to the exquisite musicality and peaceful perfection of Four Quartets, following in the footsteps of the great master of the past (Dante Alighieri!). My "book of the soul" ( )
  Andrea1968 | Oct 17, 2018 |
“I will show you fear in a handful of dust,” T.S. Eliot proclaims in his most quotable poem The Waste Lands. Each line groans under the sheer weight of mortality, despair in the face of the inevitable. But rather than propagate that despair, Eliot’s beauty is in his ability to spawn introspection with the dark plight of the subjects in his poems, to evoke abandon as a counter the inescapable.

As a complete volume, Eliot’s most famous are collected - The Waste Lands and The Love Sond of J. Alfred Prufrock - along with some of his lesser known works. Among those lesser known are Four Quartets, free form tone poems that are equally as evocative as anything he ever wrote.

From Burnt Norton:
“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.”

A look at almost any literary journal or publication will provide evidence that Eliot was perhaps the most influential modernist poet, establishing a voice that has survived through multiple generations and still inspires replication. Few poets, or writers of any kind, can create the same sense of urgency in life with their work. Reading Eliot is like glimpsing fate in a mirror’s darkened reflection; it demands attention and quickens the heart to action.

Also collected in the volume is Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Adapted after his death into the Broadway mega-hit Cats, the original work has been all but lost in the bright lights. The fourteen short poems, each deconstructing a different feline personality, are wonders of word play. Short of some of the master fantasy writers, Eliot is unrivaled in his ability to create words and phrases to capture feeling. And the lyrical, whimsical cheekiness of the works display a far different aspect of the writer’s personality; the light to the darker work.

Though Eliot’s plays are also collected here, I read the volume for the poetry only, leaving the plays for a different time. The poetry alone is a lifetime study.

Bottom Line: A complete collection of Eliot’s poetry, the famous and not-so-famous; all provocative and surprising with each reading.

5 bones!!!!! ( )
5 abstimmen blackdogbooks | Apr 26, 2015 |
Early in her novel Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor describes protagonist Hazel Motes, leader of the Church without Christ, by the silhouette he casts on the sidewalk. “Haze’s shadow,” she writes, “was now behind him and now before him.” It’s a strange way to situate a character — skulking between his shadows — but it’s not unprecedented. In The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot’s narrator refers to “Your shadow at morning striding behind you/Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you.” Coincidence? Nobody can say for certain. But in the rare case of a critic linking O’Connor and Eliot, Sally Fitzgerald (O’Connor’s close friend) wrote that “it was Eliot and his Waste Land who provided for her the first impetus to write such a book as Wise Blood.”
hinzugefügt von elenchus | bearbeitenTheMillions.com, James McWilliams (Mar 27, 2017)
 
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This collection contains the following: Collected Poems 1909-62 Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats Poems Written in Early Youth Murder in the Cathedral The Family Reunion The Cocktail Party The Confidential Clerk The Elder Statesman

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