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1. Complete Poems and Plays,: 1909-1950
2. Four Quartets
3. The Cocktail Party
4. Eeldrop and Appleplex
5. Selected Poems
6. Poems of T.S. Eliot
7. Collected Poems, 1909-1962 (The
8. Selected Essays
9. Complete Poems and Plays
10. Ezra Pound: His Metric And Poetry
11. The "Wasteland and "Four Quartets"
12. Ezra Pound: His Metric And Poetry
13. T.S. Eliot: The Making Of An American
14. Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot
15. A Reader's Guide to T.S. Eliot:
16. A Guide to the Selected Poems
17. Landscape as symbol in the poetry
18. The Waste Land and Other Writings
19. T. S. Eliot: A Guide for the Perplexed
20. Murder in the Cathedral

1. Complete Poems and Plays,: 1909-1950
by T. S. Eliot
Hardcover: 392 Pages (1952-11-20)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$14.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 015121185X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This omnibus collection includes all of the authorÂ’s early poetry as well as the Four Quartets, Old PossumÂ’s Book of Practical Cats, and the plays Murder in the Cathedral, The Family Reunion, and The Cocktail Party.Amazon.com Review
Eliot's poetry ranges from the massively magisterial (The WasteLand), to the playfully pleasant( Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats).This volume of Eliot's poetry and playsoffers the complete text of these and most all of Eliot's poetry, including the full text ofFourQuartets. Winner of the Nobel Prize inLiterature, Eliot exerted a profound influence on hiscontemporaries in the arts generally and this collection makes his genius clear. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bustopher Jones:The Cat About Town
When I first searched for a book of poetry, I thought, "Why not the best?Why not T.S. Eliot?"

And, when this book arrived, my first thoughts were, "Okay.He won a Nobel, for the difference that he has made.I'm ready to be influenced by his great works."

But, I must say, it took me a day to wrap my brain around this collection. And, this is the first time I've read other book reviews before reading any book, because I needed a sort of frame of reference.

Even though I've read T.S. Eliot in high school and college, I had loss the mindset for reading a variety of poetry.

So, I searched for a resource, which I found at [...].This is Columbia University's anthologized collection of poetry, along with supporting information, for those who really want to embrace what poetry can do for you.

Then, I was able to get the meaning of these poems and plays.

In less words, poems tell us a great deal more than many stories can tell us.

For example, the poem "Bustopher Jones:The Cat About Town," could be intrepreted to tell us 5 things:

1.Live your life to the fullest;
2.Know where you are heading;
3.Prepare yourself to open the right doors in life;
4.When it's over, it's over, and that's okay; and,
5.Envision the best

4-0 out of 5 stars Summer is the best time to reread T. S. Eliot
As far as I am concerned, Eliot is always in fashion. This collection has most of what you want to read. Who can go wrong with this at your side while floating around on a boat? Eliot and summer were made for each other. It is amazing the people who visit and see me reading this and say they are going to reread him. I don't like all of his politics but his poems were great.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Twentieth Century's Greatest Poet
Poetry was never my forte. Though an English major and aspiring writer, I had always preferred novels and the occasional short story. Although modern prose certainly has its fair share of ambiguity - William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, and William Burroughs come to mind - poetry seemed to be the written equivalent of a Jackson Pollack painting. The literary landscape was apparently strewn with eccentrics reaching into the language, pulling out random words, throwing them at a sheet of paper, and seeing where they stuck. It is truly ironic that I finally overcame this aversion when I was introduced, in an English course during the fall of my sophomore year of college, to the one of the most impenetrable poems of them all: T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land."

I don't remember now, but I think I was rather horrified at first. Not only was it a long poem, it was also stuffed foreign languages and obscure literary references. I suppose it was as much the instructor as Eliot's genius that finally won me over. We had vehement political disagreements, but this particular individual was an excellent professor who truly did justice to the Modernist movement. "The Waste Land," I slowly realized, was a true masterpiece. The blend of the surreal and the mundane into a waking, blasted dreamscape; whispers of past grandeur adrift in the disillusion and decay of the present; the starkly beautiful imagery - I had read many novels, but none that affected me as profoundly as this poem.

I still cannot truly define what it is that makes Eliot so unique in my experience of poetry. Somehow, in some way, he managed to combine the abstraction of a Picasso with post-WWI trauma to capture the mood of a shocked society. Eliot introduced the Modernist rejection of realism in art and prose to a genre already known for being intangible and up in the air. Eliot's poetry is reminiscent of the dissonance and atonality of a Stravinsky piece: jarring at times, seemingly meaningless, felt rather than concretely understood or identified. His poems simply give rise to a moment or an emotion in a manner that makes perfect sense without the candor of prose. It is as though his metaphors and images were instinctive rather than intellectual. I honestly cannot adequately explain it. All I can offer is an Emily Dickinson quote (another poet I have come to enjoy since discovering Eliot): "When I feel as though the top of my head has been taken off, I know that is poetry."

(In other words: yes, this book is highly recommended.)

5-0 out of 5 stars For a T.S. Eliot amateur, this was an excellent introduction!!
While I am only an amateur when it comes to poetry, I believe this collection will satisfy any reader looking for a stimulating and engaging experience.I was introduced to T.S. Eliot in my high school English class and read only two of his poems from this collection:one, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and two, The Wasteland.If I had more time to spend with these poems and really analyze them, I would get even more out of them.

TS Eliot portrays an intriguing setting in The Wasteland.He alludes to various religions and gods.In particular, Eliot portrayed a modern European society lacking a sense of unity and control.He makes eccentric references to anything from religious structures, blooming flowers, praised figures, historical events, and influential European cities.After reading this poem, I highly recommend reading the novel The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.This piece by McCarthy was strongly influenced by this particular poem.

Who is Prufrock?In Eliot's, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, he depicts a modern middle-aged man who is very self-conscious; he does not dare speak of love to a woman, which is ironic to the poem's title. The poem epitomizes the frustration and self-consciousness in any human being, which makes it easy to relate to the character.What reader does not enjoy finding familiar satire between the lines of a love poem?

Eliot also references Shakespeare's Hamlet in The Love Song, alluding to his personal insecurity and mental weaknesses, as well as his incapability to handle love appropriately.

Though this is only a small window into T.S. Eliot's assorted collection, I hope I can give you an apposite perspective on his engaging work.I recommend reviewing this collection and strongly encourage spending time with these particular pieces.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Point of the Turning World
I'm not at all rating this book five stars; that's my rating for T.S. Eliot's plays. This book was the typical library edition and has everything wrong with it: the cover of an old, wise Eliot (why not a young maverick one?), "Complete" in the title when it's not at all complete, big, heavy, hardback and way too literary looking for the passing reader to crack the cover.

But look how much T.S. Eliot you already know. The Wasteland may be a maddingly obscure poem sequence built around a book by Jessie Weston, but Pete Townshend used the idea in a song: "Teenage Wasteland." You know from another song that T.S. Eliot, in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" said that life was measured out in coffee spoons. We all know that Old Possum's Book of Practical...plays out dramatically in a musical titled for the last word of that book...Cats. You could have tackled (or rather relaxed with) his most famous poem sequence, Four Quartets and the accompanying readers' guide by Thomas Howard.

But for all those bits of poetic imagery, you still might not stumble on the plays. I've never seen one of Eliot's plays put on, but they make wonderful reading. As an astute reviewer suggested, don't get this volume, which leaves out two of the five plays (or six if you include "Choruses from the Rock," which is not among the best). That reviewer also provided the helpful advice to track down the Faber edition which really does have all the plays. Some of them, notably Murder in the Cathedral, are available in single editions. But don't miss The Confidential Clerk, The Cocktail Party and The Elder Statesman for a great reading experience.

The only other play I know that reads this well is J. M. Barrie's original play of Peter Pan. Murder in the Cathedral is notable because it falls in the Church of England (Anglican) tradition of putting on plays at the Canterbury Festival. Charles Williams also wrote plays related to this event (Thomas Cranmer of Canterbury), as did Dorothy L. Sayers (The Zeal of Thy House, The Devil to Pay). All of which is to say that there is a lot of great dramatic writing to be rediscovered as reading as well as performance (see also my review of Christopher Fry's plays A Phoenix Too Frequent and The Lady's Not for Burning). Many Sayers readers are also aware that she wrote the first radio play for the BBC on the life of Jesus (and updated it to common language), as well as essays on her experience dealing with the Gospel accounts in dramatic form. The best known of these is "The Dogma is the Drama," available in various collections. ... Read more

2. Four Quartets
by T. S. Eliot
Paperback: 64 Pages (1968-03-20)
list price: US$9.00 -- used & new: US$4.31
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156332256
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The last major verse written by the Nobel laureate, including “Burnt Norton,” “East Coker,” “The Dry Salvages,” and “Little Gidding.”Amazon.com Review
Published in the fiery days of World War II, Four Quartetsstands as a testament to the power of poetry amid the chaos of the time. Letthe words speak for themselves: "The dove descending breaks the air/Withflame of incandescent terror/Of which the tongues declare/The only dischargefrom sin and error/The only hope, or the despair/Lies in the choice of pyreor pyre--/To be redeemed from fire by fire./Who then devised thistorment?/Love/Love is the unfamiliar Name/Behind the hands that wave/Theintolerable shirt of flame/Which human power cannot remove./We only live,only suspire/Consumed by either fire or fire." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Confused and befuddled
I'm not a poetry person, at all.So when my teacher assigned this book, I was skeptical to say the least.I picked it up and became so engrossed that I finished it in one sitting (which was easy to do because it was not very long).There were so many parts of the book that I simply couldn't quite understand.I had an inkling of what it meant but I felt that there were so many points left be discovered.However, this did not bother me in the least.Even though I felt slightly confused and befuddled, I still loved it.The more I read, discussed and studied certain parts, the more I loved it.
What is the book about?It is about time, love, the ever-changing world, and a God who is the still point.
My favorite part is the end, "We shall never cease from exploration..."

5-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps Eliot's True Masterpiece
Though of course far less famous than The Waste Land and some of his short poems, T. S. Eliot considered Four Quartets his masterpiece, and many fans and critics have come to agree. Consisting of four poems ("Burnt Norton," "East Coker," "The Dry Salvages" and "Little Gidding") that work on their own but also form a cohesive whole, the Quartets are Eliot's last major verse and in many ways his poetry's culmination. A profoundly personal philosophical and spiritual meditation, they essentially answer the dark questions posed by The Waste Land. Eliot had struggled with them his whole adult life, finally resolving them by embracing the Church of England. The Quartets are thus deeply religious but not in the expected sense; Biblical and other theological references are numerous, but Eliot as always alludes to a plethora of diverse writers. More importantly, they are the most personal work from a poet usually characterized as distinctly impersonal; profoundly searching, they embrace the questions haunting all intelligent minds, exploring ramifications and finally coming to a hard-won conclusion. Few poetic works are as deeply meaningful and thought-provoking; even those who disagree with Eliot cannot help admiring his reach, strength, and honesty. The poetics are also top-notch; the verse is immaculate - finely wrought and eminently quotable. Simply put, this is absolutely essential for anyone even remotely interested in twentieth century poetry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eliot's Quartets
T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets give us his most mature and profound poetic work.Deeply influenced by the theology of St. John of the Cross, his quartets provide us a probing of the human predicament along with an openness to God's radical solution to it.In "Burnt Norton," we're invited to explore the mysteries of time and history, of memory and experience, to delve deeply into the inner realms of solitude, to discover the inability of words to capture the reality of existence.Then in "East Coker" we discern something of the meaning of history; we discover the reality of spiritual rebirth.Here, Eliot says:"The only wisdom we can hope to acquire / Is the wisdom of humility:humility is endless."
In humility, in submission, we encounter the One who gives us spiritual life, who delivers us from sin's bondage and grants us goodness.The following lines, dealing with Christ's atoning work, are some of the finest I've ever read:

"The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the
smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood--
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good."

The third quartet, "The Dry Salvages," continues Eliot's quest for insight into history, for understanding of the salvation story.Much evades us, much we fail to understand,

"But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint--
No occupation, either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime's death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender."

The fourth quartet, "Little Gidding," repeats and deepens themes earlier treated.Living with the mysteries of time and history, of sin and sanctity, we're called to a contemplative, prayerful response, to a paradoxical attachment and detachment, a taking hold and letting go, all of which perfect, by cleansing, our will.Here the reality of Pentecost shines forth, for:

"The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre--
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment?Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire."

What's required of us to experience such fire?to know such cleansing?In Eliot's re-echoing of St John of the Cross's Living Flame of Love, what's required is simply this:

"A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one."

4-0 out of 5 stars most famous poem of T.S. Eliot
While T.S. Eliot's "Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock" is what he is most famous for, "The Four Quartets" merit much to reckoned with.I remember the first time I read "Burnt Norton".I was crashing at a friend of a friend of mine's place at UC Berkeley.I wanted to learn how to be poetic, and "Burnt Norton" was great help with such a matter.It is one of my favorite poems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eliot's Four Quartets
The Four Quartets by TS Eliot is a classic and should not be missed. It is of the type of poetry that evokes meanings from their hidden places in us through the use of word trails that are only partially logical. Our own emotions connect things, so when it is read, don't approach it with the usual straining to decipher the meaning. The ring of a gong lingers after it is struck, something of a parallel to how the poem works. Fascinating, too, is its approach to understanding the elusive sense of time, but it is couched more in the sensibilities of the East than the West. ... Read more

3. The Cocktail Party
by T. S. Eliot
Paperback: 204 Pages (1964-03-18)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$6.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156182890
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A modern verse play about the search for meaning, in which a psychiatrist is the catalyst for the action. “An authentic modern masterpiece” (New York Post). “Eliot really does portray real-seeming characters. He cuts down his poetic effects to the minimum, and then finally rewards us with most beautiful poetry” (Stephen Spender). ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars evergreen
THE COCKTAIL PARTY is a very good play. As a matter of fact it is a real joy listening to it and following the text. Every time I do I discover some new meaning in this great masterpiece. I am very happy with it.
G. Martini

3-0 out of 5 stars Party Crashers
T.S. Eliot is best known for his modern absurdist poetry, which deftly painted landscapes and characters both grim and gorgeous.His attempts at drama seem much more of a mixed bag.While I greatly enjoyed "Murder in the Cathedral", I was not so amused with "The Cocktail Party".

Eliot delves right into the action in Act I, with a small party of guests conversing in Edward Chamberlayne's London flat.Their host is distracted, and after all of the guests leave, he confesses his problem to an unidentified guest, that his wife has just left him.The unidentified guest mysteriously assures him that his wife will return the next day, as indeed she does.They each wind up meeting with a psychological consultant, who turns out to be the unidentified guest from the party.Through his circular questioning and the insights of their friends, he is able to convince the pair to find the answers for their ailments.

"The Cocktail Party" has been reviewed as a tale about the search for the meaning in life.If that is the case, Eliot had few answers, although some interesting questions.This snapshot of 'modern' London life feels cold and one-dimensional on the page; the reader has no sympathy or feeling for any of the characters who are questioning the meaning of their existence. The first act is by far the strongest, with the second and third acts trailing weakly off into absurdity.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absurdist Merry Go Round
The piece may be considered a precursor to Edward Albee's works.The opening is the Chamberlaynes' flat.Julia occupies the center of the storytelling.Edward is the host.Julia describes herself as a tough old woman.Edward claims his wife Lavinia is tending an old aunt in the depths of Essex.

After most of the guests exit, Edward is left with the unidentified guest.It is learned that Lavinia has actually left Edward.Edward is told to resign himself to feeling ridiculous.Alex and Peter return.Peter is concerned about his friend, Celia.Alex doesn't want Edward to be alone.

Celia then contacts Edward.She understands that Lavinia has left him.Edward fails to watch the dinner on the stove that Alex cooks for him and it is ruined.Julia returns.Celia remains and announces her interest in Edward to him.Julia's call interrupts the discussion.Her spectacles were left in the kitchen.

The unidentified guest reappears.He tells Edward he will change his mind, but he is not free to change it.Celia and Peter come again. They say Lavinia telegraphed Julia.Lavinia arrives, knowing nothing about a telegram.Peter is going to California and Celia may be going away.

Julia enters and next Alex.Everyone then leaves to accomodate the couple, Edward and Lavinia.Lavinia says she forgot all about the party.Edward tells how he invented an aunt.

In another act Edward tells a doctor how he cannot live with and cannot live without his wife.He says the death of the spirit is terrifying.Lavinia arrives and claims that she merely wanted to talk about her husband, not to meet him in the doctor's office.The doctor says that they are both too ill to enter his sanatorium.He characterizes them as self-deceivers.Celia will enter the sanatorium.

Act Three centers again on the drawing room of the Chamberlaynes.It is two years later.Julia and Alex appear and there is talk of tigers.Peter enters, having left Los Angeles three days earlier.He is a screeen writer.It is learned that Celia has died in a gruesome manner.Peter is disturbed because he doesn't think anything he does is important if Celia is dead.The physician notes that Celia has paid the highest price in suffering.Every moment is a fresh beginning.

4-0 out of 5 stars Survival kit in a schizophrenic society
In a world of appearances, a new species of peace-makers has been invented. The priest of old has disappeared. The psychiatrist has replaced him. He is there to listen to secrets, to sort out situations and to propose solutions to human problems. The very few that are worth it can become the saints of today, going to foreign desolate countries and helping people out of their difficulties, fighting poverty and diseases, bringing the christian faith to pagan people, living in suffering and dire hardship. The others are helped to adapt to our society, to be successful in this society without feeling the remorse or the fear that come along with it. They just become adaptable, supple enough to fit in a deeply dishumanized society. The psychiatrist is the go-between for such people.

This play is surrealistic and yet perfectly descriptive of reality. It is full of a new type of poetry, his poetry of love and hate, of a new type of drama, his drama of conflict-solving. T. S. Eliot manages to shift from the most superficial bourgeois drama to the deepest and serenest tragedy turned comedy. The path of these people is tragic in a way, but it ends in beauty or at least in harmony.

Yet I think T.S. Eliot would have been better inspired if he had gotten away from this bourgeois aristocratic society that is nothing but vain cocktail parties and superfluous appearances. The great poet he is could have been a better playwright.


3-0 out of 5 stars Funny-strange, not funny-haha
Although this play of 1950 was Eliot's first full-length comedy, he had made an earlier stab at the genre in the 1920s: "Sweeney Agonistes," a first-rate work that unfortunately remained unfinished and is now included in collections of Eliot's poetry."Sweeney" was a jazzy, dark comedy with originality and verve; by comparison, "The Cocktail Party" is tepid indeed.

Even judged on its own merits, however, this play falls short.The first half is enjoyable enough: an unusually well-written English drawing-room comedy with serious overtones.The play begins to fall apart with the bizarre sessions of pseudo-psychotherapy in Act 2, and degenerates into overt Christian flag-waving by the final scene.

Yet the play is still well worth reading.It is more accessible that Eliot's earlier plays and was a surprise hit on Broadway when it first opened.It is still occasionally revived today; one production featured Nancy Walker in the plum role of Julia, a seemingly scatterbrained older woman.("Salvation!The quicker picker-upper!") ... Read more

4. Eeldrop and Appleplex
by T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot
Paperback: 24 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003YMMPM2
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This title has fewer than 24 printed text pages.

Eeldrop and Appleplex is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of T. S. (Thomas Stearns) Eliot then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

5. Selected Poems
by T. S. Eliot
Paperback: 132 Pages (1967-10-18)
list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$3.78
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0156806479
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Chosen by Eliot himself, the poems in this volume represent the poet’s most important work before Four Quartets. Included here is some of the most celebrated verse in modern literature-”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” “Gerontion,” “The Waste Land,” “The Hollow Men,” and “Ash Wednesday”-as well as many other fine selections from Eliot’s early work.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Works, But Be Warned...
T.S. is not for the novice reader. If you're going to delve into this book, take a good drink with you. As I read TS's poetry, I am reminded of the style of William Faulkner, in terms of diffculty in understanding and comprehension - except in poetry. You'll read his poems over two and three, maybe ten times before any sense is made. However, once you grasp the concept, you'll never forget it. I think TS's poetry are his best works. His lectures are fantastic also. If this is your first TS work, kudos for having guts to take on TS's intriguing poetic library!! Love Story of J Alfred Prufrock is definitely my favorite of TS's poetic masterpieces :)

4-0 out of 5 stars Some of the World's Finest Poetry (In my incredibly uneducated opinion)
For some reason most poetry does not really resonate with me. One of the only poets I can stand is T.S. Eliot. His poetry is absurd and lyrical, providing just the barest glimpses at the underlying meaning. But the images stay with me.

4-0 out of 5 stars The strange and haunting visions of T.S Eliot
It took me sometime before I could genuinely come to understand and appreciate his poetry: yet, nevertheless, the writings of American-born, anglocized author T.S Eliot have always held a peculiar fascination for me, and, it seems, for a number of other writers and laypeople as well. From the personal yet somehow universal, melancholy and self-doubting music of "The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock" to the wild, multi-cultural, history spanning visions of urban chaos in "The Wasteland", Eliot's oeuvre is rich in religious, political, and philosophical themes, and played an enormous role in shaping the development of poetry in the twentieth-century (not to mention, on an obviously less signficant level, my own writing). Reading Eliot's serious poetry, however, requires a great deal of analytical prowess and is often a rather depressing experience (particularly in the beautiful "Prufrock"): nevertheless, those with patience will find that it is richly rewarding and can be appreciated on a superificial level simply for the entrancing rhythm of the music and haunting nature of the imagery, which, though informed by a number of sources, including Shakespeare, Dante, and Baudelaire, are written in a voice which is always distinctive and wholly original.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good collection of Eliot's poems
If you can only get one book of poems, get this one. It has the most important poems before "Four Quartets". If you want more,get also "Four Quartets" and "Murder in the Cathedral" or, even better,get the collected poems.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
I admit I don't know a lot about poetry. For that reason I acknowledge that my review of Eliot's work is written with deference to other reviewers, i.e., I rely on their comments after having read Eliot's work. So this review is somewhat synergistic in that I've taken their comments into account as I offer my own observations.

One of my favorites in this work is from "Choruses From 'The Rock'":

"The Lord who created must wich us to create and employ our creation again in His service.
Which is already His service in creating.
For man is joined spirit and body.
Visible and invisible, two worlds meet in man;
Visible and invisible must meet in His temple;
You must not deny the body.
...For the work of creation is never without travail;" ... Read more

6. Poems of T.S. Eliot
by T.S. Eliot
 Hardcover: Pages (1929-01-01)

Asin: B003X5C42G
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7. Collected Poems, 1909-1962 (The Centenary Edition)
by T. S. Eliot
Hardcover: 240 Pages (1991-09-25)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151189781
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Published two years before his death, this collection includes all of Eliot’s poetry that he wished to preserve.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I'm happy with this book. I enjoy reading T. S.!
Thanks to seller who shipped me the book to Argentina and arrived without delay and problem.

5-0 out of 5 stars T.S. Eliot, Collected Poems, 1909-1962
Prompt delivery and best price for new copy, and book in perfect condition.Indispensable
collection of Eliot's complete poetry, without the plays.A beautiful collection of haunting poetry.
So nice to have the poems written after "The Waste Land" as well as all the poems leading up to it.
I am ordering another copy through Berklee College of Music library for reserve for my students of aesthetics.
Wayne Wild

5-0 out of 5 stars Like an orchestra tuning up
The Wasteland is a poem that has been severely edited by the `superior craftsman' Pound. We have a poem in five sections in free verse, freighted with erudition, literary allusions, quotations, cribbing lines from old poems, Dante,Shakespeare, Spenser, Marvell, Goldsmith, Baudelaire, Wagner, Nerval,Augustine and Buddha.He mingles a line from Marvel,say, with snatched overheard conversation or a fragment of stage dialogue to produce an effect as of an orchestra tuning up.He has transformed bits and pieces of cultural scrap into a new broken,dissonant form.

We know Eliot had had a breakdown and had taken leave from work when he wrote The Waste Land. There is a merging of the personal and the political. With Eliot's desire to escape from his personality through detachment in his work, he uses impersonality. The technique where variations of mental state are depicted through various personae and voices is radically experimental. We have a fractured narrative, changing voices and tonal shifts and we cannot identify who the voices are: who `we' `us' or `I' is.Through the indolence of illness he tapped the depths of his subconscious.He emphasises the aural imagination.

We need to remember Eliot is a major dramatic poet,(his most experimental work is Sweeney Agonistes)using dramatic monologue, dramatic meditation, striving to grasp a metaphysical condition that could be called religious in a world that knew nothing of it at a time when Eliot was non-Christian. He draws on the mythical method he admires in Ulysses, but the result is incoherent and messy. We also get voices from the music-hall, like the Victorian novel, a dying form with the rise of cinema, with Eliot doing a `turn'.

What unifies everything is the subtle music of the soul, a passive undriven music of Eliot's best poetry. As Leavis said:" The unity the poem aims at is that of an inclusive consciousness: the organisation it achieves as a work of art is...an organization that may, by analogy, be called musical". Poetry to Eliot approximates to the experience of listening to music. The notes, the intellectual apparatus, the references, the allusions, need to be dropped to appreciate this poem. He said poetry could communicate even before it was understood. Beautiful poem that it is, I tend to believe that Yeats, holding to traditional forms has, in the longer run, in the 20th century, been much more influential.

After the pre-Christian modernist spurt of The Wasteland came the Eliot of the Four Quartets, the High Anglican who believed that the Church was going to lead Europe out of the disruptions and darkness of the Thirties. And then, after hed won the Nobel Prize in 1948, there was a much calmer and more confident Eliot altogether. Prufrock ,his early poem is also a great favorite with some startling imagery and sly humour.This American expatriate took to English poetry and criticism (Sacred Wood,Tradition and the Individual Talent etc.)and cultivated a new kind of innovative spoken poetry.I still think The Wasteland had a greater intensity than
his Christian poetry,once he had found belief.He was the modernist par excellence.

5-0 out of 5 stars nice book
Book in stated condition, great quality with cover sleeve intact.Prompt delivery (~36 hours).

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful additionto our collection!
This a great collection of poems from the past!If you enjoy whimsy, this is for you! ... Read more

8. Selected Essays
by T. S. Eliot
Paperback: 460 Pages (1950-10-05)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$17.01
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Asin: 0151803870
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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essays in an expanded edition of the author's major volume of criticism.
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A useful book
The Collected essays are quite useful to my study. They help readers to get further understanding about Eliot's thinking and insight to politics and society in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Also, Elito clearly elucidates his idea in logical writing which may be benefitial to readers' writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stimulating for any student of literature
T.S. Eliot was the dominant figure in modernist literature not just because of his poetry, but also because of his criticism which changed our view of English literature in ways which can still be felt today. Heresurrected the forgotten John Donne and had him eclipse John Milton asidol of poetry. He showed that Shakespeare was not the only playwright ofhis time. He was brillitant at explaining what made modernist literaturedifferent from its perdecessors.

Eliot's style is a pleasure to readcompared to what passes as lit crit today. Many of his insights may seemoutdated, but any student of literature will find fascinating views,especially about Elizabethan literature.

4-0 out of 5 stars Only a Poet?
I was very surprised that I got through this book.It is not every day that a person will pick up a collection of essays on Classical, Elizabethan and other types of literature, for enjoyments sake.Eliot really outdidhimself with his reviews of the literature that he was surrounded by.Thedefinite reads, if you do not want to go through all the essays, are theessays "Dante", "Hamlet and his Problems" and "ADialogue on Dramatic Poetry"."Dante" is a beuatiful studyon both the "Divina Comedia" and "Vita Nouva". "Hamlet" is a putdown on the play that everyone "loves"so much--with the exception of the writer of this sentence. "Dialogue" is a well crafted arguement of the essence of thepoetic plays and how they fit into modern--it was written in 1922--times. This book is pure genius, although at points rather"holier-than-thou."Eliot was a genius and he makes sure to letyou know it in his essays. ... Read more

9. Complete Poems and Plays
by T.S. Eliot
Paperback: 608 Pages (2004-10-07)
list price: US$23.72 -- used & new: US$9.57
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Asin: 0571225160
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Poet, dramatist, critic and editor, T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) was one of the defining figures of twentieth-century poetry. This edition of The Complete Poems and Plays, published for the first time in paperback, includes all of his verse and work for stage, from Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) to Four Quartets (1943), and includes such literary landmarks as The Waste Land, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and Murder in the Cathedral. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure unadulterated T.S. Eliot
A wonderful volume for those interested in T.S. Eliot. Be warned! Does not contain any annotations (other than Eliot's) or introductions. You get the texts and thats it. This is a wonderful investment, but just make sure you buy a Companion or a Study on Eliot to go along with it. Unless of course you have studied T.S. Eliot before and know what your doing. ... Read more

10. Ezra Pound: His Metric And Poetry
by T. S. Eliot
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2010-05-23)
list price: US$30.95 -- used & new: US$20.63
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Asin: 1161430865
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As the chief poems in "A Lume Spento" were afterwards incorporated in "Personae," the book demands mention only as a date in the author's history. "Personae," the first book published in London, followed early in 1909. Few poets have undertaken the siege of London with so little backing; few books of verse have ever owed their success so purely to their own merits. Pound came to London a complete stranger, without either literary patronage or financial means. He took "Personae" to Mr. Elkin Mathews, who has the glory of having published Yeats' "Wind Among the Reeds," and the "Books of the Rhymers' Club," in which many of the poets of the '90s, now famous, found a place. ... Read more

11. The "Wasteland and "Four Quartets" (BBC Radio Collection)
by T.S. Eliot
Library Binding: Pages (2004-04-05)
list price: US$26.85 -- used & new: US$12.06
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Asin: 0563523352
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These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot. The Wasteland, first published in 1922, is one of Eliot's most influential works and has long been on the syllabus for A-Level English Literature. The Four Quartets consists of four long poems, first published between 1935 and 1942. They are linked by common themes, and are individually 'Burnt Norton', 'East Coker', 'The Dry Salvages' and 'Little Gidding'. These can be thought of as definitive readings of these poems, and Telegraph radio critic Gillian Reynolds has previously called for them to be published by Radio Collection. ... Read more

12. Ezra Pound: His Metric And Poetry
by T. S. Eliot
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2010-05-23)
list price: US$30.95 -- used & new: US$20.63
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Asin: 1161430865
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As the chief poems in "A Lume Spento" were afterwards incorporated in "Personae," the book demands mention only as a date in the author's history. "Personae," the first book published in London, followed early in 1909. Few poets have undertaken the siege of London with so little backing; few books of verse have ever owed their success so purely to their own merits. Pound came to London a complete stranger, without either literary patronage or financial means. He took "Personae" to Mr. Elkin Mathews, who has the glory of having published Yeats' "Wind Among the Reeds," and the "Books of the Rhymers' Club," in which many of the poets of the '90s, now famous, found a place. ... Read more

13. T.S. Eliot: The Making Of An American Poet, 1888-1922
by James E. Miller Jr.
Hardcover: 488 Pages (2005-08-31)
list price: US$46.95 -- used & new: US$32.18
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Asin: 0271026812
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Late in his life T. S. Eliot, when asked if his poetry belonged in the tradition of American literature, replied: "I'd say that my poetry has obviously more in common with my distinguished contemporaries in America than with anything written in my generation in England. That I'm sure of. . . . In its sources, in its emotional springs, it comes from America." In T. S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet, James Miller offers the first sustained account of Eliot's early years, showing that the emotional springs of his poetry did indeed come from America.

Born in 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri, T. S. Eliot grew up along the Mississippi River, only a few miles down river from Hannibal, the boyhood home of another great American writer, Mark Twain. Miller recounts Eliot's early years in St. Louis schools and follows him in the summers as he vacationed with his family in their Gloucester, Massachusetts, home perched on the Atlantic Ocean's edge. In 1905 at the age of seventeen, Eliot left the Midwest for what would prove to be a lasting separation--attending Milton Academy in Massachusetts for one year and then Harvard for nine years, as an undergraduate and as a graduate student in philosophy. The first time he ventured abroad was 1910, when he spent a crucial year studying in Paris and forming a deep friendship with the Frenchman Jean Verdenal. It was not until 1914, when Eliot was 26 years old, that he left America for England--and found reasons to stay there permanently, becoming a British citizen in 1927.

Miller challenges long-held assumptions about Eliot's poetry and his life. Eliot himself always maintained that his poems were not based on personal experience, and thus should not be read as personal poems. But Miller convincingly combines a reading of the early work--from his earliest poems through 1922, the year The Waste Land was published--with careful analysis of surviving early correspondence, accounts from Eliot's friends and acquaintances, and new scholarship that delves into Eliot's Harvard years. Ultimately, Miller demonstrates that Eliot's poetry is filled with reflections of his personal experiences: his relationships with family, friends, and wives; his sexuality; his intellectual and social development; his influences.

Publication of T. S. Eliot: The Making of an American Poet marks a milestone in Eliot scholarship. At last we have a balanced portrait of the poet and the man, one that takes seriously his American roots. In the process, we gain a fuller appreciation for some of the best-loved poetry of the twentieth century. Eliot may have lived most of his life abroad, but he was and continued to be an American poet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Close-up of an enigmatic young man
This is a fascinating book that throws a flood of light on matters about which one had long been curious. Eliot's youth was intense and privileged, a crisscross of stimuli shaping a great poet, who here more than ever is seen as the product of American soil. There are "paths not taken" and "jolly corners" on every side and one could project from this biography a hundred possible Eliots. That the author of so revolutionary as poem as "Prufrock" (at age 23) should devote years to a thesis on F. H. Bradley is only one of the paradoxes of this career.

The puzzles of Eliot's sexuality are illuminated by the provision of a social context in Bostonian Bohemia (which gave Eliot a rather bad reputation among his Harvard elders). He had trouble loving, let alone falling in love with, women: "I should find it very stimulating to have several women fall in love with me -- several, because that makes the practical side less evident." Pacing city streets at night, he was tormented by restless urges, often perverse and obscene. His scabrous wit was laced with ancestral puritan contempt for sex.

The figure of Jean Verdenal, the most lovable in these pages, looms as being for Eliot what Hallam was for Tennyson, and we also meet a brilliant young Yorkshireman, Karl Henry Culpin. Both died in the Great War in 1917. "The Waste Land" offers itself to be read anew as an "anthem for doomed youth."

Eliot's impulsive, unconsummated and catastrophic marriage was the mutual gravitation of two radically conflicted people who thought they understood one another and could each be the other's salvation -- "the awful daring of a moment's surrender" made possible only by not giving themselves time to think.

Throughout the story one is aware of Eliot's stubborn, quirky intelligence, processing the material of his life with unfailing virtuosity and self-confidence, and able to take deep plunges into many domains of "knowledge and experience" (notably in three years' study of Sanskrit and Eastern religion under Woods, Lanman and Anesaki).

Miller commits some odd solecisms, calling the Pantheon (rue Soufflot) the Parthenon, attributing "pray for us at the hour of our death" to the Lord's Prayer, referring to "Wilde's opera, Salome," but his archeology of the poet's youth deals in a sensitive and scholarly way with its sources, making up for various Aspernian holocausts, and he does not exceed the bounds of sensible speculation in his biographical decipherment of the poems. ... Read more

14. Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot
by T. S. Eliot
Paperback: 324 Pages (1975-11-10)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$2.99
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Asin: 0156806541
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Thirty-one essays-categorized as “essays in generalization,” “appreciations of individual authors,” and “social and religious criticism”- written over a half century. This volume reveals Eliot’s original ideas, cogent conclusions, and skill and grace in language. Edited and with an Introduction by Frank Kermode; Index. Published jointly with Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
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Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars T.S. Elliot
Wonderful book, a treasure; it arrived quickly and in beautiful shape.I highly recommend this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Tradition read again with the years
When I was in graduate school Eliot was considered the great literary critic of the twentieth century, the person who set the tone . His understanding of the Literary Tradition and how each new author altered the way we read the whole was part of the ' religion' of literary studies. So too his essays on Dante and on the Metaphysicals ( his placing Donne at the center of the Tradition) and his famous reading of Hamlet in which he argued that there was emotion in excess of the objective situation, i.e. that there was no appropriate 'objective correlative'. As a graduate student I somehow went along with the crowd and did not have much to say about Bleider with a Burbank,and Bluestein with a Cigar' i.e. the culturally anti- Semitic Eliot. That Anti- Semitism along with a certain racism and anti- Feminism are too we have learned parts of the Literary Tradition .So some of the most beautiful and great works of literary creation are marred by moral failings. How ironic that Eliot who was a spiritual teacher in time should have been so faulty in this way .

4-0 out of 5 stars Ascerbic, crisp and correct-- brilliant essays.
An excellent selection of essays by Eliot. He is at his best in many of these-- ascerbic, crisp and correct. I am constantly amazedby the number of people who have opinions about the ideas and theories of Eliot, but who have never read his essays themselves. I suggest that before taking umbrage at what he is supposed to have said, a student of the modernists should at least read a bit of what he did say.

This selection is broken into two categories: Literary Criticism and Social and Religious Criticism. Essays such as "Tradition and the Individual Talent" and "What is a Classic?" (compare and contrast with G. Stein in "What are Masterpieces?") are particularly worth the time to read.

I wish that Kermode had included more of the social and religious essays and that he had not excerpted as heavily as he did throughout the book. I would personally rather read a longer book consisting of complete essays than having such a high percentage of the selection consisting of excerpts. Of the meagre three essays in the social and religious section, two were excerpted rather than being published in their entirety. Too bad.

5-0 out of 5 stars What criticism should be.
Eliot's reputation has taken a beating in the last 20 years. He has been charged with anti-semitism, racism, elitism, and even misogyny. All of these charges are basically true. Nevertheless, as a critic his judgements are sound and dead-on. Read either "Traditon and the individual Talent" or "Dante" from this book and tell me if you think I am wrong. The book is worth the price for these two essays alone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worthy collection
I found this book to be a useful compendium of essays that are usually scattered or incompletely represented in anthologies.It's an excellent supplement for a course on Eliot's work or to learn more about his criticalperspectives and how they shifted over time.Very worthwhile. ... Read more

15. A Reader's Guide to T.S. Eliot: A Poem-By-Poem Analysis (Reader's Guides)
by George Williamson
Paperback: 248 Pages (1998-02)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.94
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Asin: 0815605005
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing wrong with the way this book was written
"No one has examined the poems more sensitively or set down his results more lucidly.His analyses of 'The Waste Land' and of many other poems are the most complete, reliable, and forthright yet written; they are the product of a deep and long knowledge of Eliot's work."

--Richard Ellman

2-0 out of 5 stars Cull your highschool essays from here..
I've not been well pleased by this book. Though some of its insights are valuable, and though it is somewhat well researched and fairly comprehensive, it's a chore to read. The author has a style that borders on the incomprehensible -- one feels that he is one of these people who uses tortuous turns of phrase in the mistaken belief that they'll make him seem sophisticated. As a result, the text is disjointed and difficult, its arguments meandering and ill-defined. Williamson has some good ideas, and probably knows what he means, but doesn't get his points across clearly -- it's almost as though he's trying to emulate Eliot's style (or to merely restate the poetry as prose) and, frankly, one often feels as though Williamson has ideas above his station.

In short, this has all of the hallmarks of high school essay-writing -- perhaps the author has spent too long in the company of his students. Using 'difficult' language is neither big nor clever if it serves only to obfuscate meaning; here, the wealth of double-negatives, run-on sentences and unexplained, bewildering conjecture is simply not helpful to the reader of an already difficult poet. If the reader works at it, he or she will gleam some benefit from this book - but there are far better, and better written, works out there. If in doubt, take a look at the excerpts on this site -- it may be that the rather purple prose will appeal to some readers; but I regret that where I had hoped for intelligent discourse, I instead found awkwardly adolescent writing that thought itself more clever than it actually was. ... Read more

16. A Guide to the Selected Poems of T. S. Eliot
by B.C. Southam
Paperback: 288 Pages (1996-08-15)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$2.00
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Asin: 0156002612
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A unique guide designed to help the readers of Eliot’s personally chosen collection, Selected Poems. Specific information about the poems and their development is included, as is a chronology of the poet’s life and work.
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Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Imperfect, but a great help for beginners to Eliot
In A GUIDE TO THE SELECTED POEMS OF T.S. ELIOT the critic B.C. Southam has prepared an ideal guide for students new to T.S. Eliot's poetry. Southam is adamant about seeking to help students who have already been attracted by Eliot's work to form their own appreciation and understanding.

Though I've been a fan of T.S. Eliot for many years, I learned quite a bit from Southam's notes. All four "Ariel Poems" - which are deceptively simple and difficult for students to penetrate - are covered in depth. The often-neglected "Chorus From The Rock" finally gets substantial attention here.

My largest complaint about the work is that it is indeed a guide only to the material which appears in Faber & Faber's SELECTED POEMS. As a result, the extremely tricky and allusive FOUR QUARTETS is not covered (too late), nor is Eliot's early turn at drama "Sweeney Agonistes" (not strictly poetry).

Another problem is that not all of the book has been updated after great discoveries in Eliot studies - such as Valerie Eliot's edition of the manuscript of "The Waste Land". Southam makes some assertions which are clearly informed from the latest evidence, but other material looks as if it has remained unchanged since the book's first edition.

In spite of its flaws, I think Southam's work is a great resource for school and university students who find Eliot sublime but opaque. I'd recommend it to any beginning reader of that great poet's work.

4-0 out of 5 stars An in-depth guide that is easy to read...
I am a college student who happens to be interested in the Modernist period of literature.I really enjoy T.S. Eliot's poetry, but like many others, agree that reading it can be a tedious and laborious project to undertake.This is what makes it wonderful though, isn't it?Southam's book really gives a reader new perspectives and may even validate thoughts that one may have about "The Waste Land" and other poetry written by Eliot.The way that Southam uses language to give insight into the poetry is really easy to understand and a pleasure to read whether you are interested for academics or pleasure.

4-0 out of 5 stars Aid to Eliot Comprehension
I am a student, and had to present an explication of T.S. Eliot's _The Waste Land_.This work of Eliot's is entrenched in laborious detail that takes the reader from the text to the footnotes again and again.It becomes quite confusing and a bit irritating at times.This book, _The Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot_, was extremely helpful in that it construes Eliot's use of footnotes, and the allusions made within the work.It helps to clarify the questions lingering in the reader's mind, and allows for a more critical reading of the poem.I found it to be an insightful aid to my presentation, and would recommend it to anyone who desires an indepth study on any of Eliot's work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Recommended for serious readers
First of all, this is a very difficult and laborious book to read.But it will be a very fulfilling experience for those who are seriously interested in poetry.Reading this book certainly shows us the range of allusionsthat T. S. Eliot used in his compositions.The variety of texts that T. S.Eliot mentions in "The Wasteland" reveals us the depth ofspiritual struggle that the author has went through in order to write thepoem.There are references to the Bible, eastern philosophy, literaturefrom the antiquity to the present.There are also reference to someearlier writings by the author.Reading the commentary has shown me therichness to T. S. Eliot's writings that are otherwise difficult to see. With the careful analysis of "The Waste Land, one sees that it is notsimply about a struggle of modern life, but it encompasses wide range ofphilosophy and literature that are involved in the spiritual struggle onemust face in this modern world.

4-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for the curious literature student
Basically a book explaining the best known Eliot poems line by line, this is despite the premise no "York Notes" book. It demands attention and dedication of the student, but it is worth the amount of time one putsinto it. It aims at the undergraduate/graduate student (I could be wrong -having English as your second language inhibits you somewhat - so perhapsHigh School students in English-speaking countries could find it usefulalso) who is curious as to what Eliot's poetry "means" and ofwhat material it is comprised... ... Read more

17. Landscape as symbol in the poetry of T. S. Eliot
by Nancy Duvall Hargrove
 Paperback: 234 Pages (1978)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$136.38
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Asin: 0878050779
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars "Filled with fancies and empty of meaning"
Couldn't agree more with the above review. I found this trite, dull, and hugely uninspiring. Telling us repeatedly that Eliot was "brilliant" and constantly explicating the poems as Christian sermons is not at all helpful. Telling us that "because landscape functions as a major symbol, lack of knowledge about the actual sources, as well as insufficient or even incorrect knowledge, can distort or even reverse its symbolic import", is even less helpful -- particularly when, as it turns out, she herself gets her sources wrong (cf. the mistaken identification of the Lady in The Dry Salvages, later clarified by Helen Gardner).

If there is any merit in this book it lies in the nice little anthology of soundbites the author has gleaned from other, more able critics.

Oh, and the photos of course :p

1-0 out of 5 stars Ms. Hargrove has a "flair for the obvious."
After almost every observation made by Hargrove in this work, I felt the need to let out a resounding cry of "DUH!!!" (not "DA" as the poet instructs). ... Read more

18. The Waste Land and Other Writings (Modern Library Classics)
by T.S. Eliot
Paperback: 272 Pages (2002-01-08)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$4.12
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Asin: 0375759344
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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First published in 1922, "The Waste Land" is T.S. Eliot's masterpiece, and is not only one of the key works of modernism but also one of the greatest poetic achievements of the twentieth century.A richly allusive pilgrimage of spiritual and psychological torment and redemption, Eliot's poem exerted a revolutionary influence on his contemporaries, summoning forth a rich new poetic language, breaking decisively with Romantic and Victorian poetic traditions.Kenneth Rexroth was not alone in calling Eliot "the representative poet of the time, for the same reason that Shakespeare and Pope were of theirs.He articulated the mind of an epoch in words that seemed its most natural expression."

As influential as his verse, T.S. Eliot's criticism also exerted a transformative effect on twentieth-century letter, and this new edition of The Waste Land and Other Writings includes a selection of Eliot's most important essays.

In her new Introduction, Mary Karr dispels some of the myths of the great poem's inaccessibility and sheds fresh light on the ways in which "The Waste Land" illuminates contemporary experience.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars A Terrible Disappointment
I generally like Mary Karr's work, but I have to say that I was terribly disappointed when this book arrived.

Issue 1: POOR SELECTION.I chose it to teach to my undergraduates in a Modern Poetry class, thinking it would have the essential Eliot poems, plus a good collection of his essays. In fact, it has Eliot's early poems and The Waste Land, but has nothing after that, no "The Hollow Men," no "Four Quartets," no "Ariel Poems."I'm guessing that the press decided to put out a cheap edition of those Eliot poems that were in the public domain and that they could therefore get for free.For anything published later, you are out of luck.

Issue 2: NO FOOTNOTES.Eliot is a very difficult poet, and undergraduates need some help in understanding him.This edition has no notes of any sort outside of those that Eliot appended to "The Waste Land."

Issue 3: NO TRANSLATION OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE PASSAGES. Outside of the fact that readers will miss many of Eliot's diffucult references and allusions, Eliot's poems and essays assume that the reader can read French, Greek, and Latin, and those passages are presented to the reader without a translation.

All in all, this feels like a quickly-thrown-together edition that is poorly selected and reader unfriendly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed
perfect condition, fast shipping, and had ALL the Eliot poems I needed in additon to The Waste Land!! Thanks!

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful collection and engaging introduction by Mary Karr
I just finished a Modern Library anthology of T.S. Eliot's writings entitled simply "The Waste Land And Other Writings".Beginning with an entertaining if somewhat controversial introduction by Mary Karr, the next 234 pages provide a glimpse into Eliot's creative and critical mind.Being an autodidact, I confess ignorance about where Mr. Eliot stands in the esteem of academia today, but I was able to easily find - thanks to the internet - plenty of current syllabi showing that his works are still being discussed.

My interest in Catholic writers during what I consider the New Golden Age of Western Literature (1920 - 1970) led me to this book.I was not disappointed.You may not agree with my designation or its range of years but you will perhaps agree with me that, in a macro sense, this prior era is our nearest peak in literature.It was modernity barely alive after the coronary thrombosis of World War I.American and British education just prior to this gilded age had been at its peak in terms of quality if not quantity, and a high school graduate from 1890 to 1920 would have been a master of English, a worthy apprentice of Latin and Greek, and more than a little acquainted with French.Compared to today's students, most of them would appear to be polyglots.

Not only that, but the culture then was fairly stable (no culture is perfect) and uniform, based on the now-tired hyphenate: Judeo-Christian principles.This does not mean that people were more religious then; simply, that they consciously or unconsciously played by the cultural rules.The stigma of "sinner" was greater for both those who believed and those who didn't, but for those who didn't, it didn't mean much outside the public eye.If this seems an oversimplified explanation, I plead innocence by reason of my education, if you'll tolerate the joke.In any event, when World War II came along and finished ole Modernity, up flew the phoenix called Post-Modernism.

The old modern may not have worried much about the application of Judeo-Christian principles to his individual life, but he did place some value on the macro effects of that culture.He transgressed, perhaps, but he did not proselytize his sin; he did not want his transgression to become accepted in the culture because he saw the bigger picture.With postmodernism, there is no big picture, "there's only you and I and we just disagree" or so the pop song goes.

Keeping the discussion at its current level of abstraction, I would define postmodernism as modernism without the Judeo-Christian framework.Modern man has always transgressed, but with our new era, he can transgress and be accepted at the same time.He can be ignorant of the facts and still be a teacher.He can make vice virtue and virtue vice and the world still turns.There is a love of progress without any clear idea of the destination; there is no accountability because there is no reality to account for; and, after putting the puny human animal in his insignificant place in the universe, most postmodernists then exalt this humanity, especially the individual human, to the center of everything.All of which makes for entertaining ideas but strangely empty minds if by empty we mean to say unable to comprehend the truth.

Take, for instance, the essay by Syracuse University's Mary Karr that opens the book.Professor Karr writes with clarity and humor, but there are deficiencies that a critic could not fail to notice.Early on, she praises Eliot for his avant-garde techniques while acknowledging that there are some who, while they admit he's still avant-garde, "eschew actually reading Eliot because he's a dead white guy who represents the old guard."You can't get past the irony here.Her reason for allowing Eliot to be characterized this way becomes apparent when, concerning the semi-explanatory notes that Eliot included with his poem "The Waste Land", she writes: "It's a little-recognized fact that the controversial notes were an afterthought...."Later, "Even knowing the randomness of the notes' insertion, you still can't ignore them wholesale.There they squat in the text.But once you stop cowing in their shadow, you can decipher them as whimsical rather than smug."Still later, they are "capricious and shifting in both purpose and attitude."And there are many more of the same.(Karr is not alone; I read an analysis by Nancy K. Gish in her book "The Waste Land - A Student's Companion to the Poem" that also gave short shrift to Eliot's notes.)

By devaluing the notes, Karr fashions her analysis using one of postmodernisms favorite tools: a linguistic theory that places the word on the page above the intent of the author.She makes it clear that, for her, "The Waste Land" is a much better poem without bothering too much with what Eliot was trying to communicate.She does this because Eliot was far more conventional in his personal life than perhaps she and her readers would like to admit, and his later scholarship and the essays that came out of that scholarship lend an authority that works against the postmodern desire to turn "The Waste Land" into a life creed; and because Eliot ultimately rejected the latent nihilistic world view that others found there and renewed his devotion to his Catholic faith.To read a poem as a juxtaposition of words that communicate some inchoate feeling or desire without reference to the author's meaning is to miss the point.Not so, says the postmodernist, there is no point to miss.

One final note about Karr's essay: she appears to be aware that many of her reader's will be indoctrinated by postmodern narcissism when she writes "Not to read it [The Waste Land] is to pretend that we of this twenty-first century have drawn ourselves whole (M.C.Escher-like) from our own heads.It's to ignore history, taking on faith that what now seems beautiful or important or right...has no source other than this time, this place."Well said.I would only add that "reading" involves discovering, as much as is possible, the author's intent otherwise we shall still be drawn whole from our own heads.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fear and Trembling
Yeah, "The Waste Land" is one of those poems that everyone has to read because it so forms our current cultural milieu. And it should be read for that reason. I think, however, that most people, because they read it for that reason, only respect the poem (and Eliot) and don't necessarily like it. They don't always feel it.

I'm one of that other kind of reader, though, that just loves this poem. I love it because I find in it such a profound articulation of a lostness, a despair, that I think we all, at times, feel. And I'm one of the readers that see Eliot in the poem as working through the despair, sewing a couple of small seeds of hope. "The Waste Land" is a poem that I find myself reaching for to keep me going.

I particularly love this edition of Eliot's poems because it contains Mary Karr's essay that is essential for anyone who reads this poem "with the soul."

The rest of the selection of poems is excellent as well. The inclusion of many of Eliot's most important essays, particularly "Tradition and the Individual Talent," also makes this edition valuable. For multiple reasons, this is a must-have.
... Read more

19. T. S. Eliot: A Guide for the Perplexed (Guides for the Perplexed)
by Steve Ellis
Paperback: 184 Pages (2009-08-25)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.96
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Asin: 184706017X
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This is a concise and clear guide to the complexities of T. S. Eliot's poetry, with easy to follow structure and chapters on Eliot's major texts, all in chronological order. T. S. Eliot is one of the most celebrated twentieth-century poets and one whose work is practically synonymous with perplexity. Eliot is perceived as extremely challenging due to the multi-lingual references and fragmentation we find in his poetry and his recurring literary allusions to writers including Dante, Shakespeare; Marvell, Baudelaire and Conrad. There is an additional difficulty for today's readers that Eliot probably didn't envisage: the widespread unfamiliarity with the Christian belief and culture that his work becomes increasingly steeped in. Steve Ellis introduces Eliot's work by using his extensive prose writings to illuminate the poetry. As a major critic, as well as poet, Eliot was highly conscious of the challenges his poetry set, of its relation and difference to the work of previous poets, and of the ways in which the activity of reading was problematised by his work, so by taking his prose as a starting point helps to clarify his poetic writing.The guide also offers an overview of key critical debates concerning Eliot's work. "Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material. ... Read more

20. Murder in the Cathedral
by T. S. Eliot
Paperback: 96 Pages (1964-03-18)
list price: US$9.00 -- used & new: US$3.86
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Asin: 0156632772
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A dramatization in verse of the murder of Thomas Becket at Canterbury. “The theatre as well as the church is enriched by this poetic play of grave beauty and momentous decision” (New York Times). “Within its limits the play is a masterpiece.... Mr. Eliot has written no better poem than this and none which seems simpler” (Mark Van Doren, The Nation).
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Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Poetic dramatization of Beckett's Martyrdom
This short play is wonderfully absorbing. Written for the Canterbury festival T.S Eliot did a superb job of creating dramatic tension from a familiar historical event. Written in 2 acts with an interlude the play can be enjoyed in a single sitting and is filled with memorable language. Not much else to say.

3-0 out of 5 stars Maybe not T.S, Eliot at his best?
A more famous version and maybe better is Becket.
A verse play that fails by me...
I think what I miss by comparison is Henry II in this play.
The point in terms of history is that the power of the church
in English history will decline from here.
Henry II may have been in the wrong, but he never really
gave the command for his friend's death as history seems to have it("Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?").
The Medieval Church was at times as powerful as kings.
An Archbishop was second only to the Pope in that power
over the churches: he was literally a prince of God on earth.
So the crime of killing such an one was not a light one.
Was Thomas Becket a martyr?

4-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
The classic play on the death of Beckett.Eliot does an exceptional job of building up the hero - only to leave you really wondering at the end.It is a great lesson that all actions have a justification in the eyes of the actor - and little is black and white.

5-0 out of 5 stars Murder in the Cathedral
In addition to writing poetry, Eliot wrote several plays.I've never seen one o the produced on stage, and I understand they're probably better read than seen.I think Murder in the Cathedral, which recounts the murder of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, is his finest drama.
Basically, the story deals with Thomas' spiritual transformation from a courtier to the king, who once enjoyed all the dividends of earthly success, to a churchman willing to die for the Faith.Having returned from exile in 1170 determined to obey the Pope rather than the King, Thomas struggles first with four tempters who seek to dissuade him.Pleasure and temporal power he easily resists.He's discerned what Eliot seeks to clarify in this play:only God truly shapes history, only God has rightful power.
But an unexpected fourth tempter challenged Thomas more deeply.He urges Thomas to become a martyr, to become a celebrated saint, and thus to control human events from the tomb.To this graver temptation, however, Thomas says no:

"Now is my way clear, now is the meaning plain:
Temptation shall not come in this kind again.
The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason.
. . . . . . . . . .
Servant of God has chance of greater sin
And sorrow, than the man who serves a king.
For those who serve the greater cause may make the cause serve them,
Still doing right:and striving with political men
May make that cause political, not by what they do
But by what they are."

With that discernment (forever needed by those of us who so easily misread our motives because our actions seem good), the archbishop resolves to follow God's way, the way of self-surrender and death.That death comes when three knights arrive, determined to implement the expressed desire of their king, and kill Thomas in the cathedral.Their dialogue illustrates the radical difference between the ways of the Church and those of the world.Thus, when his subordinate priests seek to lock the church doors and save his life, Thomas says:"Unbar the door! / You think me reckless, desperate and mad./ You argue by results, as this world does, / To settle if an act be good or bad."But the way of the Church is the way of Christ, the way of suffering and death.So he declares:

"I am here.
No traitor to the King.I am a priest,
A Christian, saved by the blood of Christ,
Ready to suffer with my blood.
This is the sign of the Church always,
The sign of blood.Blood for blood.
His blood given to buy my life,
My blood given to pay for His death,
My death for His death."

Death comes, the death of a martyr and saint.It's the stuff of which the Church is made . . . the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.Murder in the Cathedral reminds us of that enduring truth.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Read Aloud
"Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." ~Helen Keller

I first heard of Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury last month while reading The Pillars of the Earth. I decided to do a little research on him and noticed that there was a book about him on my classic to-read list. Perfect, I thought now I can learn more about the martydom of Becket and mark off one of the classic plays on my list at the same time.

The book is a play and a poem. At first, I found it difficult to get into. I found it easier to focus by reading aloud and imagining that I was watching it acted out in a play. It was pretty easy to read and understand once you got into it, although I would hate to try reading this without any prior knowledge of Becket's life. The only sections that I found annoying were the parts voiced by the chorus. They seemed to be repetitious and rambled on; however, I could still appreciate the poetic prose.

Here are a couple parts that I enjoyed:

- I really liked when the priests tried to convince Becket to run away and hide and he responded, "Peace! Be quiet! Remember where you are, and what is happening; no life here is sought for but mine, and I am not in danger: only near to death."
- I also liked the end when the knights turn to the crowd representing England after murdering Becket. They each give a reason for murdering him. I appreciate how the book is about the martyrdom of Becket, yet Eliot wanted people to understand both sides of the story. I didn't previously feel like I understood completely why King Henry II wanted him dead but these supplications by the knights helped make sense of things.

This book is not for everyone (not everyone enjoys poetry); however, it is short and informative and is worth reading. T.S. Eliot wrote the entire play in verse and it needs to be read aloud to be fully appreciated. I am glad the book was short because I am not sure how much poetry I can handle at once (and I don't know if I want to find out); however, I would like to see the play performed some day. ... Read more

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