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Collected poems, 1909-1962 [Hardcover]

T. S Eliot
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1963
Published two years before his death, this collection includes all of Eliot's poetry that he wished to preserve.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Faber (1963)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151189781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151189786
  • ASIN: B0000CLVNN
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,297,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1888. He was educated at Harvard, at the Sorbonne in Paris, and at Merton College, Oxford. His early poetry was profoundly influenced by the French symbolists, especially Baudelaire and Laforgue. In his academic studies he specialised in philosophy and logic. His doctoral thesis was on F. H. Bradley.

He settled in England in 1915, the year in which he married Vivienne Haigh-Wood and also met his contemporary Ezra Pound for the first time. After teaching for a year or so he joined Lloyds Bank in the City of London in 1917, the year in which he published his first volume, Prufrock and Other Observations.

In 1919 Poems was hand-printed by Leonard and Virginia Woolf. His first collection of essays, The Sacred Wood, appeared in 1920. His most famous work, The Waste Land, was published in 1922, the same year as James Joyce's Ulysses. The poem was included in the first issue of his journal The Criterion, which he founded and edited.

Three years later he left the bank to become a director of Faber and Gwyer, later Faber and Faber. His Poems 1909-25 was one of the original titles published by Geoffrey Faber's new firm, and the basis of his standard Collected Poems 1909-1962. In 1927 he was received into the Church of England and also became a British citizen. Ash Wednesday was published at Easter 1930.

His masterpiece Four Quartets began with 'Burnt Norton' in 1936, continued with 'East Coker' in 1940, 'The Dry Salvages' in 1941 and 'Little Gidding' in 1942. The separate poems were gathered together as one work in 1943.Eliot's writing for the theatre began with the satirical 'Sweeney Agonistes' fragments.

In 1934 he wrote the London churches' pageant play 'The Rock', the choruses from which are preserved in Collected Poems, and the next year he was commissioned by the Canterbury Festival to write Murder in the Cathedral, about the martyrdom of St Thomas à Beckett. The Family Reunion followed in 1939, when he also published his children's classic, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the jacket drawn by Eliot himself. (The Possum was Eliot's alias among friends). He later wrote three more verse plays, all of which were premièred at the Edinburgh Festival: The Cocktail Party, The Confidential Clerk and The Elder Statesman. A film of Murder in the Cathedral was shown at the Venice Film Festival in 1951.

Eliot's most important literary criticism is collected in Selected Essays 1917-1932, which he enlarged in 1951. There are a number of other volumes of lectures and essays, among them The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, For Lancelot Andrewes, On Poetry and Poets, and two works of social criticism - The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes Towards the Definition of Culture. Eliot was appointed to the Order of Merit in January 1948 and in the Autumn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He married for the second time in 1957, to Valerie Fletcher.

Eliot died in January 1965. There is a memorial to him in Westminster Abbey, beside those to Tennyson and Browning. His ashes are in St Michael's Church, East Coker, the Somerset village from which his ancestor Andrew Eliot emigrated to America in 1667.

After his death his widow edited the long-lost original manuscript of the The Waste Land and a volume of his letters. She also commissioned editions of his early poems Inventions of a March Hare and his Clark and Turnbull lectures The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats provided the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's dance musical Cats, which has been performed all over the world for the past 25 years.

Product Description

About the Author

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1888. He was educated at Harvard, at the Sorbonne in Paris, and at Merton College, Oxford. His early poetry was profoundly influenced by the French symbolists, especially Baudelaire and Laforgue. In his academic studies he specialised in philosophy and logic. His doctoral thesis was on F. H. Bradley. He settled in England in 1915, the year in which he married Vivienne Haigh-Wood and also met his contemporary Ezra Pound for the first time. After teaching for a year or so he joined Lloyds Bank in the City of London in 1917, the year in which he published his first volume, Prufrock and Other Observations. In 1919 Poems was hand-printed by Leonard and Virginia Woolf. His first collection of essays, The Sacred Wood, appeared in 1920. His most famous work, The Waste Land, was published in 1922, the same year as James Joyce's Ulysses. The poem was included in the first issue of his journal The Criterion, which he founded and edited. Three years later he left the bank to become a director of Faber and Gwyer, later Faber and Faber. His Poems 1909-25 was one of the original titles published by Geoffrey Faber's new firm, and the basis of his standard Collected Poems 1909-1962. In 1927 he was received into the Church of England and also became a British citizen. Ash Wednesday was published at Easter 1930. His masterpiece Four Quartets began with 'Burnt Norton' in 1936, continued with 'East Coker' in 1940, 'The Dry Salvages' in 1941 and 'Little Gidding' in 1942. The separate poems were gathered together as one work in 1943.Eliot's writing for the theatre began with the satirical 'Sweeney Agonistes' fragments. In 1934 he wrote the London churches' pageant play 'The Rock', the choruses from which are preserved in Collected Poems, and the next year he was commissioned by the Canterbury Festival to write Murder in the Cathedral, about the martyrdom of St Thomas à Beckett. The Family Reunion followed in 1939, when he also published his children's classic, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the jacket drawn by Eliot himself. (The Possum was Eliot's alias among friends). He later wrote three more verse plays, all of which were premièred at the Edinburgh Festival: The Cocktail Party, The Confidential Clerk and The Elder Statesman. A film of Murder in the Cathedral was shown at the Venice Film Festival in 1951.Eliot's most important literary criticism is collected in Selected Essays 1917-1932, which he enlarged in 1951. There are a number of other volumes of lectures and essays, among them The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism, For Lancelot Andrewes, On Poetry and Poets, and two works of social criticism - The Idea of a Christian Society and Notes Towards the Definition of Culture. Eliot was appointed to the Order of Merit in January 1948 and in the Autumn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He married for the second time in 1957, to Valerie Fletcher. He died in January 1965. There is a memorial to him in Westminster Abbey, beside those to Tennyson and Browning. His ashes are in St Michael's Church, East Coker, the Somerset village from which his ancestor Andrew Eliot emigrated to America in 1667.After his death his widow edited the long-lost original manuscript of the The Waste Land and a volume of his letters. She also commissioned editions of his early poems Inventions of a March Hare and his Clark and Turnbull lectures The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry. Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats provided the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber's dance musical Cats, which has been performed all over the world for the past 25 years. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic - buy now! 1 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Summarising the numerous strengths, wonders and delights of this collection in a way that properly reflects the scope, magnitude and genius of T.S. Eliot's poetry is an impossible task. Yet, ever since being given a page of 'The Waste Land' to analyse at A-Level (when I remember my initial reaction was very different - less exultation, more indignation!), Eliot's poetry fascinated me and still continues to fascinate; its wonderful images, characters and ideas foregrounding the chaos of modernism in illustrating the turbulent climate of the early 20th century .
Critics of Eliot damn his work for its difficulties - and one cannot deny that its complicated diversions into technical and structural experimentation, mythical reference and multilingual commentary do initially intimidate. The beauty of Eliot's poetry is that it grows with you. Crib notes in the margins of my original copy show how many interpretations are offered by Eliot's strange and strangely affecting verse, and how working with, and analysing, the poem over a period of time reaps rich rewards.
The timescale of work in this collection is also fascinating. Eliot's early poems, such as "The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock" and "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" sow seeds of malcontent, followed by the bawdy disturbing works of Poems 1920. 'The Waste Land' is, predictably but genuinely, a great meeting point of all Eliot's talents in its depiction of despair and disenchantment, but maybe not as fine a work as 'Four Quartets' which appears towards the end of the collection - a four part work written through the mid-30s to early forties. Eliot's conversion to Christianity in the late twenties infuses his later poems, giving them a sense of faith, hope and clarity which is seldom found in his earlier works.
This is a modern classic - buy it and love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plain and simply Eliot 12 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a great collection of poetry. Words cannot begin to begin describing how excellent T.S. Eliot in putting his thoughts into words, we'd be here for a long time.
The book itself contains the works from Prufrock to Quartets, chartering the motions of his writing career. It is a must if you require the works as they are, untranslated. The only footnotes come with The Waste Land, but even they are brief and require some further research (google should be sufficient but libaries still exist y'know).
Brilliant for the price. One of my favourite collections of poetry.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there a better modernist poet? No 17 May 2006
Format:Paperback
The word genius is over used, but T.S. Eliot was definitely a genius, this is amply reflected in his poetry. Eliot was and still is the dominant figure in modernist poetry, his complicated poetic structure would I'm sure make this a nightmare to analyse if studied, but at the same time is also wonderful to read. It was poets like Eliot showing the world that you didn't need tight, rigid structures and rhymes to create great poetry, indeed try reading some of the poetry out loud, it's beautiful to just listen to. Many will find most of the joy of Eliot's poetry in how wonderful it sounds, and how brilliantly crafted it is, as the meaning of most of the poems will be buried under so many obscure references to things that it will make it impossible to work some of them out.

'The Waste Land' is the most famous Eliot poem, and understandably so, in my opinion, the book is worth buying for this poem alone. 'The Waste Land' is divided into five parts and contains some wonderful, thought provoking imagery throughout, whilst at the same time being flooded with references to obscure pieces of literature from throughout the ages. You will need to buy a set of notes if you want to understand all of the references, but the sense of satisfaction you get from recognising something Eliot is referring to is immense, and you have to read it through first time unaided. (I got a couple of the Hamlet references, that was about it.)The poem is wonderfully crafted and a joy to read, and an even greater joy if you understand it.

But he was by no means a one-poem-wonder, I would highlight 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' as being the pick of the rest of the poems, along with 'The Four Quartets,' a four part poem that is absolutely wonderful.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars T S Eliot's Insomnia 16 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
T S Eliot's poem explores some 'flaneur' wandering like an insomniac refugee about the 'reaches' of some unnamed city, where even a prostitute hesitates to ply her trade in the poet's direction...just as in The Love song of J Alfred Prufrock, the poet seems isolated, sexually unfulfilled and possessed of an hallucinatory imagination bordering on the surreally febrile!

The brilliance of the poem seems to shine out from the unreliable lighting of the talking street lamps whose presence gives the poet a structure to his ostensible progression. Perception is thus connected to these pools of light and shade, with moral implications and existential questions lurking at the borders and hinterland of the poem .

Memory has become grotesque and disfigures all the shapes of the past. Things return to taunt us with their loss of symmetry. We have killed our hope?

Time erodes and returns the past to the wandering poet so damaged that the present becomes infected by cynicism and distrust. The perceptual bewilderment of Eliot's poet makes the final return of the poet to his solitary room with solitary toothbrush, a relief, even if the isolation of the verb 'mount' communicates teh bleakness of sexual unfulfillment and despondency. ( Anticipating Mr Bleaney by Larkin) The house has a 'real' number and appears welcomingly itself in the midst of the somnabulistic, nocturnal hauntings of a man very much on the verge of some mental collapse.

I admire the unsettling subversion of the phrase: ' prepare for life.' How can we prepare for our own inevitable death when we are spectators or bystanders on our own lives? Reading this poem today I could detect Larkin's shared sensibility too. Ennui as a refuge, style and linguistic choice. The resigned affection of the 'little lamp'..chattering malignancies embedded in the daily.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sublime
Picasso, Debussy, Eliot.
Not much in common as men, but each represents the pinnacle of early 20th century Art.
Wonderful. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul A. Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars lacks Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
TS Eliot - collected poems

TS Eliot was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1948, bracketed by the novelists Andre Gide and William Faulkner. Read more
Published 2 months ago by tallmanbaby
5.0 out of 5 stars T S Eliot Collected Poems - A Review by Barry Van-Asten
No appreciation of English poetry is complete without dipping into T S Eliot (1888-1965) and the Collected Poems by Faber is the perfect poetic pond! Fantastic!
Published 4 months ago by Mr. B. P. Van-asten
5.0 out of 5 stars Includes the four quartets
I wanted this, so I could view the Four Quartets, but also a bit more if I felt inspired. This book contains a good selection. Cheaper than buying The four quartets on their own!
Published 5 months ago by H. Petre
2.0 out of 5 stars A good value collection of Eliot's poems
This is a well assembled full volume of the (awful) poet's published verse from the youthful beginning to the end of his career. Read more
Published on 12 Feb 2008 by Lou Knee
5.0 out of 5 stars An "essential book" that really is essential
Eliot can be annoying. I'm an emotional person, and the lack of emotions in these poems (apart from his last poem, addressed to his 2nd wife: "lovers whose bodies smell of... Read more
Published on 3 July 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars An essential part of an essential Modernist
As the man whose artistic output (including his poems, plays, and criticism) gave a credible voice to Modernism and pulled together many of its disparate elements Eliot deserves to... Read more
Published on 1 Dec 1999
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