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Inventions of the March Hare: T.S. Eliot Poems, 1909-1917 [Paperback]

T. S. Eliot , Christopher Ricks
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1996
A few months before The Waste Land was published in 1922, T. S. Eliot gave the manuscript to his benefactor in New York, John Quinn. At the same time, he sold to Quinn a notebook containing about fifty poems that he had written during his twenties. It was not until 1968, three years after the poet's death, that the double cache was unveiled within the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. The early poems, from the notebook and the accompanying leaves, are now at last published, all but a few of them for the first time. Of great interest, both technical and human, they reveal the young Eliot in the process of creating himself and his art: ruminating on the blind alleys and vacant lots of the city, exploring the perplexities of the modern age (doubt, ennui, indifference, dismay, affectation), and experimenting with a variety of poetic forms (urban pastoral, lyric, satire, the prose poem). Complementing the new poems, which include several bawdy verses, are "richly informative drafts" (The Observer, London) of many of Eliot's best-known poems, among them "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (with a previously unpublished fragment), "Portrait of a Lady" (signally and subtly different from the published text), many versions of "Whispers of Immortality, " and "Ode" (not reprinted since 1920).


Product details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Thomson Learning; 1st Harvest Ed edition (1 Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005876
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 690,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The sardonic 'Complete Poems of T.S. Eliot' suggests an early date for this teasing title-page (prior to Prufrock and Other Observations, 1917, and a fortiori prior to 1919 since the Notebook contains no poems of 1919-20). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Collection of Lonely Verse 21 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Eliot is known to undergrads and postgrads as the genius poet of "Four Quartets" and "The Wasteland;" a man who wrote some of the greatest and most confusing verse of the twentieth century. While the rewards of exploration into such poems are certainly great, it is perhaps a more human need for emotional comfort. The above, professional reviews focus on the small section of bawdry verse in the work, but the majority of this collection is devoted to the great, early emotional works of Eliot. The only familiar poem to most readers will probably be "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (with a previously unpublished extension) and a more perfect banner work could not have been chosen. The poems are beautiful, concise, imagistic, painful, somber, but most of all lonely. Here in his early years Eliot is not living in an academic world, simply the world--with love, hypocrisy, doubt, joy, and emptiness. To read the greatest poet of our centu! ry describe that which is greatly profound is a privilege, here to read him describe what is simply profound is a gift. I recommend this book over all other collections of Eliot's or anyone else's verse. If you were not one of the 11th graders who discarded Prufrock as a helpless reject, and instead saw him as a deeply lonely individual much like ourselves, this volume is for you. It will touch your life and make you just that much more complete.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Quintessential Collection of Lonely Verse 21 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Eliot is known to undergrads and postgrads as the genius poet of "Four Quartets" and "The Wasteland;" a man who wrote some of the greatest and most confusing verse of the twentieth century. While the rewards of exploration into such poems are certainly great, it is perhaps a more human need for emotional comfort. The above, professional reviews focus on the small section of bawdry verse in the work, but the majority of this collection is devoted to the great, early emotional works of Eliot. The only familiar poem to most readers will probably be "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (with a previously unpublished extension) and a more perfect banner work could not have been chosen. The poems are beautiful, concise, imagistic, painful, somber, but most of all lonely. Here in his early years Eliot is not living in an academic world, simply the world--with love, hypocrisy, doubt, joy, and emptiness. To read the greatest poet of our centu! ry describe that which is greatly profound is a privilege, here to read him describe what is simply profound is a gift. I recommend this book over all other collections of Eliot's or anyone else's verse. If you were not one of the 11th graders who discarded Prufrock as a helpless reject, and instead saw him as a deeply lonely individual much like ourselves, this volume is for you. It will touch your life and make you just that much more complete.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Missing Link 27 Oct 2009
By elfin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's not Eliot's best work of course, but that's not why I bought it. I ordered this collection to better understand Eliot before he became Eliot. I found a few books of his very early poetry in my local university's library, but nothing for the years between childhood and Prufrock. I think I've gained a little more insight into one of my favorite modern poets.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eliot's Sketchbook 10 Dec 1999
By Gerard Pacillo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
These are first sketches that prefigure the later and greater work and, as such, they may be useful as an intro to the "Waste Land." Those with no desire to return to that godforsaken place will find these discrete bits more digestible and not lacking in Eliot's uniquely haunting music. Among my favorites are "Interlude in London" and "Oh little voices in the throats of men." For those interested in tracing the voices in Eliot's "echo chamber," there are copious notes detailing his allusions and borrowings.If you are a serious Eliot connoisseur, you will be tickled by his long-lost bawdy verse.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventions of the March Hare 9 Aug 2012
By jess2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this book. I've always been a fan of T. S. Eliot, so I was very happy with "Inventions of the March Hare". It contains all of the famed Prufrock poems, as well as other well-known and previously unpublished poetry. There are also explanatory notes after the poems, and it even includes letters written by Eliot. I highly recommend "Inventions" for any Eliot, or poetry, fan.
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