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Selected Poems of T. S. Eliot (Faber paperbacks) [Kindle Edition]

T.S. Eliot
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As a poet, editor and essayist, T. S. Eliot was one of the defining figures of twentieth century poetry. This selection, which was made by Eliot himself, includes many of his most celebrated works, including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land.

Other volumes in this series: Auden, Betjemen, Plath, Hughes and Yeats.


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Product Description

Book Description

This edition of the Selected Poems of T. S. Eliot is one of six wonderful poetry collections published to celebrate Faber's 80th anniversary.

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 & Gwyer, later Faber & 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 details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 228 KB
  • Print Length: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Poetry; New edition edition (29 Oct. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VFPS04
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #146,343 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My First 28 Jun. 2010
By Blink
Format:Paperback
This was the first book of poetry I ever bought. This exact edition. Wandering into Waterstones aged 14, my only previous experience with "adult" poetry being (because I was a moody teenage girl, and it's somewhat required of us) Sylvia Plath, I was initially attracted to "The Waste Land" because I thought it sounded dark and grand and apocalyptic. That, and because I was pretty sure Eliot wrote The Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats that I vaguely remembered reading as a child.

I was right on both counts. But it was hard going. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" was difficult, but It took me four tries to get through the first section of "The Waste Land". I felt frustrated. I remember reading the whole poem through and simply saying "...What?" aloud to my room at three in the morning. But still, phrases leapt out at me: "A heap of broken images, where the sun beats...", "...I could not speak, and my eyes failed. I was neither living nor dead, and I knew nothing"... "Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison"... Although I didn't understand it, it was so beautiful that I had to keep reading, and gradually, meaning came. As I grew, so did my understanding of the poem, and my knowledge of the literature that Eliot slips into his work: when I first realised that "But at my back I always hear / the sound of horns and motors" was a reference to Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress" I felt like an archaeologist discovering a link between two ancient cultures on opposite sides of the globe. The first time I spotted Hamlet in there it felt like coming home. And now, even though I can recite passages by heart and wrote my A-level coursework on "The Waste Land", I still find something new whenever I read it.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A warning about the book description 9 April 2008
Format:Paperback
I give the book itself 5 stars. I don't have any comments to add to those already made, but did want to point out one thing:

don't be misled by the 'product description', as I was, which you get when viewing the details for this book on Amazon, which states:

Book Description
Key Features-
Study methods
Introduction to the text
Summaries with critical notes
Themes and techniques
Textual analysis of key passages
Author biography
Historical and literary background
Modern and historical critical approaches
Chronology
Glossary of literary terms --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

This description DOES NOT describe the book - none of these are included (there are a few notes on The Wasteland, but that is it).
If you click on the word 'paperback' it takes you to another page showing a book of York Notes - this is what the 'product description' is describing.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Striking 8 Jan. 2007
By R.J.W89
Format:Paperback
Eliot's poetry is not for the faint hearted. This collection consits of a range of his poetry from 1917 to 1930.The most famous of course, 'The Waste Land' is all in here. Anyone familiar with the Modernist movenment of the 1920s will easily see why 'The Waste Land' is a firm contender for one of the best pieces of Modernist Literature. It depicts a world that is decaying, spine-less, fruit-less and corrupt. 'The Waste Land' is a very personal analysis of Modern post-war life and I think it's easy to feel that his poetry can be slightly insular, in that it's quite difficult to understand what Eliot is trying to convey to the public, if anything.

However, there are some easier poems in here, with 'The Love song of J.Alfred Prufrock' coming in as one of my top pieces of poetry because of Eliot's striking word play.

I'd really recommend you read this because I think although it's rather personal to Eliot himself, I think it's equally personal to the individual reader, and there will be something in here that attracts you personally to his poetry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My review is specifically about the presentation of the published book, not on the content! I was looking for a beautiful real ink-and-paper edition of TS Eliot, and in our day and age of ipads and kindles and unlimited free content, the quality of , well, paper and ink, was important for me to justify using up one more space on my space-constrained bookshelf. The standard is Everyman editions... and this Faber & Faber 80th anniversary did not live up. Paper is thick and low quality, the overall "feel" of the book is decidedly cheap. I ended up returning the book to Amazon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening 18 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A must for all lovers of literature. These poems may seem baffling at first, but after having explored them in detail you will literally begin to see everything around you in a different way. Eliot was a genius whom arguably defined the Modernist movement and the post-war condition. I would have liked to have seen the Four Quartets included as well, but I suppose he personally chose this selection himself. The edition itself is compact and stylish, but without an introduction or notes on the poems except for 'The Waste Land'.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an orchestra tuning up 7 Jun. 2010
By technoguy TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
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 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.The title comes from Jessie L.Weston's From Ritual to Romance on the grail legend. The allusion is to the wounding of the Fisher King and the subsequent sterility of his lands.

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.This also comes after the First World War.

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.
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