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Complete Poems and Plays T.S. Eliot Paperback – 7 Oct 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (7 Oct. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571225160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571225163
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 4.5 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 170,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'Each year Eliot's presence reasserts itself at a deeper level, to an audience that is surprised to find itself more chastened, more astonished, more humble.' Ted Hughes"

Book Description

The Complete Poems and Plays of T. S. Eliot, containing such masterpieces of twentieth-century poetry and drama as 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock', The Waste Land, the Four Quartets, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, Murder in the Cathedral, and much else besides.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Martin Turner HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The poems of TS Eliot are a spiritual journey from the cynical through the barren to an expected rebirth and the rise of a rich, mature and positive voice. The highlights of the journey are The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, Ash Wednesday, Journey of the Magi and Four Quartets. But the scenery by the way-side such as Portrait of a Lady, the Hollow Men, is worth a long visit. Even the minor and unfinished poems have their moments.
As a bonus, this volume contains all of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Eliot is here in off duty mode, having fun and allowing his genius for rhythm and language to seep into our minds without demanding our attention.
The plays get better as they go on. Many people only know Eliot's plays for the perennial school classic Murder in the Cathedral. This is a pity because it is the least typical. The Coctail Party is probably the best. To understand what Eliot was doing, though, you really need to read some of his critical writing on drama and on religion.
This book lacks some very necessary apparatus. Translations of the cryptic Greek and Italian quotations would be helpful. Of course, enormous volumes have been written detailing all the references in the Waste Land, and we are better off not having them in this master copy.
Ultimately, this is the most economical and useful way of acquiring Eliot's published creative works - but remember that Eliot the critic was as great as Eliot the poet, and probably greater than Eliot the playwright. To understand him, read first his critical writings before you go on to what others have written about Eliot.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is great to be able to purchase a complete works from the author's original publisher. One does not expect full annotation, great typography or the best binding but the sad fact is that the pages of this volume fall out at the mearest hint of repeat reading, as happened for me with Four Quartets. If you want to actually read Eliot find something else. The book can't be faulted, but the product just doesn't do the job.
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By RR Waller TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
There are many anthologies and selected works of Eliot's poems but there is nothing quite like having all of his plays and poetry in one text and this one is ideal. It is also the most sensible and economical way to buy his plays and poems; buy individual anthologies would cost considerably more and, undoubtedly, have omissions.

The collection is vast and, reading through the contents, one sees writings one had forgotten. Like one other reviewer, one omission I think worth correcting in future editions is the lack of translations of some of his more obscure quotations but this is a small criticism.

There are many critical works worth keeping handy, e.g. "A Student's Guide to the Selected Poems of T. S. Eliot" [Paperback]
B.C. Southam, ISBN-13: 978-0571170821.

I would also recommend buying the CDs of Eliot reading his own work. Others do it well but none as good as TS himself.

T.S. Eliot Reads: "The Wasteland", "Four Quartets", and "Other Poems" [Audiobook] [Audio CD] ISBN-13: 978-0007202638
T.S. Eliot Reads: "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" ISBN-13: 978-1907907050

Also recommended: "The Waste Land Facsimile: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts" [Paperback]
T.S. Eliot , Valerie Eliot ISBN-13: 978-0571254507 - it seems to bring the creative process nearer

Recommended
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This rating should be superfluous. The book is a new edition (in the right format and editing, chosen a long time ago by Eliot himself). The poems belong to the canon of the most beautiful in the world - maybe only comparable with Shakespeare, but written in nearly contemporary English and therefore more accessible.
For me personally, what makes this poetry (as well as the plays, which are jewels in their own right) so wonderful, is that Eliot succeeds by his use of language to make the hidden mysticism in human life felt, without saying it in so many words.
His poems are the product of the ultimate religious experience, and every sensitive reader (religious or not does not matter) can feel this - thus it is rendered universal.
I give this book to all my friends - my own copy is already 30 years old and worn to pieces but I would not exchange it for another; it is one opf my dearest possessions and always on my bedside table because it never disappoint as a source of wisdom and insight.
If you want to please a really sensitive friend, this is the ultimate present - the wisdom of life.
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Format: Paperback
Great to have a complete collection and faber should be congratulated but.... As a previous reviewer noted, there are no translations provided. This is a major problem as entire poems are in french (I think) and other poems have quotes and introductions in French, Greek, Latin, Italian(?), etc.
Glad I got this collection but will now need to get other editions with the poems and passages translated.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the only complete works by Eliot and should be in the library of every person interested in Literature. Faber have done an excellent job in compiling this work.
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This book contains all the plays and poems of T.S. Eliot. Some of the works are quite complex to understand and some are written in Latin and French and some Greek. It would have been nice if the foreign language ones could have been translated in a separate chapter. A good set of explanatory notes would also have been useful. A highly interesting book for any student of the poets.
An interesting read to make you think. Wish the foreign language poems were translated so they can be appreciated.
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