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Complete Poems and Plays T.S. Eliot Paperback – 7 Oct 2004
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"'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"
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.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
-It is his complete work
-The book itself is built and presented impressively.
-The paper colour, the fonts the size of the book is very appealing
Recently any book I buy is either downloads, paperback,.. there is no inviting feeling towards the media they present, which has got nothing to do with the content.
I come from work and the book invites me to read, yet another poem
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.
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.
An interesting read to make you think. Wish the foreign language poems were translated so they can be appreciated.
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
Glad I got this collection but will now need to get other editions with the poems and passages translated.
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