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After its publication in the early s, Eliot would write occasional minor verses, but much of his creative energy was directed into the theatre, where he wrote a series of attempts to bring about a renaissance in English verse drama with mixed results.
Eliot wrote that the last three poems that make up Four Quartets are patriotic poems — but then he crossed out this statement.
This does leave us with the question, though: Following his split with his wife in the early s, T. Eliot had become friends with John Hayward, a hugely erudite and charming but also prickly man who was confined to a wheelchair he suffered from muscular dystrophy, the effects of which had become apparent from an early age.
Hayward would be, if you like, the Ezra Pound of Four Quartets: Eliot would later live with Hayward in a flat in London for eleven years between and So the starting-point of the poem was a very personal experience.
But he found in this small Somerset village, the home of his ancestors one of whom, the sixteenth-century writer Thomas Elyot, he quotes in the poemthe necessary inspiration for him to continue writing poetry. The result was a runaway success: Why did this poem strike such a chord with the British public at this time?
With the outbreak of WWII in SeptemberBritain became united against a common foe, but there was also, understandably, an uncertainty about the future, which only intensified with the start of aerial bombings over the country the following year. Would your house still be standing in the morning?
More to the point, would you still be alive? Or would Britain be conquered by the enemy? He now had two poems he could slot into a sequence, what would become Four Quartets.
And Four Quartets does fit together remarkably effectively as a sequence of poems. But also note the formal similarities between the four poems. Each is linked thematically, in that each of them roughly corresponds to one of the four classical elements: It is fitting that the final poem in the sequence ends with fire as its thematic element: This relates not only to Eliot personally but also to Britain as a nation: Although there are four poems comprising Four Quartets, each of these four poems comprises five sections.
We opt for summary and analysis in our four follow-up posts. With this call to attend to the form of the poems in mind, let us consider the structure of each of the Four Quartets.
Indeed, all four are remarkably similar, demonstrating that Eliot was working to a pattern, or framework.T. S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” was published in and depicts the devastation and despair brought on by World War I, in which he lost one of his close friends.
According to the poet Ezra Pound, the poem represents the collapse of Western civilization. Quite literally the central character of the poem, Tiresias also carries strong connotations both through literary tradition and the way Eliot portrays him.
Because he is a prophet, the poem can be read as a kind of prophesy. Also, he is sexless, an old man with wrinkled breasts. Water: Water appears in the poem in two key ways: drowning and drought. T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" has been called "one of the most important poems of the 20th Century" and it might actually be one of the most important poems ever.
Like, ever. In its original draft, the poem was almost twice as long as the published version. An overview of Eliot’s classic poem Four Quartets was T.
S. Eliot's last great achievement as a poet. After its publication in the early s, Eliot would write occasional minor verses, but much of his creative energy was directed into the theatre, where he wrote a series of attempts to bring about a .
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