T. S. Eliot, the great Modern and three of his famous poems
S. Eliot, the great modern icon who questions society’s superficial and insubstantial rituals and norms in such a way that it became one of the features of Modernism.
In the growing crisis resulting from the huge industrialization and the devastating war, when the European minds are losing their spiritual sense and humanity, he started to go to a different track. He was the one who showed the hollowness of the so- called modern society. Through his works, he is able to express the degenerated society and yearns for a better tomorrow where humanity, spirituality and the traditions will be established again. In this article, we’ll talk about three of such important works in the following-
The Wasteland, his greatest work
The Wasteland is regarded as the central work of modernist poetry and the magnum opus of T. S. Eliot. The poem was first published in 1922 and first appeared in the journals like The Criterion and The Dial. The entire poem is divided into five significant parts like The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water and What the Thunder Said.The poem is rich with numerous allusions from different scriptures and incidents from literature which give us a fair idea about his massive talent and knowledge.
‘April is the cruelest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring / dull roots with spring rain.’
The Hollow Men, a reflection of the post-war Europe
From the very beginning, The Hollow Men Reflects the post-war Europe where humanity was entirely devastated and engulfed in despair. The poet describes that the post-war world is inhabited by the defeated people, who lack humanity, spiritual sense and wisdom. The speaker finds himself to be a part of the empty people who are like scarecrows, what they utter is meaningless. Overall, it was a dead country filled with cactus. Moreover, the poem alludes to Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ in the start with an epigraph-
‘Mistah Kurtz- he dead. / A penny for the Old Guy.’
Preludes, a collection
Preludes are the collection of four different poems, labeled as one to four. It appeared in the debut poetry collection named, Prufrock and Other Observations (1917). The poems were set in an unnamed city where the people live monotonous lives, restricting themselves to their daily routines, which made the place a void and meaningless land.
‘The conscience of a blackened street / Impatient to assume the world.’
So, this was a very short description for Eliot’s mastery of poetry. Honestly, words are just not enough to describe such a great talent like him.