domingo, 1 de febrero de 2015

T S Eliot's Anniversary

On January 4th we remembered T S Eliot's 50th Death Anniversary.

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was an American poet, essayist, publisher, playwright and literary and social critic. At the age of 25 he emigrated to England and renounced his American citizenship in 1939. 

He considered himself "classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic  in religion"
He was a representative of the Modernism writing masterpieces such as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" ( 1927, full of Symbolism and with Dante's influence ) "The Waste Land" (1922, The poem is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation,  a poetic counterpart to a novel published in the same year, James Joyce's Ulysses)  or "Ash Wednesday" (1927,  Eliot's "conversion poem" showing his spiritual concerns and his new Christian faith). He often wrote in blank verse and his poetry showed a revolution in his age.

“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these.”
― T.S. Eliot

His seven plays are also well known "Murder at the Cathedral", "The Cocktail Party", "Family Reunion" all of them full of poetry and influenced by Shakespeare and other Elizabethan writers. 

He was Ezra Pound's friend and had a great influence on other writers such as Virginia Woolf and others. 
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.  
Here you can read some quotations from his poems

April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land 

For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
― T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Others  

In the following video you can listen to a short biography by the BBC

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