Young Eliot: From St. Louis to The Waste Land

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A groundbreaking new biography of 1 of the 20 th century's most vital poets

On the 50th anniversary of the dying of T. S. Eliot, the award-winning biographer Robert Crawford provides us with the 1st quantity of a finished account of this poetic genius. Young Eliot lines the lifetime of the 20 th century's most crucial poet from his early life in St. Louis to the booklet of his innovative poem The Waste Land. Crawford offers readers with a brand new knowing of the principles of a few of the main extensively learn poems within the English language via his depiction of Eliot's childhood―laced with tragedy and formed via an idealistic, bookish family members within which wisdom of saints and martyrs was once taken for granted―as good as via his exploration of Eliot's marriage to Vivien Haigh-Wood, a girl who believed she enjoyed Eliot "in a manner that destroys us both."
Quoting widely from Eliot's poetry and prose in addition to drawing on new interviews, information, and formerly undisclosed memoirs, Crawford exhibits how the poet's heritage in Missouri, Massachusetts, and Paris made him a lightning rod for modernity. so much impressively, Young Eliot reveals the best way he accessed his internal life―his anguishes and his fears―and mixed them along with his omnivorous analyzing to create his masterpieces "The Love tune of J. Alfred Prufrock" and The Waste Land. eventually, we adventure T. S. Eliot in all his soft complexity as pupil and lover, penitent and provocateur, banker and philosopher―but so much of all, Young Eliot exhibits us as an epoch-shaping poet suffering to make paintings between own disasters.

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Applicants have been saved ready to cause them to anxious. Then they have been led ‘into this superbly lighted room, and sitting earlier than us have been George Lyman Kittredge, the nice pupil; William James, Professor of Psychology at Harvard; Josiah Royce, the thinker; Hugo Münsterberg, the thinker, i believe was once additionally there; and Charles Townsend Copeland, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric’. wondering of applicants was once performed separately. Tom’s jury could were equally constituted, and his questions can have been as unforeseen as these of his fellow-poet candidate John corridor Wheelock, whose interrogation was once opened through Kittredge: ‘Spell “syzygy”. ’ I couldn’t spell it. He then acknowledged, ‘That’s spelled S-Y-Z-Y-G-Y. ’ He checked out the opposite inquisitors, and acknowledged, ‘This candidate doesn’t look very promising to me. ’ Then one of many different professors … acknowledged to me, ‘Would you please tell us to which of Longfellow’s sisters he addressed that lovely line, ‘Hail to thee, blithe spirit, poultry thou by no means wert. ’ and that i used to be pressured, simply because I knew after all that this used to be from Shelley’s ‘Ode to a Skylark,’ and it can look impolite to seize a professor in a mistake of that kind, so I needed to declare that I wasn’t accustomed to that both. Then they regarded very uncertain. Then the 3rd query was once: ‘could God make rocks larger than He might raise? ’ I’d by no means heard this question prior to. i've got heard considering that it’s occasionally been utilized by boys to stump a Sunday university instructor. yet there didn’t look any resolution to that. So I simply stated I couldn’t resolution it. All unanimously agreed – James, Munsterburg, Royce, Kittredge, Copeland, and whoever else used to be there: ‘This guy isn't really healthy for admission to the Signet. I’m sorry that we’ve subjected him to this ordeal’ and so forth. ‘Next candidate, please. ’ and that i retired within the such a lot dreadful kingdom of disgrace and annoyance. Then, while they’d all been listened to and been subjected, i assume, to a similar humiliation, punch bowls have been introduced in, and that i was once welcomed with the remainder of them as a brand new member. forty eight Tom, having awarded his ‘part’, was once definitely initiated. After the inside track was once damaged to them they had been admitted in the end, new participants have been anticipated to drink from a bowl, a ‘loving cup’, and every bought a purple rose which he used to be anticipated to press and look after sooner than ultimately returning it to the membership after he had released his first e-book. this present day the Signet Society at Harvard numbers between its proudest possessions Tom’s rose. during this membership Tom fraternised together with his fellow classman Robert Canby Hallowell (later to paintings for the Century journal) and with Thomas Powel, editor and secretary of the Lampoon; his good friend Tinckom-Fernandez, who turned President on the suggest; and different pupil poets, together with Eyre Hunt, quickly to be editor of the per 30 days, Haniel lengthy and Rogers MacVeagh (both suggest men). simply as worthy used to be the truth that unique lecturers combined with pupil participants. The Signet used to be a spot for inter-generational dialog in addition to undergraduate dialogue and luxurious reunions the place participants and alumni could quaff Moët et Chandon, sing (‘Champagne?

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