TS Eliot: Public Poet, Private Agony

“TS Eliot was fastidious about the publication of his work and – as editor at Faber & Faber – he was able to oversee the publication of his poems. After writing The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, and a clutch of modernist poems, Eliot became increasingly conservative and religious. He wrote little poetry after 1930, and wrote no significant poetry during the last 20 years of his life. Between 1930 and 1945 he wrote a book of children’s verse (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats), a single suite of modest-length poems (Four Quartets) and some verse plays. All except the plays are in this new two-volume collection, The Poems of TS Eliot.

“Here you will find all of Eliot’s verse collected with extensive footnotes, minor textual errors corrected and bibliographical data collated. It gives us the definitive and complete collection. The Waste Land (1922) is republished in final and draft forms. The original draft was much longer than the final text. ‘Thank God [Ezra Pound] reduced a mess of some 800 lines to about half its length’, Eliot wrote in a letter on 1 December 1932. Over 200 pages of small-print footnotes help to illuminate this famously complex poem…”

Read the full review online here on Spiked, 25 February 2016: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/ts-eliot-public-poet-private-agony/18067#.Vs-Cg_l_s5k