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The Helpfulness of T.S. Eliot’s Critical Ideas in Understanding his Own Poetry

Salvador Montaner-Villalba

Abstract


At the present paper, we aim at explaining T.S. Eliot’s own poetry considering his own essayson the art of writing poetry. Thomas Stern Eliot (1888-1965) was a British essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, being regarded “one of the twentieth century’s major poets” (Bush, 1999) in the English language. Eliot’s poetry was seen as representative of the Modernist movement, beginning with The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufock(1915) and followed by some of the best-known poems, including The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930) and Four Quartets (1943), among others. He was also known for his work as a playwright, although he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 due to his pioneer contribution to nowadays poetry.T.S. Eliot also made significant contributions to the field of literary criticism, strongly influencing the school of New Criticism. It is, in fact, this arena of the literary criticism the main topic which will be dealt throughout the whole paper. In the current essay, we will explain Eliot’s critical ideas, in other words, what he conceives of poetry and the art on writing poetry, and how his own critical ideas influence on his own poetry. The poet introduces the idea that the value of a work of art must be viewed in the context of the artist’s previous works. He also covers the idea of an objective correlative which shall be dealt with in this paper. We should also consider that Eliot revived, when writing his own poetry, the interest in the Metaphysical Poets as well as in Shakespeare and, specifically, in Hamlet. After having explained the existing relationship between his own criticism and his own poetry, we will conclude the current paper by explaining what Eliot conceives of the concept of communicating.

Keywords: English literature; Poetry; Modern poetry; Literary Criticism;art of poetry; Metaphysical Poets.


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References


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