Thursday, September 26, 2013

Poet T.S. Eliot was born - 1888

On September 26, 1888, poet Thomas Stearns "T.S." Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Eliot was a Harvard graduate and also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and Oxford. He permanently relocated to England in 1914. The following year, he married Vivian Haigh-Wood, but the marriage was unhappy, partly due to her mental instability. She died in an institution in 1947. He became a naturalized British citizen in 1927. Eliot began working at Lloyd's Bank in 1917, writing reviews and essays on the side. He founded a critical quarterly, Criterion, and quietly developed a new brand of poetry. His first major work, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, was published in 1917 and hailed as the invention of a new kind of poetry. His long, fragmented images and use of blank verse influenced nearly all future poets, as did his masterpiece The Waste Land, published in Criterion and the American review The Dial in 1922. While Eliot is best known for revolutionizing modern poetry, his literary criticism and plays were also successful. In 1925, he accepted a job as an editor at Faber and Faber, which allowed him to quit his job at the bank. He held the position for the rest of his life. Eliot lectured frequently in the 1930s and 1940s, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. He married his assistant, Valerie Fletcher in 1957. The couple lived happily until his death on January 4, 1965 in London.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Literary Legends of the British Isles. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following links:

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