The burnt-out ends of smoky days

We began April with a quotation from T S Eliot; one of the great modernist poets,  he wrote some of the most original and striking poetry of the 20th century. To get a feel for more of  his work, try these suggestions:

  • Read the Preludes. ( This is where the wonderful phrase in the title of this post comes from.)
  • Watch and listen to The Waste Land, his greatest poem.
  • Read Australian author Stephen Carroll’s brilliant novel, The Lost Life, for an interpretation of the private life behind Eliot’s poetry.
  • Have a look at the biography Painted Shadow: the life of Vivienne Eliot for the story of the scandals in Eliot’s first marriage. Eliot’s first wife is said to have influenced his poetry as both his ‘muse’ and his ‘torment’.
  • Read this annotated version of the famous poem The Hollow Men (This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper)

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