T.S Eliot Katy stoeber block 5

Early life

T.S Eliot also known as Thomas Stearns, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1888. Eliot attended Smith Academy. He later went to Milton Academy.


Eliot began going to Harvard in 1906 for a bachelors degree of arts. After graduating, Eliot was as a philosophy assistant at Harvard for one year. In 1911 to 1914 he went back to Harvard. But due to the start of WW1 He moved to England and never was able to finish his exams for his Ph. D. He took a job in England with his wife Vivienne as a school teacher and then a bank clerk. Him and his wife later divorced after a very unhappy marriage.


i have measured out my life in coffee spoons


Eliot published his first Iconic poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," in 1915. Which appeared in Poetry in 1915. Eliot was a very modern poet for his time and wrote many influential poetry at the time. He also was a very influential critic and said "the poet must become more and more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language to his meaning." referring to modern poetry. His poetry style made people have to comprehend foreign things and think in new ways. An example is his poem published in 1919 '‘The Hippopotamus’'. It is very symbolic and almost comical but the underlying message is very serious. ‘'The Hippopotamus’' is a poem criticizing the corruption of the church but if you hadn't have known that, the poem would seem to be in favor of the church. His poetry was known for its use of a monologue and use of figurative language. He also wrote some plays as a playwright. He also suffered from a nervous breakdown because of stress of his divorce and unhappy marriage and wrote "The Waste Land" which was about the ongoing war and his extreme exhaustion.

this is the way the world ends. not with a bang but with a whimper.


One of his major influences was Ezra pound. Ezra really liked Eliot's work and pressured him to publish some of it which resulted in the publication of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”. Also while he was at Harvard he studied and read the works of Jules Laforgue. But I believe his major influence was Tennyson. "The Wasteland in many ways appears a spiritual rewriting of Tennyson's In Memoriam" (George P. Landow, 1). A lot of people say that Eliot first works were similar to Tennyson and even imitated his work. As he grew older and so did his writing style he strayed away from the influence of Tennyson.

T.S Eliot

Work cited

"T. S. ELIOT". The Poetry Archive.

"T. S. Eliot" Poets.org. Academy of American Poets.

Landow, George. "Tennyson's influence on T. S. Eliot". The Victorian Web. 8 June 2007.

Domestico, Anthony. "T.S. Eliot". The Modernism Lab at Yale University. 2010

Biography.com Editors. "T.S. Eliot Biography". A&E Television Networks. 1 September 2016


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