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(11/28/2008) The Waste Land & Other Poems by T. S. Eliot. New York. 1998. Penguin Books. Edited & With An Introduction and Notes by Frank Kermode. keywords: Literature Poetry America. 108 pages. Cover painting by Pieter Brueghel the Elder 'Triumph of Death', c. 014243731x.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   While recovering from a mental collapse in a Swiss sanitarium in 1921, T. S. Eliot finished what would become the definitive poem of the modern condition, and one that still casts a large and ominous shadow over twentieth-century poetry. Built upon the imagery of the Grail legend, the Fisher King, and ancient fertility cults, The Waste Land is both a poetic diagnosis of an ailing civilization and a desperate quest for spiritual renewal. Through pastiche and collage Eliot unfolds a nightmarish landscape of sexual disorder and spiritual desolation, inhabited by the voice of an unconscious that is at turns deeply personal and culturally collective. This edition collects all of the poems published in Eliot's first three volumes of verse, including 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' 'Portrait of a Lady,' 'Gerontion,' 'Sweeney Among the Nightingales,' and 'Whispers of Immortality. ' Along with THE WASTE LAND, as Frank Kermode writes in his introduction, 'the early poems establish what the later poems confirm: taken together, they constitute a strong claim for Eliot's primacy among twentieth-century poets in English. '. T. S. Eliot is one of the most important and influential poets of the twentieth century. His unique and innovative evocations of the folly and poetry of humanity helped reshape modern literature, with poems such as 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' included here, and most notably, the title poem, THE WASTE LAND, his groundbreaking masterpiece of postwar decay and redemption. Since its publication in 1922, The Waste Land has become one of the most widely studied modernist texts in English literature. Gathering together many of Eliot's major early poems, distinguished Harvard scholar and literary critic Helen Vendler presents an invaluable portrait of T. S. Eliot as a young poet and examines the artistry and craft that made him a Nobel laureate and one of the most significant voices in modern verse.

 

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