Discuss T.S Eliot chief qualities as a modern poet or Prose Poetry

T.S Eliot

 Introduction:  T.S Eliot is one of the most famous modern poets. His poetry is philosophical and full of ideas, but it is difficult and intellectual. Language is made difficult with symbols, pun, Paradox, ambiguity and fusion of images. It is also highly suggestive. further, there are allusions that only learned can understand. According to F. R. Leavis, His poetry makes a complete break from the 19th-century tradition of easy poetry. It is peculiar. it is marked by the following qualities:

  • The first characteristic of his poetry is its built-in obscurity. His meaning stands behind a Chinese wall raised by him. There are several causes of his hidden meaning. The first cause is the suppression of lines in the poem Marina (1930). Pericles wants to  Tell Marina that he remained in a coma of grief for 3 months. During that time he did not know where he was going and even who he was. He says all this as follows:

between one June one another September

 made this unknowing, half-conscious, unknown my own.

  • The second prominent quality of his poetry is that it is prose poetry essentially. In other words, his poetry is highly rhythmic prose. His poetic sentences are arranged as irregular verses. They are often in free verse.  His first volume of the poem Prufrock and Observation (1917) Contains his earliest prose poems. consider the following passage from “ the love song of J Alfred Prufrock”

let us go, you and I.

 I when the evening is spread out against the sky

like a patient authorised upon a table.”

Here is another Example of his “Prose-Poetry” from the Poem “Journey of The Magi”

” ‘A’ cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey;

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.”

Journey of The Magi

T.S Eliot’s Poetic Objects

This poetry is objective. in the centre of poems, there stand individuals. they are not aliens spokesmen. Nor do they express his feeling,  and views. the poetry of Wordsworth, Shelly and Keats is subjective poetry. it contains the poet’s reaction for or against an object whether real or imaginary. But Eliot’s poetic Creed is different. he believes that the poet is a medium not the central figure in a poem. so his poem is expressions of the characters standing in them. in other words, Eliot not open his heart in his poem. he stands outside them.

  • Another quality of his poetry is his Complex style. Generally, it is said that it is Classical in style. But it is a product of two other great influences. The first influence is that of metaphysical poetry. Under this influence, Eliot tried to produce poetic conceits. For example, he contrasts the fate of Sweeney with that of Agamemnon. It is represented in the last stanza of Sweeney among nightingales. The second influence is that of French Symbolism. The blending of the three styles, classical metaphysical & symbolist is the style of T. S. Eliot.   The result is his difficult poetry.  He employs classical precision,  metaphysical conceits,  and symbolist ideas.
  • The second influence is that of French symbolism. The blending of the three styles classical metaphysical &  symbolist-  is Eliot’s style.  the result is his difficult poetry.  he employs classical precision,  metaphysical conceits,  and symbolist ideas.
  •  His imagery is also peculiar. He makes abundant use of images. His images are of two kinds simple and complex. his simple images similes metaphors etc. are taken from such sources bat are still considered patients., etc. his complex images are confusing metaphors.

Conclusion TS Eliot as modern poetry

 T S Eliot is one of the greatest poets of the modern age. his poetry is impersonal and dramatic. It’s the expression of the Central figures standing in his poems. but it is is difficult and complicated,  so it is beyond the reach of ordinary readers.  critics have described him as a poet of modern sensibility. 

A critics writes:

“  he brought into poetry e a language  spare,  snowy,   modern,  a fresh and springy  metrical form; thought that was adult; and imagination of what is bewildering in life.”

What are the characteristics of modern poetry?

Variety of themes, treatment of Romantic elements, pessimism, love, and humanitarianism as well as a democratic note, and use of free verse are some of the characteristics of modern poetry.

Mention at least one poem of W. B. Yeats which is a prominent work of modern poetry.

W.B. Yeats’ famous poem “A Prayer for My Daughter” which was published in the year 1921 is a prominent work of modern poetry. The poet composed this poem in the year 1919, just two days after his daughter Anne’s birth.

The whose (modern) poetry collection is “Bay: A Book of Poems”?

“Bay: A Book of Poems (1919)” is a (modern) poetry collection of D. H. Lawrence.

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