Favorite works?

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Favorite works?

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Aug 2, 2006, 9:42pm

Maybe it's not obvious from my description of this community... but my favorite Eliot works are 'The Hollow Men' and 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'.

Yours? :)

Aug 2, 2006, 11:36pm

Murder in the Cathedral. My high school did it for the UIL one act, and I fell in love with Eliot. I also love the Waste Land.

Aug 3, 2006, 9:16am

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is my very favorite. :)

Aug 3, 2006, 10:28am

Prufrock is my favorite as well, although The Waste Land is a close second. I also adore the Four Quartets.

Thanks for starting this group, Dydo.

Aug 3, 2006, 10:56am

I figured *someone* had to do it at some point. You can't have a site dedicated to veritable lit. nerds and *not* have an Eliot group! :P

Aug 3, 2006, 4:08pm

Murder in the Cathedral and all things Sweeney.

Aug 4, 2006, 5:51am

Far away, it is Burnt Norton of his Four Quartets. It is romantic, dreamlike, and spiritual all-in-one. And it never fails to play music in my head or bring forth a tear or two. Honestly!

Aug 8, 2006, 1:59pm

I was very taken with The Waste Land in college, and memorized his Portrait of a Lady and Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service in the course of a cross-country road trip.

I recommend the Facsimile Edition of the Waste Land. It helped me to read the poem with new eyes, seeing how much Eliot discarded (and how bad some of it was).

I also have several LPs of Eliot reading, including all his major poetry.

Aug 10, 2006, 9:44am

Aren't those recordings of Eliot fantastic? I love The Waste Land especially, listening to him pronounce the fragmented and foreign words.

10misskate First Message
Aug 10, 2006, 11:09am

Looking to buy those recordings. Any suggestions on interpretation of the poem? I find it hard going in spots compared with much of his other works.

Aug 10, 2006, 2:57pm


I'm not sure how easy it would be to get your hands on the recordings. If you'd like, I'd be willing to email you the .mp3 files I have of Eliot reading The Waste Land and Prufrock. Send me an email via my profile page if you're interested.

As for interpreting the poem, I agree it's much more difficult than his other works. One of the best ways to learn more about the poem is to visit a hypertext version. Here's my favorite:


This site will explain most of the references in the poem, as well as provide some interpretation, enabling you to better understand what Eliot's writing about.

Also, if you're looking to read some wise words about the importance and sheer greatness of the poem, this essay is lovely:


I hope that helps!

Aug 10, 2006, 3:40pm

HarperCollins owns the Caedmon recordings. The one CD they've issued appears to be a straight copy of the old LP "T. S. Eliot Reads The Waste Land and other poems, but they call it " Essential Eliot. A shame, because they've also got Prufrock and Four Quartets in the vaults.

Random House has also issued a CD of Eliot, probably from BBC sources, in their Voice of the Poet series, but there's no listing of the contents. It does include The Hollow Men, but that's also in the HarperCollins disc (although a different performance).

Aug 10, 2006, 4:04pm

Thanks for all the info, grunin. I knew HarperCollins had that CD, but that's not where I got my recordings from. I ripped the Waste Land reading from the old LP, probably the one you mentioned.

You can actually download the reading of Prufrock from Salon Audio (although it does have an irritating advertisement at the beginning):


Actually, they have a reading of "Burnt Norton" as well, of which I was unaware:


14brettxmh First Message
Aug 10, 2006, 7:31pm

ASH WEDNESDAY - people often overlook it, but I've found it more profound than Prufrock or Wasteland, or even the quartets

15kkimtis First Message
Dec 18, 2006, 8:30pm

Someone else who loves Ash Wednesday! Fantastic. I fell in love with that work the first time I read it.

Mar 14, 2010, 6:21pm

'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' is one of my favorite Eliot poems. I also like 'The Waste Land' and 'Four Quartets'. His works are a challenge - but worth the effort. Studied against the history of the cultural aftermath of WWI, I found some of his poetry to reflect the fragmented condition of society during and after WWI. Long held beliefs, values, and norms were shattered by WWI, and survivors had to ask themselves tough questions - (e.g., Is there a God?). Over 18 million people died during the conflict. The poet Sigfried Sassoon also reflected the ridiculous situation of trench warfare in his work (he actually served during the war too). It was a violent, painful, and absurd time. The echoes in 'The Waste Land' are too loud for any reader to escape and they work to show Eliot as being a genuine bard - one producing words to be heard.