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Complete Poems and Plays,: 1909-1950 by T.…

Complete Poems and Plays,: 1909-1950 (original 1952; edition 1952)

by T. S. Eliot

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Title:Complete Poems and Plays,: 1909-1950
Authors:T. S. Eliot
Info:Harcourt (1952), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:classics, poetry, drama

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The Complete Poems and Plays by T. S. Eliot (1952)


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Last part of the Hollow Men:

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
Rated: B+
The New Lifetime Reading Plan: Number 116

I love T. S. Elliot. You have to understand British culture and London life of the 1900's to appreciate some of his works. But his words, his twist of a phrase are memorable.

I re-read this book almost 24 years after my first reading. Old the old favorites still rang true but I enjoy his plays more this time. His classic poems (Prufrock, The Wasteland, The Hollow Men) have great lines and imagery. I was drawn to "Choruses from 'The Rock'" now more than before.

Perhaps his most fun work, made famous by Andrew Lloyd Webber, are his collection of poems "Old Possum's Book fo Practical Cats" on which the musical "Cats" was based. ( )
  jmcdbooks | Jan 28, 2013 |
If you have read only the Wasteland or Prufrock, you might not realize that Eliot converted to Christianity and wrote more poetry that the general public didn't understand. This book contains all of his poetry and plays.
  mebrock | May 24, 2012 |
Best to read Eliot's poetry several times over a leisurely timeframe. Meaning arises only after the piece is somewhat familiar, the first few encounters establish mood & setting, and perhaps voice. Allow these elements to coalesce of themselves, initially enjoy the cadence and phrasing, maybe tease out his allusions.

Daniel Schwarz writes that Eliot sees verse as "the means of working out his most compelling personal dilemmas", but also "a way of putting it" for an audience. Even before reading this take (and it is but one opinion), Eliot's verse didn't seem pretentious so much as careful: he is writing for himself, worrying at something personally significant, important to put down properly. Unsurprising that so much of it isn't immediately apparent to me or anyone else.

The poems almost all employ quotation or an epigraph in Greek, Latin, French; several of his early poems are entirely in French. There are no translations, and in several cases no indication of the source being quoted. Yet many of his poems are a pleasure even when inscrutable: I'm immediately drawn to "Prufrock" or The Waste Land, for example, even though I'm hardpressed to discern even partial meaning from them on first or second reading, and some like "Gerontion" are stubbornly opaque and lack the shape or wordfeel to reward me on those merits alone.

As difficult as these poems are, they've entered the culture and literature, music, other poetry. I recognise lines first encountered elsewhere, and that is a primary aspect of my appreciation. Eldritch is detectable in several places, lifting lines & phrases, and I wonder now if his approach (personal meanings nested in songs meant for a listening public, crafting new pieces built around allusions) is modeled deliberately after Eliot.

This edition has no commentary save Eliot's notes to The Waste Land (at publisher request to add pages, later rued by Eliot). Worth reading commentary on specific poems and revisiting regularly.


2012 reading of verse, omitting the plays (which apparently are written as dramatic verse). Paired with the Wagner-Martin critical anthology. Look into Eliot's essays, perhaps starting with The Sacred Wood. ( )
  elenchus | Feb 3, 2012 |
My edition of this book (Harcourt, Brace and World, 1952) has no notes, a most unfortunate omission. ( )
  aulsmith | Oct 2, 2011 |
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First words
Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
We are the hollow men, the stuffed men
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 015121185X, Hardcover)

Eliot's poetry ranges from the massively magisterial ( The Waste Land), to the playfully pleasant ( Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats). This volume of Eliot's poetry and plays offers the complete text of these and most all of Eliot's poetry, including the full text of Four Quartets. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Eliot exerted a profound influence on his contemporaries in the arts generally and this collection makes his genius clear.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A collection of poems and plays by this prominent British writer who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1948.

(summary from another edition)

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