Thomas Stearns Eliot

(1888-1965 / Missouri / United States)

Thomas Stearns Eliot
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Eliot was born into the Eliot family of St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St. Louis; his mother, born Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poems and was also a social worker. Eliot was the last of six surviving children; his parents were both 44 years old when he was born. His four sisters were between eleven and nineteen years older than he; his brother was eight years older. Known to family and friends as Tom, he was the namesake of his maternal grandfather Thomas Stearns.

From 1898 to 1905 Eliot was a student at Smith Academy, a preparatory school ... more »

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  • Veteran Poet - 1,287 Points Michael Walker (1/28/2015 7:48:00 PM)

    I got to know Eliot's poetry as a student, and I found his poems very different, and better, than anything I had read before. 'The Waste Land'-an obscure but brilliant poem of many voices. 'The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock'- a rambling inner monologue by an invented character (persona) .

  • Rookie David Yelland (11/8/2013 5:20:00 PM)

    A wonderful poet who's poetry has changed my life

  • Rookie Jared Midwood (5/8/2013 2:03:00 PM)

    The Waste Land is the most important piece of American literature ever published. It is Eliot's tour-de-force, a stunningly realistic portrayal of the downfall of western civilization. It was the first poem to require pages and pages of footnotes! I think it contained 50 or more references to classic literature and music...

  • Rookie - 0 Points Kimberly Kastner (4/22/2006 2:32:00 PM)

    I got his book Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats for my b-day a couple years ago. All the poems in that book are so cute! My favorite one is 'Cat Morgan Introduces Himself.' I liked how Eliot changed the spelling of some of the words to show Morgan's accent.

  • Rookie - 0 Points Kimberly Kastner (4/22/2006 2:29:00 PM)

    I got his book Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats for my b-day a couple years ago. All the poems in that book are so cute! My favorite one is 'Cat Morgan Introduces Himself.' I liked how Eliot changed the spelling of some of the words to show Morgan's accent.

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Famous Poets
Best Poem of Thomas Stearns Eliot

Ash Wednesday

I

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?

Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing ...

Read the full of Ash Wednesday

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