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T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot

literature poetry appeared

Eliot, T(homas) S(tearns) (1888–1965), U.S.-born poet, dramatist, and critic. His learned, ironic, witty (and sometimes obscure) poetry and criticism influenced the literature of an entire generation. His first important poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” appeared in 1915, and The Waste Land appeared in 1922. These early poems, critical of the shallowness and squalidness of modern life, are in marked contrast to the later religiously colored poetry, such as Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1943). In 1927 he became a British citizen, declaring himself an “Anglo-Catholic in religion, royalist in politics, and classicist in literature.” Reviving verse drama, he wrote Murder in the Cathedral (1935), The Family Reunion (1939), The Cocktail Party (1950), and The Confidential Clerk (1953). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948.

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