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T.S. Eliot Term Paper 2

T.S. Eliot Term Paper 2 - EN 282 Parthasarathy Introduction...

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EN 282; Parthasarathy Introduction to Poetry Writing Term Paper II Stern Tom T. S. Eliot was one of the great brains of the 20 th Century. His intellect is what must be most intimidating and off-putting for those readers who do not enjoy his poetry, but it is also the reason that he cannot be ignored. He was so very self-aware as a poet and aware of his place in the broader scope of the Western literary tradition. He was so learned in so many areas (languages, mythologies, poetic tradition) that it must have been hard for him to, as Ezra Pound urged him, make it new. His learnedness also contributed to his success as an influential critic as well as a poet. His entire collection of literary works played a large part in shaping the literary tradition as it is perceived today 1 . Eliot was not afraid to integrate the words of other poets into his own poetry. As was nicely put by Miranda Richardson in the film “Tom and Viv,” Eliot’s poetry should be read as if it were a shattered vase. In an essay on the playwright Philip Massinger, Eliot wrote that “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets 1  Even his worst piece of work,  Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,  managed to spawn the Broadway  hit  Cats. 1
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make it into something better, or at least something different” (72). Eliot was never afraid to show his learnedness by decisively choosing pompous, oftentimes vague, references, allusions, and plagiarisms. On top of this, he incorporates several languages in his poetry and offers no translations in his notes. In The Waste Land , Eliot manages to use Latin, Greek, English, and Italian in the poem’s epigraph. From the beginning, Eliot makes it clear that this poem is
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T.S. Eliot Term Paper 2 - EN 282 Parthasarathy Introduction...

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