Darinbaltezore-T.S.Eliot - West Fargo Public Schools

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T.S. Eliot was "Not only as a great sorcerer of words but as the very key
keeper of the language." (Poetryfoundation.org 1)
This was said by Igor Stravinsky a famous American composer who read many of T.S.
Eliot’s works. Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in an old New England family in St. Louis
Missouri in 1888. He was one of six children of Henry and Charlotte Eliot. T.S. Eliot had ties to
both Massachusetts and Missouri through his childhood. Eliot’s grandfather was a Unitarian
minister, founder of schools, a university, and some charities. He was the family patriarch
(“T.S. Eliot Biography” Notablebiographies.com 1). This was the start of the importance of
religion to Eliot. It was probably his mother, who was a writer and a poet, that first peaked
T.S. Eliot’s interest in poetry. She wrote religious and dramatic poems (“T.S. Eliot Biography”
Notablebiographies.com 1). At the age of fourteen, he started writing poetry like his favorite
poem Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam (Donald Hall). In 1914, T.S. Eliot moved to England, where
he was a schoolmaster and a bank clerk. After that he found a job as a literary editor for a
publishing house Faber & Faber (“Biography” Nobelprize.org 1). T.S. Eliot Converted to the
Anglican Church in 1927, and he was really devoted to his new religion (“T.S. Eliot Biography”
Notablebiographies.com 1). This could probably point to why he was so interested and
started writing religious poetry.
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T.S. Eliot went to college in Harvard, in 1906 where he wanted to earn a
master of arts in philosophy. This was interrupted when he went to Sorbonne,
France for a year and he went over to study in Germany (“T.S. Eliot Biography”
Notablebiographies.com 1). Then World War one broke out. He then transferred
to Merton College, Oxford (”Biography” Nobelpriz.org 1).While in Oxford he met his
soon to be longtime friend Ezra Pound. Ezra Pound soon saw T.S. Eliot poetic
genius. T.S. Eliot saw Ezra Pound as a mentor when it came to poetry. Ezra would
often read Eliot’s poems and give some suggestions. Eliot looked up to him and
found him really respectable. Ezra helped Eliot publish his first poem “The Love
Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and from there his poetry flourished. He came out with
many great works, but none was greater than Four Quarters. He won the Noble
Prize in Literature in 1948 for his poem Four Quarters (“T.S. Eliot” Poets.org 1).
T.S. Eliot was a very creditable poet with his style and controversy.
T.S. Eliot has a distinct style that makes him a good poet. He introduced a
new interesting style at that time. He combined normal common speech and
obscure allusions. These obscure allusions made it hard for people to
understand what he was trying to say. This allowed people to find their own
meanings throughout each of his poems. He also has great use of similes and
metaphors. Sometimes his metaphors could be separate poems. T.S. Eliot tries to
reveal emotions by invoking them in the readers, instead of the poets stating
them (Kyle Minor). T.S. Eliot also wrote poetry on controversial issues that made
some people question his poetry. He wrote poems on religion and World War One.
After reading some of his poems people believed that T.S. Eliot was AntiSemitism. T.S. Eliot was a religious man; he wrote what he felt he believed in,
even if others did not agree with him. “Eliot was one of the most daring innovators
of twentieth century poetry (“T.S. Eliot” Notablebiographies.com 1)”. T.S. Eliot
thought he wrote genuine poetry. “Genuine poetry can communicate before it is
understood (Brainquote.com 1).”
Gerontion (1920)
Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar (1920)
Sweeney Erect (1920)
A Cooking Egg (1920)
Le Directeur (1920)
Mélange Adultère de Tout (1920)
Lune de Miel (1920)
The Hippopotamus (1920)
Dans le Restaurant (1920)
Whispers of Immortality (1920)
Mr. Eliot’s Sunday Morning Service (1920)
Sweeney among the Nightingales (1920)
Four Quartets (1943)
The Wasteland (1922)
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Click picture for rest of poem
The Waste Land
By T.S. Eliot
APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the
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T.S. Eliot has a very distinct writing style that uses different literary devices and a
great example of this would be “The Wasteland”. “The Wasteland” is a poem that describes
a life away from God. T.S. Eliot uses imagery in his poems to depict a very dark and
depressing place without God. “A heap of broken images, where the sun beats/And the dead
tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief/And the dry stone no sound of water”. This
describes a “hell” that Eliot believes people go through when they aren’t close to the Lord.
That people who are not close to God can’t see the beauty in natural things. “A rat crept
softly through the vegetation/Dragging its slimy belly on the bank/While I was fishing in the
dull canal”. T.S. Eliot compares people with no religion to be “rats” that can’t find anything in
life because they don’t have faith. “White bodies naked on the low damp ground/And bones
cast in a little low dry garret,/Rattled by the rat's foot only, year to year.” T.S. Eliot shows us
the future of what men will be if they don’t start changing. These examples from the poems
we can judge that faith was huge to Eliot and everything else was not as important. T.S. Eliot
also uses oxymoron’s in this poem. An oxymoron is when you say something that contradicts
itself. “APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory
and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain./Winter kept us warm, covering/Earth in
forgetful snow, feeding/A little life with dried tubers.” This is a good example of an oxymoron.
The winter kept us warm contradicts itself, because winter is very cold, so it can’t possibly
keep you warm. T.S. Eliot is a spiritual poet who uses different literary devices showed in
“The Wasteland.”
“Whispers of Immortality” is a poem T.S. Eliot wrote. He describes that you can live
forever, but if you don’t have a soul or a reason to live then you aren’t really living.
You can enjoy one lifetime of happiness make it count because some others
aren’t as lucky. “He knew that thought clings round dead limbs/Tightening its
lusts and luxuries.” This line means people lust for immortality but it usually leads
you down a rough road of bad decisions. If you live life to the fullest then you will
be happier than an immortal man.
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Whispers of
By T.S. Eliot
WEBSTER was much possessed by
And saw the skull beneath the skin;
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin.
Daffodil bulbs instead of balls
Stared from the sockets of the eyes!
Donne, I suppose, was such another
Who found no substitute for sense,
To seize and clutch and penetrate;
Expert beyond experience,
He knew the anguish of the marrow
The ague of the skeleton;
No contact possible to flesh
Allayed the fever of the bone.
. . . . .
Grishkin is nice: her Russian eye
He knew that thought clings round dead
Is underlined for emphasis;
Tightening its lusts and luxuries.
Gives promise of pneumatic bliss.
Uncorseted, her friendly bust
The couched Brazilian jaguar
Compels the scampering marmoset
With subtle effluence of cat;
Grishkin has a maisonette;
The sleek Brazilian jaguar
Does not in its arboreal gloom
Distil so rank a feline smell
As Grishkin in a drawing-room.
And even the Abstract Entities
Circumambulate her charm;
But our lot crawls between dry ribs
To keep our metaphysics warm.
“Ash Wednesday” is one of T.S. Eliot’s famous religious poems. This poem talks about
how everyone fears death. T.S. Eliot also describes how people will do anything to
avoid death. He also says we need to be prepared so we can get to heaven.
“Teach us to care and not to care.” This is cool because it is an oxymoron. It also
says that we need to care about the life after this one but to also enjoy the life we
have been given right now.
Ash Wednesday
by T.S. Eliot
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
I no longer strive to strive towards such
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its
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 again
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In The Restaurant
By T.S. Eliot
THE dilapidated boy who has nothing to
That scratching your fingers and lean
on my shoulder
"In my country it will be rainy weather
Wind, sunshine, and rain;
This is called the washing day beggars. "
(Chatterbox, slobbering, rounded to the
I pray thee, at least, do not bleed in the
“The willows dipped, and buds on the
bushesThere, in a downpour, they sheltered.
I was seven, she was smaller.
She was all wet, I gave her primroses.”
Stains from his waistcoat soar thirty
eight figure.
"I tickled, to make her laugh.
I felt a moment of madness and
power. "
But then, lecherous old, at this age ...
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"Sir, the fact is hard.
He came, we grope, a big dog;
Phlébas, the Phoenician, a fortnight
I was scared, I left midway.
Forgot the cries of seagulls and waves
of Cornwall
It's a shame. "
And profits and losses, and the cargo of
But then you have your vulture!
Go away you décrotter facial wrinkles;
A stream of sub-sea carried him very
Hey, my fork, you describe the skull.
The ironing stages of his previous life.
What you paid right experience like me?
Here, take a dime for the en-suite
Imagine, then, was a plight,
However, what was once a handsome
man, tall.
In the Restaurant
Five star restaurant prepares for
evening rush.
Customers come to tantalize taste
Chickens hypnotically turn on spit
Catching the passerby in its trap
Waiters with forced smiles
Counting down seconds till close
Chefs juggling orders to please
Waiters delivering food like impatient
business men
Walking from terminal to terminal
Chef’s art is presented.
The customer chews
Every area is inspected by taste buds
Fiery passion fills the stomach
Determined customer wolfs down the
Customer leans back belly full
Looking at empty plate impressed
The Hippopotamus
By T.S. Eliot
THE BROAD-BACKED hippopotamus
Rests on his belly in the mud;
Although he seems so firm to us
The ’potamus can never reach
The mango on the mango-tree;
But fruits of pomegranate and peach
Refresh the Church from over sea.
At mating time the hippo’s voice
He is merely flesh and blood.
Flesh and blood is weak and frail,
Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
Susceptible to nervous shock;
But every week we hear rejoice
While the True Church can never fail
The Church, at being one with God.
For it is based upon a rock.
The hippo’s feeble steps may err
In compassing material ends,
While the True Church need never stir
To gather in its dividends.
The hippopotamus’s day
Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
God works in a mysterious way—
The Church can sleep and feed at once.
I saw the ’potamus take wing
Ascending from the damp savannas,
And quiring angels round him sing
The praise of God, in loud hosannas.
Blood of the Lamb shall wash him
And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
Among the saints he shall be seen
Performing on a harp of gold.
He shall be washed as white as snow,
By all the martyr’d virgins kist,
While the True Church remains below
Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.
Africa inspired “The Hippopotamus”
By Darin Baltezore
The broad-backed hippopotamus
The triumphant river horse gallops upstream
The lion gallivanting around the Savanna
Looking for a meal worthy of royalty
Hyenas the scavenger of Africa
Sulking about till their next meal
The Gazelle prancing and bounding
Around the plains
Cheetahs sleek and slender
Sprinters of the land
Africa an immaculate and majestic habitat
First Marathon
The New York Marathon- the big kahuna
Internal debates of whether I’d run.
Racing an athletic event
Watching gazelle like athletes whiz by me
Enticing form of physical exertion
Rapid leg turnover
Sore and tired legs
Lactic acid pools build up
Nothing like mile 23
Hitting the legendary wall
Psychological edge to go the distance
Staggering to finish with demented half-grin
A true runners high.
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A kid from Coos Bay
I run to see who has guts
You’re too small
Who can punish himself
You’re not fast enough
Suicide pace
I want to be number one
Give up your foolish dream
I’ve given myself reason to keep running
A good day to die
Pure guts at the end
Punish himself even more
Self-satisfaction and sense of achievement
I am the only one who can win
It’s more than a race
Anything less is to sacrifice the gift.
It’s a style
A race is a work of art
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