Thomas Stearns Eliot (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and “one of the twentieth century’s major poets.” Born in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927.

The Power of the Poet: In Conversation With T.S. Eliot About a Burning World

By |2020-05-30T14:03:56-05:00May 30th, 2020|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

You see, the poet haunts, casting a spell on the reader or listener. The power of the word in poetic form is nearly incomprehensible. Especially when paired with melody, the effect is extraordinary. This means that a songwriter, a hundred years down the road, having read only small, peripheral portions of his poetry, and having [...]

Modernism, Formed or Fleeting?

By |2020-05-12T15:49:02-05:00May 12th, 2020|Categories: Culture, History, Literature, Modernity, Poetry, T.S. Eliot, Tradition, Western Civilization|

The dual definition of “modern”—something that is current and something that is done in a certain manner—touches on a problem that is at the heart of the literary and artistic movement of the early twentieth century known as “Modernism”: Is Modernism something that was meant to represent the “just now” or is it something [...]

Arguing with T.S. Eliot

By |2020-05-11T09:54:15-05:00May 11th, 2020|Categories: Joseph Pearce, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot once claimed, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.” But as a friend and admirer of Eliot, I must disagree. One of my favourite quotes by G.K. Chesterton is his quip that he and his brother [...]

T.S. Eliot as Conservative Mentor

By |2020-03-16T00:18:52-05:00March 15th, 2020|Categories: Conservatism, Roger Scruton, T.S. Eliot, Timeless Essays|

Should modern man devote himself like Sartre to undermining bourgeois society and scoffing at manners and morals? Should he play the part of Socrates, questioning everything and affirming nothing? To answer yes to any of those questions is to grant nothing to human life beyond the mockery of it. T.S. Eliot’s solution was to embrace [...]

T.S. Eliot and Reconversion on Ash Wednesday

By |2020-02-25T22:13:35-06:00February 25th, 2020|Categories: Ash Wednesday, Christianity, Faith, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “Ash-Wednesday” helps us to consider our earthly transience, just as Ash Wednesday reminds us of this same fact that our time on earth is passing. Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita . . . There is something telling about man’s tendency to view his life as a journey, for journeys convey [...]

Who Was T.S. Eliot’s True Love?

By |2020-01-25T20:12:57-06:00January 25th, 2020|Categories: Character, History, Imagination, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Love, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s correspondence with Emily Hale was recently opened, having been kept in Princeton archives until fifty years after Miss Hale’s death. Also opened was Eliot’s response to the archives. It seemed that the poet’s ghost had returned for one last lover’s quarrel with the ghost of his first love, over a century after [...]

Death at Yuletude: T.S. Eliot and “The Journey of the Magi”

By |2019-12-07T10:12:18-06:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Advent, Christianity, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “The Journey of the Magi” is as sincere a conversion poem as one can have it: No fancy light shining down from the heavens or a thunderous call to holiness; just one small event that left a Magus perplexed by a new worldview that was unsettling and strange, for it put into [...]

Listening to “Little Gidding”

By |2019-10-12T15:53:55-05:00October 12th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In “Little Gidding,” T.S. Eliot captures an experience that lodges his reader into a recurring theme of time and memory, history and destiny; the poem’s lines are among the finest and most moving in Eliot’s oeuvre. Here there is motion and emotion, intention and commitment. All is driven and motivated by love. It would [...]

Listening to “Dry Salvages”

By |2019-12-10T09:25:30-06:00September 27th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In “Dry Salvages,” T.S. Eliot moves into a new confidence and clarity. The arcane symbolism begins to evaporate. The artificial voices are silenced and we are at last face to face with the poet himself, and a new level of emotional interaction is experienced. We sense a new vulnerability and with the new honesty [...]

Listening to “East Coker”

By |2019-08-31T20:59:12-05:00August 31st, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “East Coker” relies more explicitly on personal references than his earlier work. It is as if the mask has fallen. The poet is humbler and more vulnerable. The poem expands his meditation into a wider consideration of time and eternity, destiny and desire. In the introduction to this five part series I [...]

Listening to “Burnt Norton”

By |2019-08-24T23:50:26-05:00August 24th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s visit to the garden at Burnt Norton, and his musings with Emily Hale about a love and life together that never happened, lead to a broader contemplation on the nature of time, free will, and human choice, culminating in the first poem of the "Four Quartets." I’m using the word “listening” in this [...]

Listening to “Four Quartets”

By |2019-08-17T16:18:15-05:00August 17th, 2019|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Four Quartets Series, Literature, Mystery, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets” is highly personal, uniquely-fashioned religious poetry. This wordless realm into which Eliot takes us is the region of dreams, the numinous, the collective unconscious. He wishes us to plunge into the experience instead of simply pondering the meaning. I first read T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets as an undergraduate and was [...]

A Letter to the Seniors

By |2019-05-07T21:33:50-05:00May 7th, 2019|Categories: Character, Culture, Glenn Arbery, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot, Tradition, Virtue, Wyoming Catholic College|

T.S. Eliot reaches into the unsaid, perhaps even into the ultimately unsayable, in a way that makes new possibilities present for those of his own time. Eliot comes out of the great tradition, the long conversation of the West, which is now your own earned inheritance as well. What will you do with it? [...]

Eliot and Irons

By |2019-12-10T11:51:26-06:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Imagination, Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

Hearing T.S. Eliot's poems read brings us back to the haunting beauty of the words themselves, and hearing the words unlocks Eliot’s powerful imagery, just as he would have wanted. Jeremy Irons' classic rendition empowers this strange transaction, and through the words we are taken beyond the words to the realm of the Word. Those [...]