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.

Is “Christian Humanism” Gone Forever?

By |2021-02-11T13:00:07-06:00February 11th, 2021|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

In his book “The Year of Our Lord 1943,” writing on Christian humanism, Alan Jacobs considers the fears and desires of five major but seemingly disparate figures in 1943 as they envision a post-war world after an allied victory: W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, Jacques Maritain, and Simone Weil. The Year of Our Lord [...]

Give, Sympathize, and Surrender: Surviving Our Wastelands

By |2021-01-22T12:03:50-06:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Literature, T.S. Eliot|

Though written in the 20th century, T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” is a poem for our generation. It speaks to our own longings and losses, casting its bitter light on the wastelands of our lives. And, while he identifies the wasteland with brutal honesty, Eliot also sketches a path that can lead us out of [...]

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas: Belloc & Eliot on Twelfth Night & Epiphany

By |2021-01-05T12:21:37-06:00January 5th, 2021|Categories: Christianity, Christmas, Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas two of my great loves sent to me a couple of great meditations on the mystery of the Nativity. The first and better-known meditation is by T.S. Eliot, whose “Journey of the Magi” places the poet in the entourage of the Three Wise Men as they journey to Bethlehem. [...]

T.S. Eliot’s “The Cocktail Party”: The Language & Doctrine of Atonement

By |2020-12-15T10:37:44-06:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, T.S. Eliot, Theater|

In the years between 1939 and 1949, T.S. Eliot’s task was to enshrine Christian martyrdom and to restore poetic drama. His most popular drama was “The Cocktail Party,” a comedy which develops dramatically into a philosophically darker spiritual trial and wrestles with the theme of atonement. In one of his manifesto letters to William Carlos [...]

W.H. Auden’s Discovery of Original Sin

By |2020-08-03T17:01:58-05:00August 4th, 2020|Categories: Literature, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|Tags: , |

For several months after his 1939 immigration to the United States, W.H. Auden (1907-1973) remained enchanted with all the old dogmas—psychology, Marxism, and liberal humanism—that had shaped so much of his early work. As a poet, he continued to assert his faith in man’s ability to save civilization from ruin. Composed like all mankind “Of [...]

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 that [...]

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 |2020-07-23T17:50:03-05:00March 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 the [...]

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 they [...]

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 question [...]

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 seem [...]

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 comes [...]

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