T.S. Eliot

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.

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 |2019-10-12T15:53:55-06:00October 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 |2019-08-31T20:59:12-06:00August 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 |2019-08-24T23:50:26-06:00August 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 |2019-08-17T16:18:15-06:00August 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 |2019-05-07T21:33:50-06:00May 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 [...]

T.S. Eliot’s “The Fire Sermon”: Of Memory & Salvation

By |2019-08-08T11:17:24-06:00January 13th, 2019|Categories: Conservatism, Great Books, Modernity, Poetry, T.S. Eliot, Timeless Essays|

T.S. Eliot reminds us that the answers to our soul’s depravity are all around us, in our collective culture—the books we read, the places we inhabit, the music we listen to—but also that culture can only survive if we remember it and keep it alive... Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers [...]

T.S. Eliot’s Magical Journey

By |2019-08-22T15:21:31-06:00January 5th, 2019|Categories: Books, Character, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors, T.S. Eliot|

Through T.S. Eliot’s use of symbolism in “The Journey of the Magi” there is a call to a world beyond words—just as the mystics of historic Christianity beckoned to Eliot from the beginning of his journey…  In the summer of 1927, just after his baptism into the (Anglo) Catholic faith, T.S. Eliot wrote “The [...]

“The Cultivation of Christmas Trees”

By |2018-12-02T14:07:13-06:00December 2nd, 2018|Categories: Christmas, Poetry, T.S. Eliot|

There are several attitudes towards Christmas, Some of which we may disregard: The social, the torpid, the patently commercial, The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight), And the childish — which is not that of the child For whom the candle is a star, and the gilded angel Spreading its wings at the summit [...]

Grace in the Garden: The Fall of Man & the British Pastoral Tradition

By |2019-06-12T16:09:14-06:00November 17th, 2018|Categories: Books, Featured, John Milton, Literature, Poetry, Russell Kirk, T.S. Eliot|

The transcendent ‘overcoming’ or reconciliation of the Fall of Man—that symbol of the cause of the disorder that we would wish re-ordered, of the return to the garden—is what great poetry graciously asks of us. “An intermediate nature... prevents the universe falling into two separate halves.” —Plato, Symposium (203b). Almost from the beginning of when human [...]

Lewis, Letters, and Love

By |2018-09-05T22:16:55-06:00September 5th, 2018|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Love, Paul Elmer More, T.S. Eliot|

Real, actual letters are a gift, an insight into our best and our worst selves. Unlike the present world of the ephemeral email and hatchet posts on social media, letters of the pre-internet era could be gorgeous works of art. In them, the writer shares just a bit of his soul, preserving it for time, [...]