The Poems of T. S. Eliot
Collected and Uncollected Poems
Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue have provided a commentary that illuminates the imaginative life of each poem. Calling upon Eliot's critical writings, as well as his drafts, letters, and other original materials, they illustrate not only the breadth of Eliot's interests and the range of his writings, but how it was that the author of "Gerontion" came to write "Triumphal March" and then Four Quartets. Thanks to the family and friends who recognized Eliot's genius and preserved his writings from an early age, the archival record is exceptionally complete, enabling us to follow in unique detail the progress of a mind that never ceased exploring.
This first volume respects Eliot's decisions by opening with his Collected Poems 1909–1962 as he arranged and issued it, shortly before his death fifty years ago. This is followed by poems uncollected but either written for or suitable for publication, and by a new reading text of the drafts of The Waste Land. The volume concludes with the commentary on all of these poems.
The second volume opens with the two books of verse of other kinds that Eliot issued, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and his translation of St.-John Perse's Anabase. Different again are the verses informal, improper, or clubmanlike. Each of these sections has its own commentary. Finally, pertaining to the entire edition, there is a textual history that contains not only variants from all known drafts and the many printings but also extended passages amounting to hundreds of lines of compelling verse.
"The more we know of Eliot, the better."—Ezra Pound
About the Authors
"Monumental . . . In taking apart Eliot's poems to show where the parts came from, The Poems of T. S. Eliot: The Annotated Text demonstrates that it never was the parts which mattered, but the elusive magic which made up the whole machine."—Times Literary Supplement
". . . So comprehensive and authoritative that one can't imagine their [the editors' notes and commentaries] being superseded. . ."—Times Literary Supplement
". . . One of the great achievements in the literary scholarship of our time."—Times Literary Supplement
"These volumes force a reevaluation of the highs and lows of Eliot's gifts, one that will supersede earlier, outmoded interpretations of racism, anti-Semitism, and sexual inhibition and avowals of elitist or conservative slants . . . Essential."—Choice
"Two all-comprehending new tomes . . . utterly authoritative."—London Review of Books
"With the printing of this edition of Eliot's poems . . . one might say that we are just getting to know the Old Possum properly."—Humanities
|The Johns Hopkins University Press|
Other Titles by T. S. Eliot
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