T.S Eliot- An personal response to the poetry of Eliot

Essay by LivethedreamHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2006

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What intrigues me most about the poems of T.S Eliot is the subtle delicateness of his writing and yet it is delivered with amazing strength and profound depth.

In certain poems, I felt that Eliot wrote in a rather impersonal, detached dry tone. However a lot of his poetic lines are brimming with attitude. His general tone is quite understated. However this only serves to sharpen the impact on the reader's feelings. I felt his poetry was a type of aesthetic despair. While registering a despairing emotion or scene, he seems to describe it in a language that is pleasurable to write with. He appears to achieve an aesthetic pleasure through the wit or irony he uses to describe such scenes. The speaker in Eliot's poems could vary in tone from prudish to lecherous. At different moments the tone can range from brashness to diffidence, from praise to scathing criticism.

His range of tones evokes a spectrum of moods from mirth to despondency.

In 'Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock', Eliot mourns the loss of chance, sobbing in existentialist despair, and lamenting of passive indecision and inaction. In the opening lines, he assertively orders 'let us go then you and I/ When the evening is spread out against the sky' and following with the imagery of absolute impotence,

'Like a patient etherised upon a table'.

It is in this way that Eliot creates a sense of doing, and a sense of being dragged through the evening, tied to the back of a great fatalistic carriage. 'Prufrock' revealed Eliot's original and highly developed style. I felt its startling jumps from rhetorical language to cliché, indirect literary references and its simultaneous humour and pessimism all combine to make this an excellent work for art. Prufrock's quest for a life he...