I didn't read much poetry in my youth- but the ones I did either spoke of nature (Robert Frost) or were for children (Robert Louis Stevenson, Shel Silverstein). Somehow, I managed to get through college without reading renowned TS Eliot. I am here now, to remedy that oversight. I have mixed feelings about this collection. Certain poems really spoke to me, and brought me into turn-of-the-century America and England. His observations of city life were vivid, dirty, and real. This is where he's at his best. Morning at the Window- although one of his shortest in the collection, was my favorite. I can almost see the city waking, the housemaids already on the streets, the fog covering everything. Just beautiful imagery. The same goes for Preludes parts 1-4. He speaks of dirty, sawdust-filled streets. Of chimneys, of cab-horses. Some of it rhymes, some of it doesn't, and that's okay here- we're catching a glimpse of 1915 city life.
However, there are many things I didn't care for. Some of his poems are just a jumble of nonsense. I read some in-depth reviews to be sure I wasn't missing anything. He's attempting to intelligently comment on certain parts of society- but bounces around so much and twists his verbiage in such a fashion that the meaning gets lost. I didn't care for his major work, The Waste Land, which illustrates my previous complaint. Yes, the man was smart. Yes, he was trying to show that. No, it doesn't help that three of his poems were completely in French. I might be interested in more of his poetry, if he stuck to what he was good at.
Terrific little selection of the poems! Excellent and very useful notes for them too. One minor shortcoming: excluded some great poems like "The Hollow Men".
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