A brief introduction to Eliot: "With the publication of in 1922, now considered by many to be the single most influential poetic work of the twentieth century, Eliot's reputation began to grow to nearly mythic proportions; by 1930, and for the next thirty years, he was the most dominant figure in poetry and literary criticism in the English-speaking world." .
An encyclopedia-type article on T.S. Eliot, covers his poetry and drama, themes, reception, includes samples of Eliot's poems, audio files of him reading them, and additional lectures. .
Eliot, then, did not feel bound by traditional fixed forms, but adapted them to accommodate the thoughts and feelings of his own time, as did the American poet whose work and opinion he greatly esteemed, Ezra Pound. For Pound, the form should be determined wholly by the requirements of the idea or feeling:
In his poetry, Eliot draws on traditional forms and images, but he develops his monologue in a free form of verse—one appropriate to the nature of his subject. He is aware that poets write out of a continuing tradition, but one that is modified by contemporary interpretations and contributions:
Prufrock has even less hope of attaining the object of his desire than Orsino. Moreover, he fears the piercing, critical looks of the ladies, which will reduce him to an insect pinned against the wall (57-58). He also compares himself to a crab scuttling sideways through life (73-74); in other words, he cannot confront life directly. This image of the crab alludes, again, to Hamlet, where the prince compares Polonius to a crab because of the way he approaches a subject from the side, never saying exactly what he means.
a project from the British Library, provides a group of excellent articles covering many early twentieth-century modernist works, including T.S. Eliot's and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prefrock," the short stories of Katherine Mansfield, James Joyce's , and , Virginia Woolf's novels, W.H. Auden's poetry, and much more. Introductory, close reading, and thematic articles by recognized experts in their subjects, and links to manuscript drafts in British Library's archive.
Excerpts from reputable literary criticism of the following poems: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Gernonition, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, The journey of the Magi, Burnt Norton. by Ronald Bush. Univ. of Illinois, Ed. Jed Esty.
Hammer, Langdon. In the first of three lectures on T.S. Eliot, "The early poetry of T.S. Eliot is examined. Differences between Pound and Eliot, in particular the former's interest in translation versus the latter's in quotation, are suggested. Eliot's relationship to tradition is considered in his essay, 'Tradition and the Individual Talent.' The early poem, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' is read, with emphasis on the poem's resistance to traditional forms and its complicated depiction of its speaker's fragmentary consciousness" [3 lectures]. Audio, video, and transcript from Professor Hammer's class at Yale, ENGL 310: Modern Poetry, Spring, 2007.
Raine, Craig. "Although the idea of a life not fully lived is central to his poetry, T.S. Eliot was not the dry old stick of his self-caricature. His personal story was full of quiet drama, and even recklessness." The 6 Jan. 2007.
Altieri, Charles. Addressing the decline of Eliot's reputation among current scholars, Professor Altieri contends that Eliot's work gives us much that we can admire and use.
Alfred Prufrock" is totally a modernist poem.
Whoa, whoa, hold on there a sec – what’s this all about?
Okay, so you might have heard of a little movement called "modernism." Nobody out there has a great definition of modernism, but here’s ours.
Chinitz, David. Publisher's web site for (U of Chicago Press, 2003). "The modernist poet T. S. Eliot has been applauded and denounced for decades as a staunch champion of high art and an implacable opponent of popular culture. But Eliot's elitism was never what it seemed." , in 110 (Mar. 1995).
Clark, Carlton. Clark discusses four poems about morning in the city, three by Eliot and one by Swift, and Eliot's letters to the . April 2000.
Donoghue, Denis. Donoghue writes of his initial bewilderment at Eliot's poetry, "I settled for the thrill of yielding to a few unforgettable lines," and Eliot's aesthetics and themes. Jan. 2000.