Eliot began his primary education at Miss Locke's primary school and Smith academy at St. Louis.
A double hernia affected him in his childhood. As a result he led a sequestered childhood. The maimed characters in his poetry reflect this, be it on the level of consciousness like Prufrock or the physically maimed like Thirises in The Waste Land.
Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in Missouri U.S.A. on September 26, 1888.
He resided in St. Louis for the first 18 years of his life.
In 1906, he entered Harvard and left in 1910 with a Masters and an undergraduate degree.
In 1910, he pursued his education at Sorbonne University, Paris.
In 1914, he settled down at Oxford, England to begin his most momentous phase as a poet in life.
In July 1915, he got married to Vivien Haigh-wood.
She suffered from neuralgia and hence the marriage was extremely unhappy. Vivien Haigh-wood throughout her life had to be admitted to a series of nursing homes.
In 1914, Eliot met Ezra Pound, a literary partnership that would change his literary career. Ezra Pound went on to be a long time collaborator and was the editor of his literary masterpiece The Waste Land.
In 1917, he joined the foreign section at with Lloyds Bank, which gave him some financial security, which had been undermined by Vivien Haigh's illness and its treatment.
The intense psychological strain resulting from his failed marriage and the death of his father in 1919 led to Eliot suffering a nervous breakdown in 1921. Recuperating at the nursing home at Lausanne, Switzerland Eliot began his composition of The Waste Land, which was subsequently published in 1922.
The meeting with Lady Rothermere, the wife of the publisher of Daily Mail in 1922, led him to edit an acclaimed literary journal called the Criterion. It examined issues and aspects of European culture.
The near death of his wife Vivien Haigh-wood culminated to his second nervous breakdown in 1923.
Around 1923, Eliot finding his families Unitarian religion unsatisfying sought solace in the Roman Catholic Religion, proclaiming his famous statement that "I am a classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and Anglo Catholic in religion." This was to be a turning point in his poetry, which started reflecting religious tones from the nihilistic shades within his earlier writings.
In 1927, Eliot gave up American Citizenship to become a naturalized British citizen.
Eliot's reputation as a 'man of letters' scaled greater heights after 1925. He delivered the prestigious Clark Lectures at Cambridge University and the Norten Lectures at Harvard University.
T. S. Eliot received the Noble Prize for literature in the year 1948.
After 1925, Eliot's marriage with Vivien - deteriorated, and for the next decade, they led a separated life, which caused him deep mental anguish.
By 1938, Vivien suffering from severe mental instability was admitted to Northumberland house, a sanatorium in London. She passed away in January 1947.
In January 1957, Eliot married Valerie Fletcher, his long time secretary. After a tumultuous family life, Eliot finally experienced peace and marital bliss.
On January 4th, 1965 T. S. Eliot passed away. His ashes were interned at the Church of St. Michael's in East Coker. A commemorative plaque on the Church wall bears his chosen epitaph quoted from his poems 'The Four
Quartets', "In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
T. S. Eliot was born on September 26, 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri (U.S.A).
A representative poet of the present century, he has been regarded as a foremost poet, dramatist and critic. He was also an editor of repute.
Eliot as a poet brought out the most profound verse, which reflects his maturity. He received the Noble Prize for literature in the year 1948.
He passed away on January 4, 1965.
LIST OF WORKS
1917 Prufrock and Other Observations
Tradition and Individual Talent
1920 The Sacred Wood and Other Essays
1922 The Waste Land
The First Issue of Criterion - published
1925 Poems (1909 -1925)
The Hollow Men
1926 Sweerey Agonistes
1928 For Lancelot Andrewes
1930 Ash Wednesday
1932 Selected Essays 1917-1932
1933 The Use of Poetry and The Use of Criticism
1934 After Strange Gods
The Rock : A Pagent Play
1935 Murder in the Cathedral
Collected Poems 1909-1935
1936 Essays Ancient and Modern
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
The Idea of a Critical Society
1939 The Family Reunion
1940 East Coker
1941 The Dry Salvages
1942 Little Gidding
1948 Notes towards the definition of culture
1949 The Cocktail Party
1952 The Complete Poems and Plays (1909 -1950)
1954 The Confidential Clerk
1957 On Poetry and Poets
1959 The Elder Statesmen
1963 Collected Poems (1909-1962)
• A poet critic must write 'programmatic criticism'.
• Tradition used by a poet is not a mere repetition of the work of the immediate past; rather it comprises the whole of European literature from Homer to the present.
• The only way of expressing emotion in the town of art is by finding an 'objective correlative'.
• A poet must possess, 'This disassociation of sensibility'.
• Facts and analysis are the chief tools of a critic.
• The Nobel Prize is an election of an individual, chosen from time to time from one nation or another and selected by something like an act of grace, to fill a peculiar role and to become a peculiar symbol.
• Poetry is usually considered the most local of all arts.
• While language constitutes a barrier, poetry itself gives us a reason for trying to overcome that barrier.
• When a poet speaks to his own people, the voices of all other poets of other languages who have influenced him are speaking also.
• We might remind ourselves that criticism is as inevitable as breathing, and that we should be none the worst for articulating what passes in our minds.
• You are the music while the music lasts.
• Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.