Influences On T.S. Eliot's Poetry Essay

1551 words - 6 pages

T.S. full name is Thomas Stearns Eliot. He had written a total of 68 poems, dramas, etc. in total (Wikipedia). There are many influences, but I think that Vivienne Haigh-Wood, Eliot`s first wife, Ezra Pound, his mentor and religion are one of the biggest influences on T.S. Eliot.
I think the first influence on his poetry was his first wife Vivienne Haigh-Wood. Eliot had married Vivienne to stay in England. Their relationship became the storyboard for a play called, Tom and Viv which was made in 1984 which then was adapted to a film in 1994. Vivienne was a great inspiration to Eliot. When Vivienne had an affair with Bertrand Russell, Eliot used this happening in one of the parts in his poem called Mr.Apollinax and Whispers of Immortality depicting Vivienne as a succubus like woman (Not Crazy after All These Years). Eliot and his marriage to Vivienne became a subject to any of Eliot's poems and dramas (Not Crazy after All These Years). Vivienne had many sicknesses and was mentally not stable, and was usually admitted to the hospital. Her sudden death brought many people to be surprised. Most people said that she had died of heart attack, but some others think that she died of an overdose of medicine (Tom and Viv... and Bertie). After Vivienne dies, Eliot says, "To her, the marriage brought no happiness. To me, it brought the state of mind out of which came The Waste Land."(T.S. Eliot: Childhood & Young Scholar). What Eliot has said meant that for Vivienne their marriage must be nothing good, but that being with Vivienne inspired him greatly in The Waste Land. Eliot`s sister says "Vivienne ruined Tom as a man, but she made him as a poet." In this quote, Eliot`s sister describes that Vivienne did not help him become a man, but helped him become a poet (Not Crazy after All These Years).
The second influence on T.S. Eliot was his mentor, Ezra Pound. At this time, T.S. Eliot had just gotten out of college and was undecided in his work. His question was to either become a professor, or to keep writing poems. When T.S. Eliot was in London, Ezra Pound noticed his poetic gift and assisted in the publication of his work in many different magazines. Ezra Pound describes his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock as “the best poem I have yet had or seen from an American”. Ezra Pound then takes Eliot in as his student. In 1915, he published his first poetic masterpiece called The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock which was written four years before he published this piece.
A few years later, Eliot worked at Lloyd`s Bank, but is ordered to take a three month vacation. During this vacation, on the way to Switzerland, Eliot visits Ezra in Paris with his just written poem. At first, it was titled He Do the Police in Different Voices but as Ezra edits Eliot’s work, he changes the title to The Waste Land. Ezra not only changed the title of his poem, but deleted entire parts from the draft and told Eliot to put things together. The final...

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