The American-English author, T.S. Eliot was one of the most significant and influential English language poets in the 20th century. Best known for authoring ‘Prufrock and Other Observations’ and ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’, Eliot had been honored with numerous awards, the most recommendable being the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. Apart from essaying the role of a poet, Eliot was an interesting playwright, editor, and publisher as well. Amongst other works, his best-known poems include ‘Gerontion’, ‘The Waste Land’, ‘The Hollow Men, ‘Ash Wednesday’, and ‘Four Quartets’. Upon his death, Eliot was paid the final tribute by many eminent poets and artists wherein he was declared as ‘A grand poet and brotherly friends’ by Ezra Pound. Read on further to know more about the life and career of T.S. Eliot.
Influenced by his mother, Eliot started writing poetry as early as 14 years. Edward Fitzgerald’s ‘Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam’, however, turned out to be the major influence of Eliot’s poetry. Initially, his poems were published individually in periodicals or small books. Amongst them was ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ published by Ezra Pound in 1915 in Poetry magazine, after seeking permission from the magazine’s founder, Harriet Monroe. However, it was only in 1917 that his first collection of poems was published as ‘Prufrock and Other Observations’. More poems came up from his kitty as ‘Ara Vos Prec’ in London and ‘Poems: 1920’ in New York. ‘The Waste Land’ followed up in 1922. The ‘Poems: 1909-1925’ published in 1925 comprised of all his poems of ‘Prufrock’ and ‘Poems’, and ‘The Waste Land’ with a new addition ‘The Hollow Men’. These were followed by ‘Ash Wednesday’, ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’, and ‘Four Quartets’.
Towards the end, Eliot had been suffering from several health problems mainly due to his heavy smoking and was diagnosed with bronchitis or tachycardia. On January 4, 1965 Eliot breathed his last and died of emphysema.