Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1888. As a youngster, Thomas received the best education from schools in the United States and Europe. He went to Harvard at age 18, then on to Germany, the Sorbonne in France, and Oxford in England to study literature. In 1914 he met the entrepreneur, Ezra Pound. Pound was a publisher who helped various poets publish their works. While in England, Eliot met Vivienne Haigh-Wood whom he married in 1915. "The marriage was not a success," (Abrams 2361). Contending with his wife's neurotic behavior and ailing health, Eliot became stressed out and checked himself into a Swiss sanatorium in 1921. Two months later, Eliot checked out of the sanatorium and gave Ezra Pound a manuscript entitled "The Waste Land." This work alone is considered his most famous poem. It is a "poetic exploration of soul's struggling for redemption," (Kimball 23). Eliot's other works, such as "Murder in the Cathedral," and "Old Possum's Book of Cats" have enjoyed success as well, with "Cats" being made into a musical play.
Originally over one thousand lines long, the abridged version of The Waste Land is very pessimistic in tone. The original version was scaled down by Ezra Pound who thought it too long to publish. Some critics have said it is a jumble of thoughts and languages, with the end being a collage of various languages. Others have... [continues]
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