“The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
Six o’ clock.
The burnt –out ends of smoky days.”
A poem is a complete expressive of the mood of the poet, and Thomas Stearns Eliot is of no exception to it, when he is certainly throughout his poem is deeply in a mood of gloom and despair, as far as society is concerned. He is considered to be one of the most distinguished poets of the twentieth century who brought a very modern touch to his poetry with plenty of symbolism and knowledge of the world. His imagery and metaphors are drawn from classical Greek Literature and even from Upanishads. He brought a fresh metaphor and depicted dilemmas, the hopelessness and sterility of the modern man with a fine hand. He is a poet who needs to be studied therefore very deeply, and is still the subject of a lot of research for scholars. His famous works are “The Waste land”, “The Hollow Men”, “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’’ and many others. One of his poems in ‘Preludes’, he is describing of a modern street, a witness to various sordid images and ugly deeds and the mechanical, hum-drum, meaningless life led by its inhabitants: “His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fades behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o’clock;”
His ‘Preludes’ is a complete link of poems divided into four sections. It is a poem, as portrait of the modern man is nothing but mainly of desolation of a mundane life. Eliot, here speaks in his poem of the alienation of man and about the exploration of the cycle of life. To quote him- “You had such a vision of the street
As the street hardly understands;”
The poet leads the reader from evening to night and morning and again from morning to evening-a full account of a day’s activities-or lack of them. “The winter evening settles down” could be any one evening in winter but ‘winter’ is usually associated with lack of growth, chill and gloominess. ‘’With smells of steaks in...
References: words, sentences, ideas, setting, orientations, contextualized from revised edition by Sraboni Ghosh and Ms. Nagpal.)
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