The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry: The Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, 1926, and the Turnbull Lectures at the Johns Hopkins University, 1933

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Harcourt Brace, 1996 - Poetry - 343 pages
2 Reviews
While a student at Harvard in the early years of this century, T. S. Eliot immersed himself in the verse of Dante, Donne, and the nineteenth-century French poet Jules Laforgue. His study of the relation of thought and feeling in these poets later led Eliot, as a poet and critic in London, to formulate an original theory of the poetry generally termed "metaphysical" - philosophical and intellectual poetry that revels in startlingly unconventional imagery. Eliot came to perceive a gradual "disintegration of the intellect" following on three "metaphysical moments" of European civilization - the thirteenth, seventeenth, and nineteenth centuries. The theory is at once a provocative prism through which to view Western intellectual and literary history and an exceptional insight into Eliot's own intellectual development. For the first time ever, the eight Clark Lectures on metaphysical poetry that Eliot delivered at Trinity College in Cambridge in 1926, and their revision and extension for his three Turnbull Lectures at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1933, are now being published in an annotated edition. They reveal in great depth the historical currents of poetry and philosophy that shaped Eliot's own metaphysical moment in the twentieth century.

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The varieties of metaphysical poetry: the Clark lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge, 1926, and the Turnbull lectures at the Johns Hopkins University, 1933

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Editor Schuchard (English, Emory Univ., and a board member of the T.S. Eliot Society) gathers Eliot's Clark and Turnbull lectures into one volume. These lectures expand the entire notion of ... Read full review

Review: The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry

User Review  - Michael Murray - Goodreads

Always an interesting and rewarding critic; some of the observations and careful readings herein are really excellent. He does not have Geoffrey Hill's closed-in, obsessive, fusty-ness, instead we hear throughout a careful but enthusiastic even-tempered tone. Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1888. He moved to England in 1914 and published his first book of poems in 1917. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Eliot died in 1965.

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