Readers' Review: T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets"

Poet T.S. Eliot -

Poet T.S. Eliot

Readers' Review: T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets"

For this month's Readers' Review: what T.S. Eliot considered his greatest work, "Four Quartets." The poems are a meditation on time, eternity and immortality.

By the late 1920s, poet T.S. Eliot was regarded as one of the great literary figures of the day. His “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land" were widely read and admired. But Eliot’s personal life was in turmoil. His marriage to a depressed woman was unraveling and he began a spiritual journey that led to religious conversion. As Europe moved toward war, Eliot wrote the first poem of what would later become “Four Quartets.” Inspired by Beethoven, every poem contained imagery of four seasons and four elements. Each was a complex meditation on time, redemption and eternity. For this month’s Readers’ Review: Diane and guests discuss T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.”


Jewel Spears Brooker

professor emerita at Eckerd College; co-editor of the forthcoming "T. S. Eliot's Complete Prose" (vols. 1, 7); author of "T. S. Eliot and Our Turning World (2000)"; and most recently, "T. S. Eliot: The Contemporary Reviews" (2004).

Anthony Cuda

professor of English at University of North Carolina, Greensboro; co-editor of the forthcoming "The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot," Vol. 2 (1919-1926); and author of "The Passions of Modernism: Eliot, Yeats, Woolf and Mann" (2010).

David Gewanter

professor of English at Georgetown University; poet, editor, essayist and author of "War Bird" and "The Sleep of Reason"; and co-editor of “Robert Lowell: Collected Poems.”

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