Preludes - T.S Eliot (Deep Analysis)
This book guides you through the poem 'Preludes' by T.S Eliot . The book consists of the poem, his other works, ...
“Corner of the streets “
SCRUTINIZING PRELUDES – T.S ELIOT
THE POET T
Homas Stearns Eliot was born in 26 September 1888 and died in 4 January 1965. He was an essayist, publisher, playwright, social and literary critic.
HIS WORK EARLIEST WORKS
"The Birds of Prey" (a short story; 1905)
"A Tale of a Whale" (a short story; 1905)
"The Man Who Was King" (a short story; 1905)
[A review of] "The Wine and the Puritans" (1909)
"The Point of View" (1909)
"Gentlemen and Seamen" (1909)
[A review of] "Egoist" (1909)
"A Fable for Feasters" (1905)
"[A Lyric:]'If Time and Space as Sages say'" (1905)
"[At Graduation 1905]" (1905)
"Song:'If space and time,as sages say'" (1907)
"Before Morning" (1908)
"Circe's Palace" (1908)
"Song: 'When we came home across the hill'" (1909)
"On a Portrait" (1909)
Prufrock and Other Observations (1917)
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Portrait of a Lady (poem)
Sweeney Among the Nightingales
"Whispers of Immortality"
"Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service"
"A Cooking Egg"
The Waste Land (1922)
The Hollow Men (1925)
Ariel Poems (1927–1954)
The Journey of the Magi (1927)
A Song for Simeon (1928)
Ash Wednesday (1930)
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939)
The Marching Song of the Pollicle Dogs and Billy M'Caw: The Remarkable Parrot (1939) in The Queen's Book of the Red Cross
Four Quartets (1945)
Sweeney Agonistes (published in 1926, first performed in 1934)
The Rock (1934)
Murder in the Cathedral (1935)
The Family Reunion (1939)
The Cocktail Party (1949)
The Confidential Clerk (1953)
The Elder Statesman (first performed in 1958, published in 1959)
Christianity & Culture (1939, 1948)
The Second-Order Mind (1920)
Tradition and the Individual Talent (1920)
The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism (1920)
"Hamlet and His Problems"
Homage to John Dryden (1924)
Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca (1928)
For Lancelot Andrewes (1928)
Selected Essays, 1917–1932 (1932)
The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933)
After Strange Gods (1934)
Elizabethan Essays (1934)
Essays Ancient and Modern (1936)
The Idea of a Christian Society (1939)
A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1941) made by Eliot, with an essay on Rudyard Kipling, London, Faber and Faber.
Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1948)
Poetry and Drama (1951)
The Three Voices of Poetry (1954)
The Frontiers of Criticism (1956)
On Poetry and Poets (1957)
To Criticize the Critic (1965)
The Waste Land: Facsimile Edition (1974)
Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917 (1996)
THE POEM + GLOSSARY I a thick slice of pork, veal, etc, or of a large fish, esp cod or salmon
dirty and discoloured
The winter evening settles down With smell of steaks in passageways. Six o’clock. The burnt-out ends of smoky days. And now a gusty shower wraps The grimy scraps Of withered leaves about your feet And newspapers from vacant lots; The showers beat On broken blinds and chimney-pots, And at the corner of the street A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps. And then the lighting of the lamps. II The morning comes to consciousness Of faint stale smells of beer From the sawdust-trampled street With all its muddy feet that press To early coffee-stands. With the other masquerades That time resumes, One thinks of all the hands That are raising dingy shades In a thousand furnished rooms. III You tossed a blanket from the bed, You lay upon your back, and waited; You dozed, and watched the night revealing The thousand sordid images Of which your soul was constituted; They flickered against the ceiling. And when all the world came back And the light crept up between the shutters And you heard the sparrows in the gutters, You had such a vision of the street As the street hardly understands; Sitting along the bed’s edge, where You curled the papers from your hair, Or clasped the yellow soles of feet
blowing or occurring in sudden burts
your consciousness is your mind and your thoughts
a pretence or disguise
dirty, foul, or squalid
to make up; form; compose
In the palms of both soiled hands.
IV His soul stretched tight across the skies That fade behind a city block, Or trampled by insistent feet At four and five and six o’clock; And short square fingers stuffing pipes, And evening newspapers, and eyes Assured of certain certainties, The conscience of a blackened street Impatient to assume the world.
an idea, concept, or opinion
frim or adamant
I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, and cling: The notion of some infinitely gentle Infinitely suffering thing. Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh; The worlds revolve like ancient women Gathering fuel in vacant lots.
SCRUTINIZE IT TITLE
he title ‘Preludes’ mainly means the introduction to something. In other words it can be named as the content. The title of this four stanza poem is completely matching to its title.
DEEPER “THE WINTER EVENING SETTLES DOWN WITH SMELL OF STEAKS IN PASSAGEWAYS. SIX O’CLOCK. THE BURNT-OUT ENDS OF SMOKY DAYS. AND NOW A GUSTY SHOWER WRAPS THE GRIMY SCRAPS OF WITHERED LEAVES ABOUT YOUR FEET AND NEWSPAPERS FROM VACANT LOTS; THE SHOWERS BEAT ON BROKEN BLINDS AND CHIMNEY-POTS, AND AT THE CORNER OF THE STREET A LONELY CAB-HORSE STEAMS AND STAMPS. AND THEN THE LIGHTING OF THE LAMPS”
he winter evening settles down with smells of steaks in passageways.’: Writes T.S Eliot giving olfactory imagery with the smell of steaks. ‘Six O’ clock’: the time people stop sweating with work and start travelling to their own destinations to lessen the gathered heat. Every action has a reaction says Albert Einstein. Similarly the action for this particular tiresome reaction is industrialization. ‘The burnt out ends of smoky days means the foggy twilight wrapping the day to an end just like the butt of a cigarette gently emitting fumes. Then begins the rain adding more gloomy effects to the atmosphere. ‘Broken blinds’ has something special to do with the people’s lives. Their houses are covered with blinds. Half hidden from the common eye. People have their own private lives and it seems that they don’t like the sharing theory.
“THE MORNING COMES TO CONSCIOUSNESS OF FAINT STALE SMELLS OF BEER FROM THE SAWDUST-TRAMPLED STREET WITH ALL ITS MUDDY FEET THAT PRESS TO EARLY COFFEE-STANDS. WITH THE OTHER MASQUERADES THAT TIME RESUMES, ONE THINKS OF ALL THE HANDS THAT ARE RAISING DINGY SHADES IN A THOUSAND FURNISHED ROOMS.”
he second stanza starts with the start of an early morning scene. The morning is sensed by the writer when his olfactory organs are alarmed of the smell of bear. The people are addicts and they start the day with things a particular usually does at the end of the day. This passage takes the face of disgust and pretence. The streets are heavily walked on by dirty feet muddying them all the way to coffee stands and their own destinations. The post reflects a strong idea by using the word ‘masquerades’ which means the people use pretence everywhere they go and no one will ever read people by their looks. Anyone can fake a smile so no one is showing who they really are. The last there lines with the words ‘hands, dingy shades, furnished rooms’ can mean the same hands of the yellow feet mentioned before. The above incident can depict the fact that this person is recalling the memories of his previous night with a whore.
“YOU TOSSED A BLANKET FROM THE BED, YOU LAY UPON YOUR BACK, AND WAITED; YOU DOZED, AND WATCHED THE NIGHT REVEALING THE THOUSAND SORDID IMAGES OF WHICH YOUR SOUL WAS CONSTITUTED; THEY FLICKERED AGAINST THE CEILING. AND WHEN ALL THE WORLD CAME BACK
AND THE LIGHT CREPT UP BETWEEN THE SHUTTERS AND YOU HEARD THE SPARROWS IN THE GUTTERS, YOU HAD SUCH A VISION OF THE STREET AS THE STREET HARDLY UNDERSTANDS; SITTING ALONG THE BED’S EDGE, WHERE YOU CURLED THE PAPERS FROM YOUR HAIR, OR CLASPED THE YELLOW SOLES OF FEET IN THE PALMS OF BOTH SOILED HANDS.”
his stanza as usual, supports the idea of the previous stanza. It depicts a person inside somewhere. This person is a whore or a prostitute and the poem suggest that her memories have started haunting her. She sold herself that night and now she’s watching the light creeping through the shutters. She is listening to the birds and recalling her night. “The street hardly understands “means that the people who use her doesn’t realize that she is doing it for her living and no for her own entertainment. They she engages in beauty culture to maintain her customer count.
“HIS SOUL STRETCHED TIGHT ACROSS THE SKIES THAT FADE BEHIND A CITY BLOCK, OR TRAMPLED BY INSISTENT FEET AT FOUR AND FIVE AND SIX O’CLOCK; AND SHORT SQUARE FINGERS STUFFING PIPES, AND EVENING NEWSPAPERS, AND EYES ASSURED OF CERTAIN CERTAINTIES, THE CONSCIENCE OF A BLACKENED STREET IMPATIENT TO ASSUME THE WORLD.
I AM MOVED BY FANCIES THAT ARE CURLED AROUND THESE IMAGES, AND CLING: THE NOTION OF SOME INFINITELY GENTLE INFINITELY SUFFERING THING.” ANDREW EUGENE
WIPE YOUR HAND ACROSS YOUR MOUTH, AND LAUGH; THE WORLDS REVOLVE LIKE ANCIENT WOMEN GATHERING FUEL IN VACANT LOTS.
gain it’s another winter evening. The poet explains his vision from his position. He is observing a passing crowd who suffer from loss of conscience. It depicts busy nature and lack of relaxation. They lead a false life wrapping themselves with pretence. The poet advices to wear a smile and get what you want and that is the common human theory everywhere. “Evening newspapers” depicts the busy lifestyle. The poem ends in a dramatic manner with the use of the last three lines.
his poem is completely about pretence. It is to highlight the people who have masquerades worn over them to hide from the profane wretched society. It shows people who have secret lives. Some start the day like if it’s an evening while some others start working at night. People gather money and heat to drink beer and visit whores. This is what the writer highlights. Modernized society has resulted in extreme pretence.
TECHNIQUES VISUAL IMAGERY
- WINTER EVENINGS, WITHERED LEAVES, LIGHTING OF LAMPS, SAW DUST ETC.
OLFACTORY IMAGERY - SMELL OF STEAKS, STALE SMELLS OF BEER SYMBOLS
POSSIBLE THEMES LIFE IS AN UNCHANGING CYCLE OF DAY AND NIGHT PRETENCE OVERTAKES ALL APPEARANCE AND REALITY
SCRUTINIZING by Andrew Eugene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialNoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://www.scribd.com/AndrewEugene.