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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

10. Rhythms
in Poetry

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
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•  Activities
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- Creative Response
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Activities: Author Activities

T. S. Eliot - Selected Archive Items

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[4995] Barry Hyams, T. S. Eliot, Half-Length Portrait, Seated, Facing Slightly Right, Holding Eyeglasses (1954),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-109122].
T. S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and studied at Harvard, but spent most of his adult life in Europe. Eliot was a student of Sanskrit and Buddhism, and his poetry was deeply influenced by orientalism as well as neoclassicism.

[6971] Underwood and Underwood, Learning of German Retreat from Her District, French Woman Returns to Find Her Home a Heap of Ruins (1917),
courtesy of the Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-115012].
Photograph of woman looking at the ruins of her home in the Somme region. Many modernist writers were shaken by the unprecedented devastation of World War I.

[7105] New York Times Paris Bureau Collection, London Has Its Biggest Raid of the War (1941),
courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Photograph of a London building destroyed by bombs. London experienced heavy fire bombing during World War II.

[7658] Herbert Johnson, Future Pastimes. Breaking the News to Her Papa--by Radio (1922),
courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Cartoon depicting a young woman telling her father of her engagement over the radio. For some, the broadened communication made possible by the radio was inspiring. For others, like Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and the father in this picture, the new technology was cause for alarm.

[8949] Lisa M. Steinman, Interview: "Rhythms in Poetry" (2003),
courtesy of American Passages.
Professor of English and humanities Lisa M. Steinman discusses The Waste Land.

[9140] Robert Browning, My Last Duchess (1842),
courtesy of Project Gutenberg.
Robert Browning's poem "My Last Duchess" is a quintessential example of the dramatic monologue. The first-person speaker is a duke who hints at the murder of his last wife, even as he arranges a new marriage. The dramatic monologue was a form later used by T. S. Eliot (see "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock").

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