The Poetic Genius of the 1920s
Thomas Stearns Eliot
T.S. was born in Missouri on September 26, 1888. After earning both undergraduate and masters degrees from Harvard, he left America in 1910 for the Sorbonne. After a year in Paris, he returned to Harvard to receive a doctorate in philosophy. He then returned to Europe, settling in England in 1914. While in London, Eliot came under the influence of his contemporary, Ezra Pound. Ezra recognized Eliot's poetic genius and assisted in the publication of Eliot's work in magazines. His first book of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations, was published in 1917, and immediately established him as a leading poet of the avant-garde. Many considered his book, The Wasteland, published in 1922, to be the most influential book of poetry of the twentieth century. He was the most dominant figure in poetry and literary criticism for the next 30 years. T. S. received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. He died in London in 1965.