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T. S. Eliot on Dante

ts eliot essay on dante

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May I explain first why I have chosen, not to deliver a lecture about Dante, but to talk informally about his influence upon myself? What might appear egotism, in doing this, I present as modesty; and the modesty which it pretends to be is merely prudence. I am in no way a Dante scholar; and my general knowledge of Italian is such, that on this occasion, out of respect to the audience and to Dante himself, I shall refrain from quoting him in Italian. And I do not feel that I have anything more to contribute, on the subject of Dante’s poetry, than I put, years ago, into a brief essay. As I explained in the original preface to that essay, I read Dante only with a prose translation beside the text. Forty years ago I began to puzzle out the Divine Comedy in this way; and when I thought I had grasped the meaning of a passage which especially delighted me, I committed it to memory; so that, for some years, I was able to recite a large part of one canto or another to myself, lying in bed or on a railway journey. Heaven knows what it would have sounded like, had I recited it aloud; but it was by this means that I steeped myself in Dante’s poetry. And now it is twenty years since I set down all that my meagre attainments qualified me to say about Dante. But I thought it not uninteresting to myself, and possibly to others, to try to record in what my own debt to Dante consists. I do not think I can explain everything, even to myself; but as I still, after forty years, regard his poetry as the most persistent and deepest influence upon my own verse, I should like to establish at least some of the reasons for it. Perhaps confessions by poets, of what Dante has meant to them, may even contribute something to the appreciation of Dante himself. And finally, it is the only contribution that I can make.

The greatest debts are not always the most evident; at least, there are different kinds of debt.  The kind of debt that I owe to Dante is the kind which goes on accumulating, the kind which is not the debt of one period or another of one’s life. Of some poets I can say I learned a great deal from them at a particular stage. Of Jules Laforgue, for instance, I can say that he was the first to teach me how to speak, to teach me the poetic possibilities of my own idiom and speech. Such early influences, the influences which, so to speak, first first introduce one to oneself, are, I think, due to an impression which is in one aspect, the recognition of a temperament akin to one’s own, and in another aspect the discovery of a form of expression which gives a clue to the discovery of one’s own form. These are not two things, but two aspects of the same thing. But the poet who can do this for a young writer, is unlikely to be one of the great masters. The latter are too exalted and too remote. They are like distant ancestors who have been almost deified; whereas the smaller poet, who has directed one’s first steps, is more like an admired elder brother.

Then, among influences, there are the poets from whom one has learned some one thing, perhaps of capital importance to oneself, though not necessarily the great contribution these poets have made. I think that from Baudelaire I learned first, a precedent for the poetical possibilities, never developed by any poet writing in my own language, of the more sordid aspects of the modern metropolis, of the possibility of the fusion between the sordidly realistic and the phantasmagoric, the possibility of the juxtaposition of the matter-of-fact and the fantastic. From him, as from Laforgue, I learned that the sort of material I had, the sort of experience that an adolescent had had, in an industrial city in America, could be the material for poetry; and that the source of new poetry might be found in what had been regarded hitherto as the impossible, the sterile, the intractably unpoetic. That, in fact, the business of the poet was to make poetry out of the unpoetical; that the poet, in fact, was committed by his profession to turn the unpoetical into poetry. A great poet can give a younger poet everything that he has to give him, in a very few lines. It may be that I am indebted to Baudelaire chiefly for half a dozen lines out of the whole of Fleurs du Mal …

I may seem to you very far from Dante. But I cannot give you any approximation of what Dante has done for me, without speaking of what other poets have done for me. When I have written about Baudelaire, or Dante, or any other poet who has had a capital importance in my own development, I have written because that poet has meant so much to me, but not about myself, but about that poet and his poetry. That is, the first impulse to write about a great poet is one of gratitude; but the reasons for which on is grateful may play a very small part in a critical appreciation of that poet.

…There are also the great masters, to whom one slowly grows up. When I was young I felt much more at ease with the lesser Elizabethan dramatists than with Shakespeare: the former were, so to speak, playmates nearer my own size. One test of the great masters, of whom Shakespeare is one, is that the appreciation of their poetry is a lifetime’s task, because at every stage of of maturing—and that should be one’s whole life–you are able to understand them better. Among these are Shakespeare, Dante, Homer and Virgil… And no verse seems to demand greater literalness in translation than Dante’s, because no poet convinces one more completely that the word he had used is the word he wanted, and that no other will do.

…Certainly I have borrowed lines from [Dante], in the attempt to reproduce, or rather to arouse in the reader’s mind the memory, of some Dantesque scene, and thus establish a relationship between the medieval inferno and modern life. Readers of my Waste Land will perhaps remember that the vision of my city clerks trooping over London Bridge from the railway station to their offices evoked the reflection “I had not thought death had undone so many”; and that in another place I deliberately modified a line of Dante by altering it—“sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled.” And I gave the references in my notes, in order to make the reader who recognized the allusion, know that I meant him to recognize it, and know that he would have missed the point if he did not recognize it. Twenty years after writing The Waste Land , I wrote, in Little Gidding , a passage which is intended to be the nearest equivalent to a canto of the Inferno or the Purgatorio, in style as well as content, that I could achieve. The intention, of course, was the same as with my allusions to Dante in The Waste Land : to present to the mind of the reader a parallel, by means of contrast, between the Inferno and the Purgatorio, which Dante visited and a hallucinated scene after an air-raid…. This section of a poem—not the length of one canto of the Divine Comedy—cost me far more time and trouble and vexation than any passage of the same length that I have ever written….

…Of what one learns, and goes on learning, from Dante I should like to make three points. The first is, that of the very few poets of similar stature there is none, not even Virgil, who had been a more attentive student to the art of poetry, or a more scrupulous, painstaking and conscious practitioner of the craft . Certainly no English poet can be compared with him in this respect, for the more conscious craftsmen—and I am thinking primarily of Milton—have been much more limited poets, and therefore more limited in their craft also. To realize more and more what this means, through the years of one’s own life, is itself a moral lesson; but I draw a further lesson from it which is a moral lesson too. The whole study and practice of Dante seems to me to teach that the poet should be the servant of his language, rather than the master of it. This sense of responsibility is one of the marks of the classical poet, in the sense of “classical” which I have tried to define elsewhere, in speaking of Virgil. Of some great poets, and of some great English poets especially, one can say that they were privileged by their genius to abuse the English language, to develop an idiom so peculiar and even eccentric, that it could be of no use to later poets. Dante seems to me to have a place in Italian literature—which, in this respect, only Shakespeare has in ours; that is, they give body to the soul of the language, conforming themselves, the one more and the other less conspicuously, to what they divined to be its possibilities. And Shakespeare himself takes liberties which only his genius justifies; liberties which Dante, with an equal genius, does not take. To pass on to posterity one’s own language, more highly developed, more refined, and more precise than it was before one wrote it, that is the highest possible achievement of the poet as poet. Of course, a really supreme poet makes poetry also more difficult for his successors, but the simple fact of his supremacy, and the price a literature must pay, for having a Dante or a Shakespeare, is that it can have only one . Later poets must find something else to do, and be content if the things left to do are lesser things. But I am not speaking of what a supreme poet, one of those few without whom the current speech of a people with a great language would not be what it is, does for later poets, or of what he prevents them from doing, but of what he does for everybody after him who speaks that language, whose mother tongue it is, whether they are poets, philosophers, statesmen or railway porters.

That is one lesson: that the great master of a language should be the great servant of it. The second lesson of Dante—and it is one which no poet, in any language known to me, can teach—is the lesson of width of emotional range . Perhaps it could be best expressed under the figure of the spectrum, or of the gamut. Employing this figure, I must say that the great poet should not only perceive and distinguish more clearly than other men, the colours or sounds within the range of ordinary vision or hearing; he should perceive vibrations beyond the range of ordinary men, and be able to make men see and hear more at each end than they could ever see without his help. We have for instance in English literature great religious poets, but they are, by comparison with Dante, specialists . That is all they can do. And Dante, because he could do everything else, is for that reason the greatest “religious” poet, though to call him a “religious poet” would be to abate his universality. The Divine Comedy expresses everything in the way of emotion, between depravity’s despair and the beatific vision, that man is capable of experiencing. It is therefore a constant reminder to the poet, of the obligation to explore, to find words for the inarticulate, to capture those feelings which people can hardly even feel, because they have no words for them; and at the same time, a reminder that the explorer beyond the frontiers of ordinary consciousness will only be able to return and report to his fellow-citizens, if he has all the time a firm grasp upon the realities with which they are already acquainted.

These two achievements of Dante are not to be though of as separate or separable. The task of the poet, in making people comprehend the incomprehensible, demands immense resources of language; and in developing the language, enriching the meaning of words and showing how much words can do, he is making possible a much greater range of emotion and perception for other men, because he gives them the speech in which more can be expressed….

…Dante is, beyond all other poets of our continent, the most European . He is the least provincial—and yet that statement must be immediately protected by saying that he did not become the “least provincial” by ceasing to be local. No one is more local; one never forgets that there is much in Dante’s poetry which escapes any reader whose native language is not Italian; but I think that the foreigner is less aware of any residuum that must for ever escape him, than any of us is in reading any other master of a language which is not our own. The Italian of Dante is somehow our language from the moment we begin to try to read it; and the lessons of craft, of speech and of exploration of sensibility are lessons which any European can take to heart and try to apply in his own tongue.

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Dante in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets : Vision, Mysticism, and the Mind’s Journey to God

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Anna Aresi, Dante in T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets : Vision, Mysticism, and the Mind’s Journey to God, Literature and Theology , Volume 30, Issue 4, December 2016, Pages 398–409, https://doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frv014

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This article develops a parallel reading of select passages from Eliot's Four Quartets and Dante's Comedy , highlighting a new relation between the two works. Since the structure of Dante's journey is best understood through the work of Bernard of Clairvaux, the article begins with a brief exposition of Bernard's theory of contemplation and the role it plays in Dante. Once the structure at work in Dante's Comedy becomes apparent, it is possible to observe the same structure at work in Four Quartets . In the second part of the article, on this basis, I propose my reading of the two works, arguing that, like the Comedy , the Quartets is an intellectual and spiritual journey starting from a basis in material reality and arriving, through philosophy and by grace, at the contemplation of the divine.

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The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition Vol. 3: Literature, Politics, Belief, 1927-1929

Preface to dante.

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Dante , by T. S. Eliot. London: Faber and Faber, 1929. Pp. 69; Preface, 11-13.

If my task had been to produce another brief “introduction to the study of Dante” I should have been incompetent to perform it. But in a series of essays of “Poets on Poets” the undertaking, as I understand it, is quite a different one. A contemporary writer of verse, in writing a pamphlet of this description, is required only to give a faithful account of his acquaintance with the poet of whom he writes. This, and no more, I can do; and this is the only way in which I can treat an author of whom so much has been written, that can make any pretence to novelty. I have found no other poet than Dante to whom I could apply continually, for many purposes, and with much profit, during a familiarity of twenty years. I am not a Dante scholar; my Italian is chiefly self-taught, and learnt primarily in order to read Dante; I need still to make constant reference to translations. Yet it has occurred to me that by relating the process of my own gradual and still very imperfect knowledge of Dante, I might give some help to persons who must begin where I began – with a public school knowledge of Latin, a traveller’s smattering of Italian, and a literal translation beside the text. For this reason my order, in the following chapters, is the order of my own initiation. I begin with detail, and approach the general scheme. I began myself with passages of the Inferno which I could understand, passed on to the Purgatorio in the same way, and only after years of experience began to appreciate the Paradiso ; from which I reverted to the other parts of the poem and slowly realized the unity of the whole. I believe that it is quite natural and right to tackle the Vita Nuova afterwards. For an English reader who reads the Vita Nuova too soon is in danger of reading it under Pre-Raphaelite influence. 2

My purpose has been to persuade the reader first of the importance of Dante as a master – I may even say, the master – for a poet writing to-day in any language. And there ensues from that, the importance of Dante to anyone who would appreciate modern poetry, in any language. I should not trust the opinion of anyone who pretended to judge modern verse without knowing Homer, Dante, and Shakespeare. It does not in the least follow that a poet is negligible because he does not know these three.

Having thus excused this book, I do not feel called upon to give any bibliography. Anyone can easily discover more Dante bibliography than anyone can use. But I should like to mention one book which has been of use to me: the Dante of Professor Charles Grandgent of Harvard. 3 I owe something to an essay by Mr. Ezra Pound in his Spirit of Romance , 4 but more to his table-talk; and I owe something to Mr. Santayana’s essay in Three Philosophical Poets . 5 And one should at least glance at the Readings of W. W. Vernon in order to see how far into mediaeval philosophy, theology, science, and literature a thorough study of Dante must go. 6

The reader whom I have kept in mind, in writing this essay, is the reader who commences his reading of Dante with Messrs. Dent’s invaluable Temple Classics edition (3 volumes at 2s. each). 7 For this reason I have in quotations followed the Temple Classics edition text, and have followed pretty closely the translation in the same volumes. It is hardly necessary to say that where my version varies it nowhere pretends to greater accuracy than that excellent translation. Anyone who reads my essay before attempting Dante at all will be likely to turn next to the Temple Classics edition, with its text and translation on opposite pages. There is something to be said for Longfellow’s, and something for Norton’s translation...

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Interesting Literature

A Summary and Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘The Metaphysical Poets’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

In his 1921 essay ‘The Metaphysical Poets’, T. S. Eliot made several of his most famous and important statements about poetry – including, by implication, his own poetry. It is in this essay that Eliot puts forward his well-known idea of the ‘dissociation of sensibility’, among other theories. You can read ‘The Metaphysical Poets’ here before proceeding to our summary and analysis below.

By 1921, T. S. Eliot has established himself as one of the leading new poets writing in English: his two collections of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) and Poems (1920), had heralded the arrival in London literary society of someone who had, in his friend and fellow modernist poet Ezra Pound’s words, ‘modernised himself on his own ’.

Eliot had read widely, in medieval Italian religious poetry (Dante’s Divine Comedy ), Renaissance verse drama (Shakespeare, Thomas Kyd, John Webster, and their contemporaries), and nineteenth-century French Symbolist poets (such as Baudelaire and Laforgue).

But Eliot had also studied the canon of great English poetry, and his essay on the metaphysical poets shows that he identified his own approach to poetry with these poets from the seventeenth century. This is somewhat strange, when we analyse it more closely (as we will do in a moment), but first, here’s a brief rundown of what Eliot argues in ‘The Metaphysical Poets’.

Eliot’s article on the metaphysical poets is actually a review of a new anthology, Herbert J. C. Grierson’s Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems of the Seventeenth Century . Eliot uses his review of Grierson’s anthology, however, as an opportunity to consider the value and significance of the metaphysical poets in the development of English poetry.

Although the metaphysical poets were a distinctly English ‘movement’ or ‘school’ (Eliot uses both words, while acknowledging that they are modern descriptions grouping together a quite disparate number of poets), Eliot also draws some interesting parallels between the seventeenth-century English metaphysical poets and nineteenth-century French Symbolist poets like Jules Laforgue, whose work Eliot much admired.

Eliot begins by reminding us that it’s difficult to define metaphysical poetry, since there is a considerable difference in style and technique between those poets who are often labelled ‘metaphysical’. We have explored the issue of defining metaphysical poetry in a separate post, but the key frame of reference, for us as for Eliot, was Samuel Johnson’s influential denunciation of the metaphysical poets in the eighteenth century.

Eliot quotes Johnson’s line about metaphysical poetry that ‘the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together’. Eliot’s response to Johnson’s censure, however, is to point out that all kinds of poets – not just the metaphysicals – unite heterogeneous or different materials together in their poetry. Indeed, Eliot quotes from Johnson’s own poem, The Vanity of Human Wishes :

His fate was destined to a barren strand, A petty fortress and a dubious hand; He left a name at which the world grew pale, To point a moral or adorn a tale.

Eliot argues that, whilst such lines as these are different in degree from what the metaphysical poets did in their own work, the principle is in fact the same. Johnson is ‘guilty’ of that which he chastised Abraham Cowley, John Cleveland, and other metaphysical poets for doing in their work.

Eliot then goes on to consider the style of numerous metaphysical poets. He points out that, whilst someone like George Herbert wrote in simple and elegant language, his syntax, or sentence structure, was often more complex and demanding. Key to Herbert’s method is ‘a fidelity to thought and feeling’, and it is the union of thought and feeling in metaphysical poetry which will form the predominant theme of the remainder of Eliot’s essay.

Eliot next considers what led to the development of metaphysical poetry: reminding us that John Donne, the first metaphysical poet, was an Elizabethan (Donne wrote many of his greatest love poems in the 1590s, when he was in his early twenties), Eliot compares Donne’s ‘analytic’ mode with many of his contemporaries, such as William Shakespeare and George Chapman, who wrote verse drama for the Elizabethan stage.

These playwrights were all influenced by the French writer Montaigne, who had effectively invented the modern essay form in his prose writings. (We can arguably see the influence of Montaigne, with his essays arguing and considering the various aspects of a topic, on the development of the Shakespearean soliloquy, where we often find a character arguing with themselves about a course of action: Hamlet’s ‘To be, or not to be’ is perhaps the most famous example.)

The key thing, for Eliot, is that in such dramatic speeches – the one he cites is from George Chapman’s drama – there is a ‘direct sensuous apprehension of thought’, i.e. reason and feeling are intrinsically linked, and thought is a sensory, rather than a merely rational, experience.

This is where we come to his thesis concerning the ‘dissociation of sensibility’ which occurred in the seventeenth century.

‘Dissociation of sensibility’

The idea of the ‘dissociation of sensibility’ is one of T. S. Eliot’s most famous critical theories. The key statement made by Eliot in relation to the ‘dissociation of sensibility’ is arguably the following: ‘A thought to Donne was an experience; it modified his sensibility.’ Or, as he had just said, prior to this, of the nineteenth-century poets Tennyson and Browning: ‘they do not feel their thought as immediately as the odour of a rose.’

In other words, whereas poets like Donne, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, felt their thoughts with the immediacy we usually associate with smelling a sweet flower, later poets were unable to feel their thought in the same way. The change – the ‘dissociation of sensibility’, i.e. the moment at which thought and feeling became separated – occurred, for Eliot, in the mid-seventeenth century, after the heyday of metaphysical poetry when Donne, Herbert, and (to an extent) Marvell were writing.

This watershed moment, this shift in poetry, is represented, for Eliot, by two major poets of the later seventeenth century: John Milton and John Dryden. Both poets did something consummately, but what they did was different. Dryden’s style was far more rational and neoclassical; Milton’s was more focused on sensation and feeling.

It is worth noting, although Eliot doesn’t make this point, that the Romantics – whose work rejected the cold, orderly rationalism of neoclassical poets like Alexander Pope and, before him, John Dryden – embraced Milton, and especially his Paradise Lost . Wordsworth references Milton in several of his sonnets, while Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is steeped in Milton.

Eliot concludes ‘The Metaphysical Poets’ by drawing some comparisons between the metaphysical mode and nineteenth-century French Symbolists, to demonstrate further that the ‘metaphysical’ was not some entirely distinct variety of poetry but that it shares some core affinities with other schools of poetry.

He then returns to Johnson’s criticism of the metaphysical poets’ techniques and metre, and argues that, whilst we should take Johnson’s critique seriously, we should nevertheless value the metaphysical poets and look beyond poets like Cowley and Cleveland (who are Johnson’s chief focus).

In conclusion, Eliot’s essay was important in raising the profile of the metaphysical poets among his own readers: people who looked to Eliot for discerning critical judgement and viewed him as a touchstone of literary taste were inclined to go and reread the metaphysicals.

This led to a tendency among critics of Eliot’s work to identify him as a latter-day metaphysical poet, a view which, as the poet-critic William Empson pointed out, isn’t borne out by reading Eliot’s work. Prufrock, the speakers of The Waste Land , and the Hollow Men don’t really speak to us in the same way as Donne or Marvell do: there aren’t really any elaborate and extended poetic conceits (central to the metaphysical method) in Eliot’s work.

So, this connection between Eliot’s own work and the work of Donne, Herbert, and others has been overplayed. (Empson was well-placed to point this out: his own poetry clearly bears the influence of Donne in particular, and Empson is rightly called a modern metaphysical poet for this reason.)

However, Eliot himself encourages such a parallel at one point in ‘The Metaphysical Poets’, when he writes that poets writing in modern European civilisation must be difficult because the civilisation is itself complex and various, and so the poet, to do justice to this complexity and variety, must become ‘more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into his meaning’. Certainly this statement is equally applicable to Andrew Marvell and T. S. Eliot.

About T. S. Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) is regarded as one of the most important and influential poets of the twentieth century, with poems like ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ (1915), The Waste Land (1922), and ‘The Hollow Men’ (1925) assuring him a place in the ‘canon’ of modernist poetry.

Modernist poets often embraced free verse, but Eliot had a more guarded view, believing that all good poetry had the ‘ghost’ of a metre behind the lines. Even in his most famous poems we can often detect the rhythms of iambic pentameter – that quintessentially English verse line – and in other respects, such as his respect for the literary tradition, Eliot is a more ‘conservative’ poet than a radical.

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ts eliot essay on dante

T. S. Eliot and Dante

  • © 1989
  • Dominic Manganiello 0

University of Ottawa, Canada

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

Front matter, dante according to eliot.

Dominic Manganiello

Death by Water and Dante’s Ulysses

The poetics of the desert, eliot’s book of memory, the aesthetics and politics of order, eliot’s dante and the moderns, back matter.

  • George Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot

Dante by t. s. eliot....

190 x 128 mm. 69, [1] pages. Editorial binding in cardboard, with its original dust jacket, both illustrated by Rex Whitler. Preserved in red chemise and slipcase. A very fine copy. On the title-page oval stamp ‘Faber and Faber Ltd. Office Copy. Not to be taken away'.

Provenance: Thomas Stearn Eliot (1888-1965) to Maurice Haigh-Wood (on the recto of the front flyleaf Eliot's autograph dedication ‘'For Maurice Haigh-Wood with the author's humble compliments. T. S. Eliot); Livio Ambrogio collection.

The original edition of the most famous essay dedicated by the American poet and writer Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) to Dante's work, published in the editorial series "The Poets on the Poets". As printed in the flap of the dust jacket, "This essay is not an academic 'introduction'; it is a personal account of the way in which the author, over many years, arrived at his understanding and appreciation of Dante. It is written for those who would like to know Dante, and who must begin as Mr. Eliot did, with ‘a traveller's smattering of italian, and a public-school knowledge of Latin'. It traces the process by which such a reader can proceed from enjoyment of single passages towards appreciation of the whole of Dante's work". A very fine copy, gifted by Eliot to Maurice Haigh-Wood, brother of his first wife Vivienne.


  1. "Dante: The Poets On The Poets" 1929 ELIOT, T.S

    ts eliot essay on dante

  2. Dante. T.S. Eliot. 1921. The Sacred Wood; Essays on Poetry and

    ts eliot essay on dante

  3. Literature, Science, and Dogma: T. S. Eliot and I. A. Richards on Dante

    ts eliot essay on dante

  4. Dante TS Eliot 1921 The Sacred Wood; Essays on Poetry

    ts eliot essay on dante

  5. T. S. Eliot Quote: “Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them

    ts eliot essay on dante

  6. "Dante: The Poets On The Poets" 1929 ELIOT, T.S

    ts eliot essay on dante


  1. Arena

  2. Tradition and the Individual talent by TS eliot Essay explanation litrary Criticism & theory

  3. T.S. Eliot on Dante from To Criticize the Critic

  4. TS Eliot, The Lost Generation, and Dante's Inferno


  6. Dantes Tells His Most TRAUMATIZING Story


  1. A Talk on Dante

    Perhaps confessions by poets, 1. The "Talk" was delivered by Mr. Eliot at the Italian Institute in London, and pub-. lished in Italian News, the Journal of the Institute. It was also published in The Adelphi, First Quarter 1951. T. S. ELIOT 179 of what Dante has meant to tlhem, may even contribute some- thing to the appreciation of Dante himself.

  2. 'What Dante Means to Me'

    The whole study and practice of Dante seems to me to teach that the poet should be the servant of his language, rather than the master of it. (p. 133) To pass on to posterity one's own language, more highly developed, more refined, and more precise than it was before one wrote it, that is the highest possible achievement of the poet as poet.

  3. Project MUSE

    The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition Vol. 7: A European Society, 1947-1953. Talk on Dante [What Dante Means to Me] Johns Hopkins University Press. document. Additional Information. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Italian News, 2 (July 1950) 13-18. May I explain first why I have chosen, not to ...

  4. T. S. Eliot on Dante

    Here is the majority of his famous essay "What Dante Means to Me" (hence my own "What Eliot Means to Me"), which can be found in his collection of essays, To Criticize the Critic and Other Writings. The essay was originally presented as a speech given at the Italian Institute of London, on July 4, 1950, when Eliot was sixty-one:

  5. Dante

    T. S. Eliot, Dante (2nd edn., London, 1965) In my own experience of the appreciation of poetry I have always found that the less I knew about the poet and his work, before I began to read it, the better. …. At least, it is better to be spurred to acquire scholarship because you enjoy the poetry, than to suppose that you enjoy the poetry ...

  6. Dante in T.S. Eliot's

    Dante, 'the chief imagination of Christendom', 1 and T.S. Eliot, one of the most discussed converts in the twentieth century, are undoubtedly regarded as religious poets, and it is not uncommon for scholars to draw parallels between them and their works. The conspicuous presence of Dante in the work of Eliot has prompted numerous studies, which is appropriate, as Dante, according to Eliot ...

  7. The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and

    The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Sacred Wood, by T. S. Eliot This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online ...

  8. Project MUSE

    Preface to Dante. Dante, by T. S. Eliot. London: Faber and Faber, 1929. Pp. 69; Preface, 11-13. If my task had been to produce another brief "introduction to the study of Dante" I should have been incompetent to perform it. But in a series of essays of "Poets on Poets" the undertaking, as I understand it, is quite a different one.

  9. Dante : T.S. Eliot : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet

    Dante by T.S. Eliot. Publication date 1929-01-01 Publisher Faber & Faber Collection internetarchivebooks; inlibrary; printdisabled Contributor Internet Archive Language English. Access-restricted-item true Addeddate 2023-05-28 12:24:02 Autocrop_version ..15_books-20220331-.2 ...

  10. Dante (T.S. Eliot)

    T.S. Eliot, Dante.London: Faber & Faber, 1929. Call number: PQ 4390 .E5 1929 (Special Collections) Case 2: "Illustrations of the Divine Comedy and its Legacy Throughout the Centuries" . The book consists of a commentary on Dante's Vita Nuova and Divine Comedy, the latter divided into two sections: "A Reading of the Inferno" and "A Reading of the Purgatorio and the Paradiso."

  11. Dante (1929); Animula (1929); Marina (1930)

    Summary. Franklin Gary. Symposium 1 (April. 1930), 268-71. [Review of Dante] This little book on Dante may be considered from at least three points of view: as an introduction to Dante, as a discussion of poetry and belief, and as an amplification of what might be called Mr. Eliot's classical ideal. Mr. Eliot disclaims any intention of ...

  12. PDF T. S. Eliot, Dante, and the Idea of Europe

    essays in this volume explore Dante's influence through a focus on Eliot. In asking what Eliot made of Dante, and what Dante meant to Eliot, the writers here assess the legacy of Modernism by engaging its "classicist" roots, covering a wide spectrum of topics radiating from the central node of Dante's presence in the poetry and criticism of ...

  13. The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism by T. S. Eliot

    21026286. Title. The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism. Contents. Introduction -- The perfect critic -- Imperfect critics: Swinburne as a critic. A romantic aristocrat [George Wyndham]. The local flavour. A note on the American critic. The French intelligence -- Tradition and the individual talent -- The possibility of a poetic drama ...

  14. The poet in transformation: Dantean aesthetics in T.S. Eliot's The

    emerges. In particular, the prominence of Dante in the sub-text of Eliot's The Waste Land. reveals the nature of their shared aesthetic—that art is a moral work by virtue of a spiritual. transformation endured by the artist, which involves both a sacrifice of self and a substantiation.

  15. A Summary and Analysis of T. S. Eliot's 'The Metaphysical Poets'

    Eliot had read widely, in medieval Italian religious poetry (Dante's Divine Comedy), Renaissance verse drama (Shakespeare, Thomas Kyd, John Webster, and their contemporaries), and nineteenth-century French Symbolist poets (such as Baudelaire and Laforgue).. But Eliot had also studied the canon of great English poetry, and his essay on the metaphysical poets shows that he identified his own ...

  16. T. S. Eliot and Dante

    About this book. Ezra Pound belatedly conceded that T.S.Eliot "was the true Dantescan voice" of the modern world. With this assertion in mind, this study examines the relationship between the two poets. It attempts to show how Dante's total vision impinges on Eliot's craft and thought.

  17. Dante

    Contents-BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD. T.S. Eliot (1888-1965). The Sacred Wood. 1921. Dante. M. P AUL V ALÉRY, a writer for whom I have considerable respect, has placed in his most recent statement upon poetry a paragraph which seems to me of very doubtful validity. I have not seen the complete essay, and know the quotation only as it appears in a critical notice in the Athenæum, July 23, 1920:

  18. T. S. Eliot and Dante

    Dominic Manganiello. Springer, Oct 13, 1989 - Literary Criticism - 212 pages. Ezra Pound belatedly conceded that T.S.Eliot "was the true Dantescan voice" of the modern world. With this assertion in mind, this study examines the relationship between the two poets. It attempts to show how Dante's total vision impinges on Eliot's craft and thought.

  19. Hamlet by T. S. Eliot

    Hamlet. A towering figure of 20th century poetry, T.S. Eliot also did much to shape critical opinion about poetry, drama, and literary history through his essays, reviews, and work as an editor at Faber and Faber. As a critic Eliot wrote widely on multiple literary traditions, paying special attention to the metaphysical poets, Dante and ...

  20. Tradition and the Individual Talent Summary

    T. S. Eliot's 1919 critical essay "Tradition and the Individual Talent" was first published in the London literary magazine The Egoist. It was republished a year later, alongside nineteen of ...

  21. T. S. Eliot

    Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (26 September 1888 - 4 January 1965) was a poet, essayist and playwright. [1] He is considered to be one of the 20th century's greatest poets, as well as a central figure in English-language Modernist poetry. His use of language, writing style, and verse structure reinvigorated English poetry.

  22. Dante by T. S. Eliot

    The original edition of the most famous essay dedicated by the American poet and writer Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) to Dante's work, published in the editorial series "The Poets on the Poets". As printed in the flap of the dust jacket, "This essay is not an academic 'introduction'; it is a personal account of the way in which the author ...