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John Anthony Burgess Wilson FRSL (/ˈbɜrdʒɛs/; 25 February 1917 – 22 November 1993) – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English writer and composer. Burgess was predominantly seen as a comic writer, and although this was how his works were read, he claimed that his works weren't intended to be humorous.
The dystopian satire A Clockwork Orange is Burgess's most famous novel, though he dismissed it as one of his lesser works, and it is in many ways an atypical Burgess work. It was adapted into a highly controversial 1971 film by Stanley Kubrick, which Burgess said was chiefly responsible for the popularity of the book. Burgess produced numerous other novels, including the Enderby quartet, and Earthly Powers, regarded by most critics as his greatest novel.
Burgess was a prominent literary critic and journalist, writing acclaimed studies of classic writers such as William Shakespeare, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway.
Burgess was also an accomplished musician and linguist. He composed over 250 musical works, including a first symphony around age 18, wrote a number of libretti, and translated, among other works, Cyrano de Bergerac, Oedipus the King
Bob Dylan ( /ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and artist. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for over five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" has been described as radically altering the parameters of popular music in 1965. His recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.
Dylan's lyrics incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the songs of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, and the music and performance styles of Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Elvis Presley,
Miles Burrows (born 1936) is an English poet and doctor. He is included in British Poetry since 1945.
He is significantly influenced by T. S. Eliot, especially by poems such as The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
"Sweeney Among the Nightingales" is a poem by T. S. Eliot, published in his 1920 anthology of poetry, Poems. The action in the poem centers on a person, whom Eliot suggests is perhaps a common zookeeper, named "Apeneck Sweeney"; however, what takes place is less clearly explained. The language used by Eliot paints a very rich atmosphere of London at night, so much so that this atmosphere is more intelligible than any actions that take place. However, these actions include Sweeney's encounters with two women (a mysterious woman wearing a Spanish cape, and Rachel née Rabinovitch) who appear to shatter Sweeney's silent, boring existence in language suggestive of stifled sexual predation.
The poem draws to a close with Sweeney leaving the two women without accepting their advances, but nonetheless seeming to be flattered by the encounter. It ends near the Convent of the Sacred Heart (itself suggestive of celibacy and sexlessness), with the nightingales singing nearby. The poem then takes a dramatic shift in the final stanza, when Eliot suggests the violent scene of the great Greek king Agamemnon's death at the hands of his wife, Queen Clytemnestra, which Eliot seems to draw as a
John Donne ( /ˈdʌn/ DUN) (between 24 January and 19 June 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England. He is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His works are noted for their strong, sensual style and include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and inventiveness of metaphor, especially compared to that of his contemporaries. Donne's style is characterised by abrupt openings and various paradoxes, ironies and dislocations. These features, along with his frequent dramatic or everyday speech rhythms, his tense syntax and his tough eloquence, were both a reaction against the smoothness of conventional Elizabethan poetry and an adaptation into English of European baroque and mannerist techniques. His early career was marked by poetry that bore immense knowledge of British society and he met that knowledge with sharp criticism. Another important theme in Donne’s poetry is the idea of true religion, something that he spent much time considering and theorising about. He wrote secular
Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Nałęcz Korzeniowski; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish novelist who wrote in English, after settling in England.
Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, though he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties (and always with a marked Polish accent). He wrote stories and novels, often with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of an indifferent universe. He was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English tragic sensibility into English literature.
While some of his works have a strain of romanticism, he is viewed as a precursor of modernist literature. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many authors, including D. H. Lawrence, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Malcolm Lowry, William Golding, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Márquez, J. G. Ballard, John le Carré, V.S. Naipaul, Hunter S. Thompson and J.M. Coetzee.
Films have been adapted from or inspired by Conrad's Almayer's Folly, An Outcast of the Islands, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo,
The Journey of the Magi is a poem by T. S. Eliot on the subject of the magi who travelled to Palestine to visit the newborn Jesus according to the Gospel of Matthew. The poem was written after Eliot's conversion to Christianity and confirmation in the Church of England in 1927 and published in Ariel Poems in 1930.
The poem is an account of the journey from the point of view of one of the magi. It picks up Eliot's consistent theme of alienation and a feeling of powerlessness in a world that has changed. In this regard, with a speaker who laments outliving his world, the poem recalls Arnold's Dover Beach, as well as a number of Eliot's own works. Instead of a celebration of the wonders of the journey, the poem is largely a complaint about a journey that was painful and tedious. The speaker says that a voice was always whispering in their ears as they went that "this was all folly". The magus seems generally unimpressed by the infant, and yet he realizes that the Incarnation has changed everything. He asks,
The birth of the Christ was the death of the world of magic, astrology, and paganism.(cf Colossians 2:20) The speaker, recalling his journey in old age, says that after that birth
"Ash Wednesday" (sometimes "Ash-Wednesday") is the first long poem written by T. S. Eliot after his 1927 conversion to Anglicanism. Published in 1930 (see 1930 in poetry), this poem deals with the struggle that ensues when one who has lacked faith in the past strives to move towards God.
Sometimes referred to as Eliot's "conversion poem", "Ash-Wednesday", with a base of Dante's Purgatorio, is richly but ambiguously allusive and deals with the aspiration to move from spiritual barrenness to hope for human salvation. The style is different from his poetry which predates his conversion. "Ash-Wednesday" and the poems that followed had a more casual, melodic, and contemplative method.
Many critics were "particularly enthusiastic concerning 'Ash-Wednesday'", while in other quarters it was not well received. Among many of the more secular literati its groundwork of orthodox Christianity was discomfiting. Edwin Muir maintained that "'Ash-Wednesday' is one of the most moving poems he [Eliot] has written, and perhaps the most perfect."
The poem was first published as now known in April, 1930 as a small book limited to 600 numbered and signed copies. Later that month an ordinary run of 2000
Henri-Louis Bergson (French: [bɛʁksɔn] 18 October 1859 – 4 January 1941) was a major French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many thinkers that immediate experience and intuition are more significant than rationalism and science for understanding reality.
He was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented".
Bergson was born in the Rue Lamartine in Paris, not far from the Palais Garnier (the old Paris opera house) in 1859 (the year in which France emerged as a victor in the Second Italian War of Independence, and in the month before the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species). His father, the pianist Michał Bergson, was of a Polish Jewish family background (originally bearing the name Bereksohn). His mother, Katherine Levison, daughter of a Yorkshire doctor, was from an English and Irish Jewish background. The Bereksohns were a famous Jewish entrepreneurial family of Polish descent. Henri Bergson's great-great-grandfather, Szmul Jakubowicz Sonnenberg, called Zbytkower, was a prominent banker and a
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", commonly known as "Prufrock", is a poem by T. S. Eliot, begun in February 1910 and published in Chicago in June 1915. Described as a "drama of literary anguish," it presents a stream of consciousness in the form of a dramatic monologue, and marked the beginning of Eliot's career as an influential poet. With its weariness, regret, embarrassment, longing, emasculation, sexual frustration, sense of decay, and awareness of mortality, "Prufrock" has become one of the most recognized voices in modern literature.
Composed mainly between February 1910 and July or August 1911, the poem was first published in Chicago in the June 1915 issue of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, after Ezra Pound, the magazine's foreign editor, persuaded Harriet Monroe, its founder, that Eliot was unique: "He has actually trained himself AND modernized himself ON HIS OWN. The rest of the promising young have done one or the other, but never both." This was Eliot's first publication of a poem outside school or university.
In November 1915 (see 1915 in poetry), the poem—along with Eliot's "Portrait of a Lady," "The Boston Evening Transcript," "Hysteria," and "Miss Helen
Cats (stylized as CATS) is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. It introduced the song standard "Memory". Cats first opened in the West End in 1981 and then on Broadway in 1982, each time directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Gillian Lynne; it won numerous awards, including both the Laurence Olivier Award and the Tony Award for Best Musical. The London production ran for twenty-one years and the Broadway production ran for eighteen years, both setting long-run records. Actresses Elaine Paige and Betty Buckley became particularly associated with the musical. One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed in the Broadway production for its entire run (from 1982 until 2000). The show tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.
Cats is the second longest-running show in Broadway history, and the fourth longest-running West End musical. It has been performed around the world many times and has been translated into more than 20 languages. In 1998 Cats was turned
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson, FRS (6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892) was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets.
Tennyson excelled at penning short lyrics, such as "In the Valley of Cauteretz", "Break, Break, Break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Tears, Idle Tears" and "Crossing the Bar". Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses, although In Memoriam A.H.H. was written to commemorate his best friend Arthur Hallam, a fellow poet and fellow student at Trinity College, Cambridge, who was engaged to Tennyson's sister, but died from a brain haemorrhage before they could marry. Tennyson also wrote some notable blank verse including Idylls of the King, "Ulysses," and "Tithonus." During his career, Tennyson attempted drama, but his plays enjoyed little success.
A number of phrases from Tennyson's work have become commonplaces of the English language, including "Nature, red in tooth and claw", "'Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all", "Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die", "My strength is as the strength of ten,
In the Western classical tradition, Homer ( /ˈhoʊmər/; Greek: Ὅμηρος, Hómēros) is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.
When he lived is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before Herodotus' own time, which would place him at around 850 BC; while other ancient sources claim that he lived much nearer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, in the early 12th century BC. Modern researchers appear to place Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC.
The formative influence played by the Homeric epics in shaping Greek culture was widely recognized, and Homer was described as the teacher of Greece. Homer's works, which are about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds.
For modern scholars "the date of Homer" refers not to an individual, but to the period when the epics were created. The
John Roderigo Dos Passos (/dɵsˈpæsɵs/; January 14, 1896 – September 28, 1970) was an American novelist and artist.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dos Passos was the illegitimate son of John Randolph Dos Passos (1844–1917), a distinguished lawyer of Madeiran Portuguese descent, and Lucy Addison Sprigg Madison of Petersburg, Virginia. The elder Dos Passos was married with a son several years older than John. Although John's father married his mother after the death of his first wife in 1910, he refused to acknowledge John for another two years, until he was 16. John Randolph Dos Passos was an authority on trusts, a staunch supporter of the powerful industrial conglomerates that his son would come to oppose in his fictional works of the 1920s and 1930s.
The younger Dos Passos received a first-class education, enrolling at The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut in 1907 under the name John Roderigo Madison, then traveling with a private tutor on a six-month tour of France, England, Italy, Greece, and the Middle East to study the masters of classical art, architecture, and literature.
In 1912, he enrolled in Harvard University. Following his graduation in
William Cuthbert Faulkner (born Falkner, September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was a writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career. He is primarily known and acclaimed for his novels and short stories, many of which are set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, a setting Faulkner created based on Lafayette County, where he spent most of his life, and Holly Springs/Marshall County.
Faulkner is one of the most important writers of the Southern literature of the United States, along with Mark Twain, Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O'Connor, Truman Capote, Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Harper Lee and Tennessee Williams. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; also on the
Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known as George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952) was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American, although he always kept a validated Spanish passport. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. At the age of forty-eight, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently, never to return to the United States. His last will was to be buried in the Spanish Pantheon of the Cimitero Monumentale del Verano in Rome.
Santayana is known for the sayings, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", and "[O]nly the dead have seen the end of war." The latter sentence is often (for example, at the start of the film Black Hawk Down) falsely attributed to Plato; the former appears in Reason in Common Sense, the first volume of Santayana's five-volume Life of Reason. (In the 1905 Charles Scribner's Sons edition, it is found on page 284.) Santayana is broadly included among the pragmatists with Harvard University colleagues William
"East Coker" is the second poem of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets. It was started as a way for Eliot to get back into writing poetry and was modeled after "Burnt Norton". It was finished during early 1940 and printed for the Easter edition of the 1940 New English Weekly. The title refers to a small community that was directly connected to Eliot's ancestry and was home to a church that was later to house Eliot's ashes.
The poem discusses time and disorder within nature that is the result of humanity following only science and not the divine. Leaders are described as materialistic and unable to understand reality. The only way for mankind to find salvation is through pursuing the divine by looking inwards and realizing that humanity is interconnected. Only then can people understand the universe.
During 1939 Eliot thought that he would be unable to continue writing poetry. In an attempt to see if he could still, he started copying aspects of Burnt Norton and substituted another place: East Coker, a place that Eliot visited in 1937 with the St Michael's Church, where his ashes were later kept. The place held a particular importance to Eliot and his family because Andrew Eliott, Eliot's
Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.
Jeanette Winterson, OBE (born 27 August 1959) is a British writer.
Winterson was born in Manchester and adopted by Constance and John William Winterson on 21 January 1960. She grew up in Accrington, Lancashire, and was raised in the Elim Pentecostal Church. Intending to become a Pentecostal Christian missionary, she began evangelising and writing sermons at age six.
By the age of 16 Winterson had identified as a lesbian and left home. She soon after attended Accrington and Rossendale College, and supported herself at a variety of odd jobs while reading for a degree in English at St Catherine's College, Oxford.
After moving to London, her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, won the 1985 Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, and was adapted for television by Winterson in 1990. This in turn won the BAFTA Award for Best Drama. She won the 1987 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for The Passion, a novel set in Napoleonic Europe.
Winterson's subsequent novels explore the boundaries of physicality and the imagination, gender polarities, and sexual identities, and have won several literary awards. Her stage adaptation of The PowerBook in 2002 opened at the Royal National Theatre, London. She
Evelyn Underhill (6 December 1875 – 15 June 1941) was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Christian mysticism.
In the English-speaking world, she was one of the most widely read writers on such matters in the first half of the twentieth century. No other book of its type—until the appearance in 1946 of Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy—met with success to match that of her best-known work, Mysticism, published in 1911.
Underhill was born in Wolverhampton. She was a poet and novelist, as well as a pacifist and mystic. An only child, she described her early mystical insights as "abrupt experiences of the peaceful, undifferentiated plane of reality—like the "still desert" of the mystic—in which there was no multiplicity nor need of explanation." The meaning of these experiences became a lifelong quest and a source of private angst, provoking her to research and write.
Both her father and her husband were writers (on the law), London barristers and yachtsmen. She and her husband, Hubert Stuart Moore, grew up together and were married on 3 July 1907. The couple had no children. She travelled
Valerie Eliot née Esmé Valerie Fletcher (born 17 August 1926) is the surviving widow and second wife of the Nobel prize-winning poet, T. S. Eliot. She is a major stockholder in the publishing firm of Faber and Faber Limited and the editor and annotator of a number of books dealing with her late husband's writings.
Valerie married Eliot, almost 38 years her senior, on 10 January 1957. She is his most important editor and literary executor, having brought to press The Waste Land: Facsimile and Manuscripts of the Original Drafts (1971) and The Letters of T. S. Eliot: Volume 1, 1898-1922 (1989). She also assisted Christopher Ricks with his edition of The Inventions of the March Hare (1996), a volume of Eliot's unpublished verse. A second volume of Eliot's letters, edited by Valerie, had been long-delayed, with much speculation but little solid information as to the reason. In late 2009, however, Volume 2 did come out. Volume III, edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden and covering the years 1926-27, followed in July 2012.
She donates the £15,000 annual prize money for the T. S. Eliot Prize.
Memoir writers who were close companions of T. S. Eliot (such as Joseph Chiari and Herbert
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure of the early modernist movement. His contribution to poetry began with his promotion of Imagism, a movement that derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision and economy of language. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–1969).
Working in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, Pound helped to discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost and Ernest Hemingway. He was responsible for the publication in 1915 of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and for the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote of him in 1925: "He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. ... He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying ... he advances them
Charles Pierre Baudelaire (French: [ʃaʁl bodlɛʁ]; April 9, 1821 – August 31, 1867) was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the 19th century. Baudelaire's highly original style of prose-poetry influenced a whole generation of poets including Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Stéphane Mallarmé among many others. He is credited with coining the term "modernity" (modernité) to designate the fleeting, ephemeral experience of life in an urban metropolis, and the responsibility art has to capture that experience.
Baudelaire is one of the major innovators in French literature. His poetry is influenced by the French romantic poets of the earlier 19th century, although its attention to the formal features of verse connect it more closely to the work of the contemporary "Parnassians". As for theme and tone, in his works we see the rejection of the belief in the supremacy of nature and the fundamental goodness of man as typically espoused by the romantics and expressed by them
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and journalist. His work is marked by clarity, intelligence and wit, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism.
Considered perhaps the 20th century's best chronicler of English culture, Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945), which together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author. His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the vernacular with several of his neologisms, such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, and thought police.
Kyriakos Charalambides (Greek: Κυριάκος Χαραλαμπίδης, Kyriacos Charalambides) is one of the most renown and celebrated living Greek poets. His poetry, essays, translations and critical analysis celebrate the ideas of Western civilisation, expressed through the language and history of Greek culture. His poetic opus adds to the tradition established by such modern Greek poets as Constantine P. Cavafy, Giorgos Seferis and Odysseas Elytis. His poetry though holds steadfastly to the Greek Cypriot linguistic register.
He was born on January 31, 1940, in Achna, in the Famagusta District of Cyprus. He studied history and archaeology at the University of Athens, 1958–64, drama at the Drama School of the Greek National Theater, 1962–63 and radio in Munich, 1972-73. After four years as a high school Greek literature teacher in Cyprus, he was appointed to the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation where he served until 1997 as Head of Radio Programmes. In 2008, he has been elected by the Senate of the University of Cyprus to serve on its Council.
He is the author of ten books of poetry:
Three of his books were awarded the First State Prize for Poetry (Cyprus). His book "Tholos" (Dome) was awarded the
"Gerontion" is a poem by T. S. Eliot that was first published in 1920. The work relates the opinions and impressions of a gerontic, or elderly man, through a dramatic monologue which describes Europe after World War I through the eyes of a man who has lived the majority of his life in the 19th Century. Eliot considered using this already published poem as a preface to The Waste Land, but decided to keep it as an independent poem. Along with The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land, and other works published by Eliot in the early part of his career, Gerontion discusses themes of religion, sexuality, and other general topics of Modernist poetry.
Eliot was working on the poem after the end of World War One when Europe was undergoing changes as old systems of government and international relations were being replaced. During that time, Eliot was working at Lloyds Bank, editing The Egoist, and trying to publish poetry. Eliot had published in 1920 Ara Vos Prec, a limited printed work that collected his early poems including Gerontion.
Two earlier versions of the poem can be found, the original typescript of the poem as well as that version with comments by Ezra Pound. In
Four Quartets is a set of four poems written by T. S. Eliot that were published individually over a six-year period. The first poem, Burnt Norton, was written and published with a collection of his early works following the production of Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral. After a few years, Eliot composed the other three poems, East Coker, The Dry Salvages, and Little Gidding, which were written during World War II and the air-raids on Great Britain. The poems were not collected until Eliot's New York publisher printed them together in 1943. They were first published as a series in Great Britain in 1944 towards the end of Eliot's poetic career.
Four Quartets are four interlinked meditations with the common theme being man's relationship with time, the universe, and the divine. In describing his understanding of the divine within the poems, Eliot blends his Anglo-Catholicism with mystical, philosophical and poetic works from both Eastern and Western religious and cultural traditions, with references to the Bhagavad-Gita and the Pre-Socratics as well as St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich.
Although many critics find the Four Quartets to be Eliot's great last work, some of
Hamlet and His Problems is an essay written by T.S. Eliot in 1919 that offers a critical reading of Hamlet. The essay first appeared in Eliot's The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism in 1920. It was later reprinted by Faber & Faber in 1932 in Selected Essays, 1917-1932. Eliot's critique gained attention partly due to his claim that Hamlet is "most certainly an artistic failure." Eliot also popularized the concept of the objective correlative — a mechanism used to evoke emotion in an audience — in the essay. The essay is also an example of Eliot's use of what became known as new criticism.
Eliot begins the essay by stating that the primary problem of Hamlet is actually the play itself, with its main character being only a secondary issue. Eliot goes on to note that play enjoys critical success because the character of Hamlet appeals to a particular kind of creatively minded critic. According to Eliot, a creative-minded individual who directs his energy toward criticism projects his own character onto Hamlet. As a result, the critic becomes biased in favor of and fixated on the character. Eliot accuses Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Samuel Taylor Coleridge of this, stating
Harold Hart Crane (July 21, 1899 – April 27, 1932) was an American poet. Finding both inspiration and provocation in the poetry of T. S. Eliot, Crane wrote modernist poetry that was difficult, highly stylized, and ambitious in its scope. In his most ambitious work, The Bridge, Crane sought to write an epic poem, in the vein of The Waste Land, that expressed a more optimistic view of modern, urban culture than the one that he found in Eliot's work. In the years following his suicide at the age of 32, Crane has been hailed by playwrights, poets, and literary critics alike (including Robert Lowell, Derek Walcott, Tennessee Williams, and Harold Bloom), as being one of the most influential poets of his generation.
Hart Crane was born in Garrettsville, Ohio. His father, Clarence, was a successful Ohio businessman who invented the Life Savers candy and held the patent, but sold it for $2,900 before the brand became popular. He made other candy and accumulated a fortune from the candy business with chocolate bars. Crane's mother and father were constantly fighting, and early in April, 1917, they divorced. Hart dropped out of high school during his junior year and left for New York City,
Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry (French: [pɔl valeʁi]; 30 October 1871 – 20 July 1945) was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues) and aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events.
Valéry was born to a Corsican father and Genoese-Istrian mother in Sète, a town on the Mediterranean coast of the Hérault, but he was raised in Montpellier, a larger urban center close by. After a traditional Roman Catholic education, he studied law at university, then resided in Paris for most of the remainder of his life, where he was, for a while, part of the circle of Stéphane Mallarmé.
In 1900, he married Jeannie Gobillard, a friend of Stéphane Mallarmé's family, who was also a niece of the painter, Berthe Morisot. The wedding was a double ceremony in which the bride's cousin, Morisot's daughter, Julie Manet, married the painter, Ernest Rouart. Valéry and Gobillard had three children: Claude, Agathe, and François.
Valéry served as a juror with Florence Meyer Blumenthal in awarding the Prix Blumenthal, a grant given between 1919 and 1954 to
The Portrait of a Lady is a novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly and Macmillan's Magazine in 1880–81 and then as a book in 1881. It is one of James's most popular long novels, and is regarded by critics as one of his finest.
The Portrait of a Lady is the story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who "affronts her destiny" and finds it overwhelming. She inherits a large amount of money and subsequently becomes the victim of Machiavellian scheming by two American expatriates. Like many of James's novels, it is set in Europe, mostly England and Italy. Generally regarded as the masterpiece of James's early period, this novel reflects James's continuing interest in the differences between the New World and the Old, often to the detriment of the former. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, and betrayal.
Isabel Archer, originally from Albany, New York, is invited by her maternal aunt, Lydia Touchett, to visit Lydia's rich husband Daniel at his estate near London, following the death of Isabel's father. There, she meets her cousin Ralph Touchett, her friendly invalid uncle, and the Touchetts'
Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955) was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.
Some of his best-known poems include "Valley Candle", "Anecdote of the Jar", "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock", "The Emperor of Ice-Cream", "The Idea of Order at Key West", "Sunday Morning", "The Snow Man", and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."
The son of a prosperous lawyer, Stevens attended Harvard as a non-degree special student, after which he moved to New York City and briefly worked as a journalist. He then attended New York Law School, graduating in 1903. On a trip back to Reading in 1904 Stevens met Elsie Viola Kachel (1886–1963, aka Elsie Moll), a young woman who had worked as a saleswoman, milliner, and stenographer. After a long courtship, he married her in 1909 over the objections of his parents, who considered her lower-class. As The New York Times reported in an article in 2009, "Nobody from his family attended the
Sir James George Frazer FRS FRSE FBA OM (1 January 1854 – 7 May 1941), was a Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. He is often considered one of the founding fathers of modern anthropology.
His most famous work, The Golden Bough (1890), documents and details similar magical and religious beliefs across the globe. Frazer posited that human belief progressed through three stages: primitive magic, replaced by religion, in turn replaced by science.
He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, with his wife Lilly, who died the 8th of May 1941, the day after his own death.
Born in Glasgow, Frazer attended school at Springfield Academy and Larchfield Academy in Helensburgh. He studied at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with honours in Classics (his dissertation would be published years later as The Growth of Plato's Ideal Theory) and remained a Classics Fellow all his life. He went on from Trinity to study law at the Middle Temple and yet never practised. He was four times elected to Trinity's Title Alpha Fellowship, and was
"Tradition and the Individual Talent" (1919) is an essay written by poet and literary theorist T. S. Eliot. The essay was first published, in two parts, in The Egoist (1919) and later in Eliot's first book of criticism, "The Sacred Wood" (1920). The essay is also available in Eliot's "Selected Prose" and "Selected Essays".
While Eliot is most often known for his poetry, he also contributed to the field of literary theory. In this dual role, he acted as poet-critic, comparable to Sir Philip Sidney and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. "Tradition and the Individual Talent" is one of the more well known works that Eliot produced in his critic capacity. It formulates Eliot’s influential conception of the relationship between the poet and the literary tradition which precedes him.
Eliot presents his conception of tradition and the definition of the poet and poetry in relation to it. He wishes to correct the fact that, as he perceives it, "in English writing we seldom speak of tradition, though we occasionally apply its name in deploring its absence." Eliot posits that, though the English tradition generally upholds the belief that art progresses through change - a separation from tradition,
The Waste Land is a 434-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922. It has been called "one of the most important poems of the 20th century." Despite the poem's obscurity—its shifts between satire and prophecy, its abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location and time, its elegiac but intimidating summoning up of a vast and dissonant range of cultures and literatures—the poem has become a familiar touchstone of modern literature. Among its famous phrases are "April is the cruellest month," "I will show you fear in a handful of dust," and the mantra in the Sanskrit language "Shantih shantih shantih."
Eliot probably worked on what was to become The Waste Land for several years preceding its first publication in 1922. In a letter to New York lawyer and patron of modernism John Quinn dated 9 May 1921, Eliot wrote that he had "a long poem in mind and partly on paper which I am wishful to finish."
Richard Aldington, in his memoirs, relates that "a year or so" before Eliot read him the manuscript draft of The Waste Land in London, Eliot visited him in the country. While walking through a graveyard, they started discussing Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country
Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was a publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and "arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century." Although he was born an American, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.
The poem that made his name, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock—started in 1910 and published in Chicago in 1915—is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement, and was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including Gerontion (1920), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1945). He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.
Eliot was born into the Eliot family, a middle class family originally from New England, who had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St. Louis. His mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poetry and was a social
The Hollow Men (1925) is a poem by T. S. Eliot. Its themes are, like many of Eliot's poems, overlapping and fragmentary, but it is recognised to be concerned most with post-World War I Europe under the Treaty of Versailles (which Eliot despised: compare "Gerontion"), the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, and, as some critics argue, Eliot's own failed marriage (Vivienne Eliot may have been having an affair with Bertrand Russell). The poem is divided into five parts and consists of 98 lines.
Eliot wrote that he produced the title "The Hollow Men" by combining the titles of the romance "The Hollow Land" by William Morris with the poem "The Broken Men" by Rudyard Kipling: but it is possible that this is one of Eliot's many constructed allusions, and that the title originates more transparently from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar or from the character Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness who is referred to as a "hollow sham" and "hollow at the core".
The two epigraphs to the poem, "Mistah Kurtz – he dead" and "A penny for the Old Guy", are allusions to Conrad's character and to Guy Fawkes, attempted arsonist of the English house of Parliament, and his straw-man effigy that
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante (UK /ˈdænti/, US /ˈdɑːnteɪ/; Italian: [ˈdante]; c. 1265–1321), was a major Italian poet of the Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Commedia and later called Divina by Boccaccio, is considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.
In Italy he is known as il Sommo Poeta ("the Supreme Poet") or just il Poeta. Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio are also known as "the three fountains" or "the three crowns". Dante is also called the "Father of the Italian language".
Dante was born in Florence, Italy. The exact date of Dante's birth is unknown, although it is generally believed to be around 1265. This can be deduced from autobiographic allusions in La Divina Commedia. Its first section, the Inferno, begins "Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita" ("Halfway through the journey we are living"), implying that Dante was around 35 years old, as the average lifespan according to the Bible (Psalms 89:10, Vulgate) is 70 years; and as the imaginary travel took place in 1300, Dante must have been born around 1265. Some verses of the Paradiso section of the Divine Comedy
Guy Butler (full name Frederick Guy Butler, b. 21 January 1918 in Cradock, Eastern Cape South Africa - 26 April 2001, Grahamstown, South Africa) was a South African poet and writer.
He was born and educated in the Eastern Cape town of Cradock. He attended Rhodes University and received his MA in 1938. After marrying Jean Satchwell in 1940 he left South Africa to fight in the Second World War. After the war, he read English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford University, graduating in 1947. He returned to South Africa, lecturing in English at the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1951, he returned to Rhodes University in Grahamstown to take up a post as Senior Lecturer, and a year later was made Professor and Head of English. He remained there until his retirement in 1987, when he was appointed Emeritus Professor and Honourary Research Fellow. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Natal, the University of the Witwatersrand and Rhodes University.
Butler promoted the culture of English-speaking South Africans, which led to the charge of separatism from some critics, although he argued for integration rather than exclusivity. He was influential in achieving the
F. V. A. Morriello (born March 15, 1985) is the author of the Quintencia saga. He has appeared in Canadian television programs such as CTV, CityTV, and YTV. He began writing as a child, producing short stories of both fiction and non-fiction. He currently attends York University in Toronto, Canada where he is at work on the second instalment of his series.
Morriello was only seventeen when he wrote the first instalment of the Quintencia saga, Pirates of the Montaleo Isles. When asked how it came about, he replied, "It all began upon a dream of several dark figures enveloped in bright blue light." From that moment, he began writing down his ideas and constructing what would become the Quintencia saga. He is an avid reader and enjoys literature of many genres including modernism, classicism, and romanticism.
Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is also the subject of "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature": James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson.
Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and attended Pembroke College, Oxford for just over a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave. After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write miscellaneous pieces for The Gentleman's Magazine. His early works include the biography The Life of Richard Savage, the poems "London" and "The Vanity of Human Wishes", and the play Irene.
After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755; it had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship."
Murder in the Cathedral is a verse drama by T. S. Eliot that portrays the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, first performed in 1935. Eliot drew heavily on the writing of Edward Grim, a clerk who was an eyewitness to the event.
The play, dealing with an individual's opposition to authority, was written at the time of rising Fascism in Central Europe, and can be taken as a protest to individuals in affected countries to oppose the Nazi regime's subversion of the ideals of the Christian Church.
Some material that the producer asked Eliot to remove or replace during the writing was transformed into the poem "Burnt Norton".
The action occurs between December 2 and December 29, 1170, chronicling the days leading up to the martyrdom of Thomas Becket following his absence of seven years in France. Becket's internal struggle is the main focus of the play.
The play is divided into two "parts" separated by an "interlude". Part one takes place in the Archbishop's hall on December 2, 1170. The play begins with a Chorus singing, foreshadowing the coming violence. The Chorus is a key part of the drama, with its voice changing and developing during the
Edmund Wilson (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer, literary and social critic, and noted man of letters.
Wilson was born in Red Bank, New Jersey. His parents were Helen Mather (née Kimball) and Edmund Wilson, Sr., a lawyer who served as New Jersey Attorney General. Wilson attended The Hill School, a college preparatory boarding school, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1912. At Hill, Wilson served as the editor-in-chief of the school's literary magazine, The Record. From 1912 to 1916, he was educated at Princeton University. He began his professional writing career as a reporter for the New York Sun, and served in the army during the First World War. His family's summer home at Talcottville, New York, known as Edmund Wilson House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Wilson was the managing editor of Vanity Fair in 1920 and 1921, and later served as Associate Editor of The New Republic and as a book reviewer for The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. His works influenced novelists Upton Sinclair, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, Floyd Dell, and Theodore Dreiser. He wrote plays, poems, and novels, but his greatest
Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, graphic and emotionally raw imagery. Bacon's painterly but abstracted figures typically appear isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. He began painting during his early 20s and worked only sporadically until his mid-30s. Before this time he drifted, earning his living as an interior decorator and designer of furniture and rugs. Later, he admitted that his career was delayed because he had spent too long looking for a subject that would sustain his interest. His breakthrough came with the 1944 triptych Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, and it was this work and his heads and figures of the late 1940s through to the mid 1950s that sealed his reputation as a notably bleak chronicler of the human condition.
From the mid-1960s, Bacon mainly produced portrait heads of friends. He often said in interviews that he saw images "in series", and his artistic output often saw him focus on single themes for sustained periods — including his crucifixion, Papal heads and later single and triptych heads series. He
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats is a collection of whimsical poems by T. S. Eliot about feline psychology and sociology, published by Faber and Faber. It is the basis for the musical Cats.
The poems were written during the 1930s and included by Eliot, under his assumed name "Old Possum," in letters to his godchildren. Eliot, front flap. Larson. They were collected and published in 1939 with cover illustrations by the author, and quickly re-published in 1940, illustrated in full by Nicolas Bentley. It has also been published in reillustrated versions by Edward Gorey (1982) and Axel Scheffler (2009).
The contents of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, along with the name of the featured cat when appropriate, are:
In 1954 the English composer Alan Rawsthorne set six of the poems in a work for speaker and orchestra entitled Practical Cats, which was recorded soon after, with the actor Robert Donat as the speaker. At about the same time period another English composer, Humphrey Searle, composed another narrator piece based on the poems, using the flute, piccolo, cello and guitar. This work, Two Practical Cats, consisted of settings of the poems of Macavity and Growltiger.
Ralph Waldo Ellison (March 1, 1914 – April 16, 1994) was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar and writer. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953. He also wrote Shadow and Act (1964), a collection of political, social and critical essays, and Going to the Territory (1986).
Ralph Ellison, named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Lewis Alfred Ellison and Ida Millsap. Research by Lawrence Jackson, one of Ellison's biographers, has established that he was born a year earlier than had been previously thought. He had one brother named Herbert Millsap Ellison, who was born in 1916. Lewis Alfred Ellison, a small-business owner and a construction foreman, died when Ralph was three years old from stomach ulcers he received from an ice-delivering accident. Many years later, Ellison would find out that his father hoped he would grow up to be a poet.
In 1933, Ellison entered the Tuskegee Institute on a scholarship to study music. Tuskegee's music department was perhaps the most renowned department at the school, headed by the conductor William L. Dawson. Ellison
Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil /ˈvɜrdʒəl/ in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him.
Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome from the time of its composition to the present day. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and arrive on the shores of Italy—in Roman mythology the founding act of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably the Divine Comedy of Dante, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through hell and purgatory.
Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by Varius, Virgil's editor, which was incorporated into the biography by Suetonius and the commentaries of Servius and Donatus, the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry.
Assassinio nella cattedrale (Murder in the Cathedral) is an opera in two acts and an intermezzo by the Italian composer Ildebrando Pizzetti. The libretto is an adaptation by the composer of an Italian translation of T.S. Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral. The opera was first performed at La Scala, Milan on 1 March 1958. The opera was performed for the first time in Canada the following year at the Montreal Festivals.
Key: aacond/corifea 1/corifea 2/araldo/tentatore 1/tentatore 2/becket
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender Is the Night, and his most famous, The Great Gatsby. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age.
The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years; 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and an upcoming 2013 adaption. In 1958 his life from 1937–1940 was dramatized in Beloved Infidel.
Born in 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota to an upper middle class Irish Catholic family, Fitzgerald was named after his famous second cousin, three times removed, Francis Scott Key, but was referred to as "Scott." He was also named after his deceased sister, Louise Scott, one of two sisters who
The Family Reunion is a play by T. S. Eliot. Written mostly in blank verse (though not iambic pentameter), it incorporates elements from Greek drama and mid-twentieth-century detective plays to portray the hero's journey from guilt to redemption. The play was unsuccessful when first presented in 1939, and was later regarded as unsatisfactory by its author, but has been successfully revived since the 1940s. Some critics have thought aspects of the tormented hero reflect Eliot's own difficulties with his estrangement from his first wife.
The play was first performed on 21 March 1939 at the Westminster Theatre, London, with Michael Redgrave as Harry, Helen Haye as Lady Monchensey and Catherine Lacey as Agatha. It ran until 22 April 1939.
Other productions of the play have included:
In New York, the play has been staged at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 1947, the Phoenix Theater in 1958, with Fritz Weaver, Florence Reed and Lillian Gish, and by the visiting Royal Shakespeare Company in 2000 (the Swan Theatre production listed above).
The play is in two acts, set in Wishwood, a stately home in the north of England. At the beginning, the family of Amy, Dowager Lady Monchensey are assembling
Wystan Hugh Auden ( /ˈwɪstən ˈhjuː ˈɔːdən/; 21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973), who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, later an American citizen, regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone, form and content. The central themes of his poetry are love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature.
Auden grew up in and near Birmingham in a professional middle-class family and read English literature at Christ Church, Oxford. His early poems, written in the late 1920s and early 1930s, alternated between telegraphic modern styles and fluent traditional ones, were written in an intense and dramatic tone, and established his reputation as a left-wing political poet and prophet. He became uncomfortable in this role in the later 1930s, and abandoned it after he moved to the United States in 1939, where he became an American citizen in 1946. His poems in the 1940s explored religious and
William Butler Yeats ( /ˈjeɪts/ YAYTS; 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929). Yeats was a very good friend of Indian Bengali poet Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
Yeats was born and educated in Dublin, but spent his childhood in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics
William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed