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Selected Poems

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  7,091 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Chosen by Eliot himself, the poems in this volume represent the poet's most important work before Four Quartets. Included here is some of the most celebrated verse in modern literature-"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "Gerontion," "The Waste Land," "The Hollow Men," and "Ash Wednesday"-as well as many other fine selections from Eliot's early work.
Paperback, 114 pages
Published February 18th 2002 by Faber & Faber (first published January 1st 1961)
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Dec 04, 2008 Ferret rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
T.S. Eliot, I am spectacularly ambivalent about. I greatly admire his verse, but I often find myself emotionally blindsided by his imagery. He often seems to be moving in directions perpendicular to those I move in, and while he offers ideas that I find valuable for coping with the modern world, he also offers ideas I find unpalatably modern. I hope some day to actually make it through "The Waste Land."
Jul 29, 2007 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: utopia
The poems in this collection are arranged in a sort of progression of quality (in my mind). Prufrock is good, The Waste Land is insight, Ash Wednesday is beauty and The Rock is prophesy. I never knew I liked Mr. Eliot so much.
May 04, 2008 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long"

"Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Actually, I've read these poems many times before. In fact, I read some of them several times during any given year. Everything up to "Choruses from the Rock" is, IMHO, pretty much gold. "Choruses" (which I focused more on this go round) however kind of sucks. It's dry, it's pompous, and it takes up too many pages. At this point in Eliot's writing life, the magic is pretty much gone. As you read "Choruses," you'll hear many of the earlier poems (especially if you've been reading straight through ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
I love this book, it was a hand-me-down from my oldest brother when he finished studying for his A Levels. Due to this is is well dog eared and penned. Not a line doesn't have a scribble of some sort marking down an interpretation of Eliot's literary prowess.

My favourite of the poems in the book is Portrait Of A Lady, something about this poem just speaks to me. I love the language used and the images conveyed. You can tell that every word Eliot has put forward to you has been carefully chosen a
Jan 31, 2011 Melee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Dear T. S. Eliot,
I had never read your poetry before. But from the first stanza of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" you captivated me and I was spellbound by your words.
I find now you hold a place in my heart as one of my favourite poets.
I only regret that this selection of your poems is so short, being less than 100 pages. Also, I did not understand the poems in French very well. Translations would have been appreciated since my personal translations were rather shoddy, not to mention chop
Ena Rusnjak
Jun 10, 2011 Ena Rusnjak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: studied
Best read out-loud for yourself, and remember misogyny and antisemitism does not mean poetry void of beauty and truth. The grimy beauty of Eliot's masterful versification compresses and plants dense metaphysical ideas next to one another which find their expression in a pure and controlled diction. I'm afraid I was often left writhing in some kind of paroxysm of pleasure. This is difficult poetry with an encyclopedic sprawl of references but very rewarding if you're invested. My favourites compr ...more
Apr 27, 2011 Keish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I purchased a small paperback T.S. Eliot Selected poems from a used book store and it doesn't have any barcodes for me to track but it was copy righted in 1930s. It;s a bright yellow book with a illustrated I am assuming Eliot in blue suit. Harbrace paper bound library hpl 21
95 cents it was back in 1930s.

I never really understood the hype for Eliot back in high school, but then again, what did I really know in high school right? Just clueless teenagers going by the book obtain the grades needed
Sep 03, 2011 aya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-best
Understanding can come with growth and/or maturity, but how do we know when our dislike of something comes from lack of understanding rather than a simple matter of taste? Eliot lays himself bare, his insecurities and lowest parts offered. He is his audience, he is his reader--the root of the truth in his words. Genius and honesty combined is daunting, but there is beauty to carry you through.
Steve Woods
Aug 14, 2014 Steve Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved the English language, probably because it is my mother tongue. I have had brief romances with Classical Chinese and Khmer, they have their special flavour, but for me the English language in the hands of a master is breathtaking. I first discovered this love as a child and it deepened when I was a teenager. There was a world within words that could touch the deepest places in me in ways that nothing else could. They gave me solace in my loneliness, they gave me comfort in my ...more
Jan 12, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013

I've been thoroughly reading my copy of T.S Eliot's Selected Poems in the past day or two, and I must say I really do love his writing. I confess; for the most part his referencing is so obscure that 90% goes right over my head, but as I'm going to be actually studying the poems in detail and university, I've been doing some research as I go along (hence making me understand them and appreciate them a lot more).

His poems are, in essence, right up my street: often dark and melancholy; reminiscent
T.S.Eliot : Fact or Fiction?
I have to admit that up till now I had avoided him, he seemed so inaccessible and obscurant. Having more time on my hands, I decided that I would join battle with him once more.

After I had finished reading the poetry in this collection I was astonished. Apart from the last poem, The Chase, there did not seem to be a dud amongst them. The poems were not easy, in fact I needed to read each one three, four and more times to get an idea of what was happening in them. Howe
Jan 29, 2014 Carly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, favorites
**edited 01/29/14

In general, my reading tastes are pulp-press-simple. I can neither appreciate, nor enjoy, nor, I admit, even understand, poetry. But Eliot is different, and I don't know why. I have very little understanding of what is going on in the poems themselves, but the lines that are so seeped in meaning and imagery and are so tangible that I can taste them as I read.

I remember having to analyse the first part of "The Waste Land" in high school, and, for once, hating the ponderous appli
Apr 27, 2013 Brittannia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

T.S. Eliot is one of the greatest poets of all time. There are only a handful of poets that are even in the same league with him. I have said that when I drink tea, like T.S. Eliot, my entire life flashes before my eyes. It is the simple things that burn memories in our mind. Who speaks of memory and desire like Eliot? No one.

"April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain." (The Waste-Land,I.,The Burial of the Dead
May 09, 2013 Stefff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, poetry
"Do I dare
Disturb the universe?"

Reading his poetry is such a unique experiance, it is like I know what the next line is going to be before reading it. The ideas and images follow one another so effortlessly, it is so immensely captivating, touching and inspiring.
I had a small piece of paper next to me while reading it, which is now covered in quotes.
Erica Zahn
Nov 12, 2015 Erica Zahn rated it really liked it
Surprise, surprise, Mr. Eliot has a way with words.

Somehow I had managed not to read any Eliot until now, but he is obviously pretty great. He clearly has a lot of value in an objective sense as a modern classic poet (and is hardly unrecognised in this regard) but I would definitely have to read more to see if he is ‘my’ sort of poet, though I think I have engaged pretty well with what I found here and would definitely still like to read his poetry in full as well as exploring his other contribu
Karen Michele
Oct 01, 2014 Karen Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-5-star-books
It has been a long road back to an enjoyment of poetry from the confusion of attempting to analyze poetry in high school to just being absorbed in the beauty of the words and reading great poetry simply for enjoyment as an adult. Before reading Eliot’s collection, I was only familiar with Cats, the musical, and his Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats which is quite a different style from the poems in this collection. I did find one poem, though, that had familiar but not verbatim lines from the ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2014
I do not know how best to review and relate the works of Eliot. "The Waste Land" is an atrocious work, as I stated in my review of it alone, that is unintelligible at best and, in reading reviews from readers who adored it, that seems to be a consensus. It is a work praised for coming about at the right time and reflecting a mood and attitude that the dominant writers of the period adhered to. It's intentionally disjointed and broken and weird smattering of allusion and illusion.

Then there are w
Jan 26, 2015 Lija rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a whole lot more than I expected to. There were of course some poems that I didn't enjoy as much as others *cough*the waste land*cough* but overall it was really enjoyable
Joy C.
Dec 01, 2015 Joy C. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-and-hymns
Having not read much poetry in the past, I have been really keen to amend that and gain a stronger appreciation for the lyrical beauty and power of poetry. T.S. Eliot's Selected Poems was in my personal collection of classic poetry, and I thought to give him a go. . .

Reading this collection over the past month, I thought I was going to give this poetry collection a solid 4 stars, with its beautiful, vivid writing, the imagery and the powerful poignancy of Eliot's lines - half the time I didn't
Shann Clemow
Feb 19, 2015 Shann Clemow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alright, so we all knew that I have a major thing for T. S. Eliot anyway and this particular book is required reading for my course.

As per, I jumped right in with The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock because it is my absolute favourite and luckily one of the poems we have to read. Having now studied it, I don't understand it more because, honestly, there is no way in hell any of us are going to 100% understand Eliot and, if we did, many literary theorists would be out of a job. However, I do appre
Feb 04, 2015 Jeannette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Неслучайно Елиът е лауреат на Нобеловата награда за литература.

"Бих желал да съм яките клещи на рак,
които пробиват подовете на мълчаливи морета.
И ще си струва ли накрая,
и ще си струва ли наистина,
след залезите, дворовете и уличната влага,
след романите и чайовете, и шумящите поли
и колко още?… И дали?…
Не, невъзможно е да се изкаже това, което има да се каже!
Но някакъв магически фенер върху екрана ще покаже
схемите на моите нерви;
дали, дали накрая ще си струва
а ако тя, облегнала назад глав
Jan 13, 2016 Alice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
T. S. Eliot's poetry might just be what made me fall in love with poetry in the first place. It is out of this world, and I might just write a review of this book one of these days.
Jun 09, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, poetry
Poetry and I are not the best of friends. How do you rate a book of poetry? I bought this book as a reading challenge and also because in high school, my English teacher had us read The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, his favourite poem. Even now, over 40 years later, I still remember the line about crabs scuttling and my favourite, "I grow old, I wear my pant cuffs rolled", although that's not exactly how the line goes, it now appears.. lol. Anyway, what I did like about this small book of poe ...more
May 09, 2016 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry

Selected Poems by T.S. Eliot is a selection of T.S. Eliot’s poetry that he put together and published in 1954. The poems in here span from 1917 to 1954 and touch on subjects such as love, loss of meaning in modern life, and religion.

Did I Like it?:
I did like this collection, but I didn’t love it. Prior to having read this collection I had read the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock which has been one of my favorite poems of all time for quite a while. I thought because I love that p
Dec 26, 2015 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ebb and flow from madness to wisdom
Recommended to Dolors by: Cristina
That a poet who rejected modernity because it separated men from God wrote in a contemporary, ground-breaking style that defied classic understanding is not only ironic, but also a prodigy. Eliot’s creative output is a case of study on its own because the words that compose his verses transcend literal sense through structural frame and allocation. It’s not until one feels the irresistible pull to recite Eliot’s poems out loud that the perplexing repetition, the echo of recurrent expressions, pl ...more
Grant Patten
Nov 24, 2015 Grant Patten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and unforgettable. I can forgive the exaggerated religiosity of the final "Rock" choruses and still give this a 5. Even those choruses have great style and rhythm. But "Prufrock", "Rhapsody", "Gerontion", "Waste land", "Hollow men" & "Ash Wednesday" are no doubt all masterful. These poems have a quality of uncovering a certain melancholy truthfulness underlying all existence. And a sympathy for that melancholy of the common human experience. And, yet, also a kind of positive outlook, ...more
May 15, 2016 Logan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this a couple times before. The religious poems are shit. The rest are pretty good.
I haven't read poetry in a long time, and I'm happy I started my journey through it again with T. S. Eliot. One of my favourite lines of my life is from one of his poems: "I will show you fear in a handful of dust". "Portrait of a Lady" has been very close to my heart for some years now. I enjoy his writings a lot because I can always sense loss and doom on the other side of their meaning, just as well as I can see some rays of hope. He is not one of the greats for nothing...
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T.S. Eliot International Summer School, 10-17 July 2010, London 1 3 May 26, 2010 04:39AM  
  • Poems and Prose
  • W.B. Yeats: Poems Selected by Seamus Heaney
  • Selected Poems
  • Poetry and Prose (Library of America)
  • The Complete Poems
  • Complete Poems
  • The Metaphysical Poets
  • 95 Poems
  • Collected Poems
  • Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library)
  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poetry
  • Poems and Songs
  • Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays
  • Selected Poems
  • The Collected Poems, Vol. 2: 1939-1962
  • The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play
Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more
More about T.S. Eliot...

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“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky”
“Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where St Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stock of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him crying: 'Stetson!
You, who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
Or with his nails he'll dig it up again!
You! hypocrite lecteur!-mon semblable,-mon frere!”
More quotes…