Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Collected Poems, 1909-1962” as Want to Read:
Collected Poems, 1909-1962
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Collected Poems, 1909-1962

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  19,378 ratings  ·  244 reviews
There is no more authoritative collection of the poetry that T.S. Eliot himself wished to preserve than this volume, published two years before his death in 1965.

Poet, dramatist, critic, and editor, T. S. Eliot was one of the defining figures of twentieth-century poetry. This edition of Collected Poems 1909-1962 includes his verse from Prufrock and Other Observations (1917
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published 1963 by Harcourt Brace
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Collected Poems, 1909-1962, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Collected Poems, 1909-1962

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,378 ratings  ·  244 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Collected Poems, 1909-1962
JV (semi-hiatus)
A stupendous compendium of classical and lyrical poems filled with lush and evocative imageries that captures your imagination! A literary magnum opus of one of the most remarkable and influential poets who had ever lived — Thomas Stearns Eliot.

Here are some of my favorites with brief commentaries and excerpts:

1. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Oh, you dear Prufrock! You poor neurotic man. You should have told her!

2. Portrait of a Lady
Good grief! Taking advantage of a handsome young man. Ho
Ahmad Sharabiani
Collected poems 1909 -1962, T.S. Eliot
This edition of Collected Poems 1909-1962 includes his verse from Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) to Four Quartets (1943), and includes such literary landmarks as The Waste Land and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
‎New York‬: ‎Harcourt Brace and Company‬, ‎1991, 221 Pages, Isbn 0151189781‬
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم ماه سپتامبر سال 1994 میلادی
ا. شربیانی
K. Elizabeth
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Eliot was a phenomenal poet. What lovely writing!
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That's all the facts, when you come to brass tacks:
Birth, and copulation, and death.
I've been born and once is enough.
You don't remember, but I remember,
Once is enough.

Well here again that don't apply
But I've gotta use words when I talk to you

When you're alone like he was alone
You're either or neither
I tell you again it don't apply
Death or life or life or death
Death is life and life is death
I gotta use words when I talk to you
But if you understand or if you don't
That's nothing to me and nothi
Steven Godin
I'd previously only read Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which, as good as it was, was solely about cats, so this collection was the first time that I truly immersed myself in a wider range of his poems, and what a collection it turned out to be!

And while I admired his earlier work in this book including 'Prufrock And Other Observations',
'The Waste Land', and 'The Hollow Men', I was particularly struck on the poems that made up the 'Four Quartets' - Burnt Norton, East Coker, The Dry
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's weird. I'm pretty sure I dislike reading T.S. Eliot's poetry. I was trying to find some words to explain this, and here's what I came up with. They remind me of the monuments in good old Washington DC. The first time you see them, there they are, all towering stone and wrought figures, some very human, some quite abstract representational polygons, full of whatever amount of symbolic subtext. Mighty. Intimidating. White. Symmetrical. Immovable. Seemingly there from the outset of time, meani ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am still in the honeymoon stage of my relationship with poetry. Literally trying to get a handle on its appreciation and being able to truly understand it.

Despite my "greenhorn"ness I think I will be reasonably correct to state this as a wonderful piece of work. Each poem in this repository has annotations which may need additional reading to grasp the import.

The poems The Hollow Men and the Lines for Curcuscaraway and Mirza Murad Ali Beg stood out to me as amongst the best given my lack of kn
Peycho Kanev
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Critics of Eliot damn his work for its difficulties - and one cannot deny that its complicated diversions into technical and structural experimentation, mythical reference and multilingual commentary do initially intimidate. The beauty of Eliot's poetry is that it grows with you. Eliot doesn't always succeed, and many of his poems seem trite and pretentious, but when he succeeds he hits dead on with poetry perfect in form, balance, and sound. There is the man here, the poet as reflected in his o ...more
Safa Fatima
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
This is the best poem collection I've ever read. After I was done reading it I was telling my mother, "It kills me. It kills me."

T.S. Eliot paints a picture so vivid you can't help but see it, it forms on its own, it penetrates your soul, it speaks to your mind, it fills your eyes. Eliot is what a poet ought to be, the complete embodiment. He reaches deep into you and pulls on your heart strings. He shows you what poetry can be, what it can do, how high it can reach.

I just loved every, really ev
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, nobel-winner
While I love some of the poems, others I didn't care for at all. So it is hard to rate the book as a whole... These poems were selected by Eliot himself just a few years before he died as the best of his work and it certainly contains all of his most famous work EXCEPT for the fact it doesn't even have one poem from "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats". With that in mind, I cannot whole-heartedly recommend it as a single sole volume of Eliot's poetry.

I am not much of a modernist, so it is perh
Georgia Bell
I appreciate T.S. Eliot as a influential and significant writer of classic literature. However, I find it difficult to understand the truest meaning of his words. Truthfully that is a fault of mine, but poetry has never been something I am drawn to. In saying that, I'm willing to look deeper into his poetry to better understand it.
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: avid poetry fans, everyone
Shelves: poetry, loved
A breathtakingly rich collection of classic poems, with masterpieces such as ‘The Hollow Men’ and the classical ‘Waste Land’ resounding triumphantly through the pages. Eliot’s fragmentary texts are beautiful; lush in a brilliant, burning way, with lines such as ‘Ash on an old man’s sleeve / Is all the ash the burnt roses leave’ proving his lyrical gift for making music with words. It’s as Eliot himself describes in part V of ‘Little Gidding’:
‘And every phrase
And sentence that is right
An Idler
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The whole collection is worth reading, but I enjoyed the most famous poems the most: Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Cantos. They contain the core of his critique of modernism.

Still, many I hadn't heard of, especially from his early output, fit into that same body of critique: Rhapsody on a Windy Night, Morning at the Window, etc. The rest - the occasional verse, fragments, landscapes - interested me less.

Eliot is difficult and obscure, and I'm the middlebrow re
James Murphy
Jul 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've spent my life reading Eliot. When I was a high school junior I had a teacher who turned me on to poetry. She showed me the truth in Sandburg, but I soon discovered Eliot on my own. A story I still love to tell is how I spent the summer of my 17th year walking around with a library copy of Eliot's poems under my arm. A cousin asked me, "You're not reading that stuff, are you?" Well, I was and still am.

My copy of Collected Poems was the second hardcover book I ever bought, after Sandburg's Co
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Way too much here for a real review, but I had to write something about the volume that's been my tattered, marked-up, much-loved companion for twelve years now. I feel Eliot's ache for transcendence, his paralyzing frustration at the limitations of language to communicate the depths of our souls. And yet he did it better than anyone ever has. It's intellectual, yes, but it's from an intellectual perpetually pushing across into the visceral, never quite unifying it all fully, and knowing that th ...more
Seth Woodley
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eliot writes some beautiful poetry, particularly "The Wasteland" and "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." I also like "The Hippopotamus," "The Hollow Men," "The Four Quartets," and "Ash Wednesday." There are other poems that I don't really understand (some of them are not written in English). Nevertheless, it is nearly always evident that Eliot is a careful, master craftsman. He is a master of figurative language, and he has a clear depth of knowledge that he is able to weave into his works. I ...more
John Hughes
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eliot was certainly a profound thinker and poet. This father and Fabre edition is the perfect introduction to his poetry, opening with the more raw Eliot of Prufrock through his sculpting as an artist with The Hollow Men, The Wasteland, Ash Wednesday, Choruses from the Rock and Four Quartets.

Hollow Men remains the most solidified poetic experience that Eliot can give. Though I enjoyed Choruses from the Rock and Ash Wednesday immensely.

I read this quickly after Ezra Pound’s Personae, and, if push
Jack Lawrence
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What more do you need to know, other than that this is a comprehensive chronological presentation of Eliot's work.

This has all of Eliot's most famous pieces from all stages of his career: Lovesong of J.Alfred Prufock, The Wasteland, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday and Four Quartets.

Alongside these titans of 20th century poetry are plenty of fantastic, deeper cuts that are well worth reading.

If you want a primer on Modernist poetry but don't feel like tackling the 116 cantos of Pound (I dont bla
Meghan Armstrong
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
It took me three years to read every poem in this collection, not that I’m finished with them. I’m grateful for Russell Kirk, who was my guide through Eliot’s inferno, purgatory and paradise.
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This is a nice volume to handle and to read but does not include Old Possum and it is also worth finding Eliot's four plays elsewhere. It is a slim collection for such a major poet but, for practical reasons, this is convenient. Some poets have such immense collections my heart sinks.

Writing a review of T.S.Eliot's poetry would be ridiculous.

Liking him, or rating his poems as good or memorable, is probably neither here not there. Better for the reader to like them, I imagine, but not essential
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Eliot was the first poet that I was drawn to as I began my intellectual and artistic maturation. My high school English teacher showed us "The Hollow Men", and "Preludes". I fell in love with them on first reading, and there is something about Eliot's style that is so affecting; he places words in an order that, from a more objective point of view is quite odd, but create such a vivid mood or atmosphere that you can't help but be moved. This is especially true of his later work, like the infamou ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2019-books
What absolute joy and delight can be found in T.S. Eliot's words! He will forever be one of my favorite poets and reading and re-reading his words brings such wonder to life. I can't say I get "The Wasteland" - no matter how many times I read it, that one still eludes me. But what encouragement can be found in "Choruses from The Rock" and the "Four Quartets" and what wonder can be captured by the lines from "Portrait of a Lady" - "And so you are going abroad; and when do you return? But that's a ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, let’s turn away from a complacent & sentimental Victorianism. No, let’s not turn towards an elitist & religious traditionalism. ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book lives on my nightstand. So, so perfect and infinitely interesting.
Maddie Pearson
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not one to pick up poetry collections usually, but this one was fantastic! T.S. Eliot's words are eye catching and memorable. I loved every poem, the play excerpts and choruses were less memorable for me, but had a dash of humor every once in a while that made me chuckle out loud. 4.5 stars.
Komal V Anand Grandhi
These are the poems I want to wallow in.
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Don't really know--

I have a mixed feeling about Eliot's poems. I found his Prufrock impenetrable, The Wasteland annoying, frustrating, and mostly incomprehensible, Ash Wednesday somewhat interesting in parts but too heavily religious. His The Hollow Men, however, resonated with me in all its haunting and chilling overtones. Ariel Poems, Minor Poems, Unfinished Poems were all meh (and can anyone explain to me what the hell's going on in his eerily Beckett-esque Sweeney's Agonistes?!?!?). Four Qua
Jacob Aitken
Good theology can be iconic. And being iconic it is poetic. It is an icon put in words. It is like faithful hermeneutics. The Patristics were accused of Platonizing and allegorizing. Not so. Despite all their excesses, they saw (better than the academic professor today) that the Bible yearns to break through with new meaning and simple, surface level interpretations are not enough.

Not to diminish literal interpretation, but not to exalt it either.

T.S. Eliot is probably the supreme example of
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone in an emo-poetic mood (or lit people, but they've already read it)
Recommended to Carly by: Me.
Shelves: literature
**edited 02/02/14

In general, if there's some sort of sliding scale of poetic appreciation, I'm somewhere near -∞. The first forewarning of a couplet makes me cringe, and other than the subject matter, I can't really distinguish Longfellow from a limerick. One of my few--very few-- exceptions is T.S. Eliot. He embeds incredibly evocative phrases within a bewildering twisting medley of free verse. His poems use assonance and alliteration to twine disparate commonplaces with sudden poignant truths
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
I rather enjoyed everything from Eliot's conversion to Anglicanism onwards - Choruses from the Rock and Four Quartets in particular.

But I found Prufrock and the Wasteland frustrating and needlessly esoteric.
Perhaps I was getting used to Eliot's style as I was reading his poems chronologically or perhaps I just didn't use enough effort; but it felt like James Joyce at his most pretentious: deliberately obscuring rather than revealing. Mr Apollinax was utter crap.

I may not agree with Christianity
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Complete Poetry and Prose
  • E.E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962 (Revised, Corrected, and Expanded Edition)
  • Collected Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • Selected Poems of Ezra Pound
  • The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
  • 100 Selected Poems
  • The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats
  • The Road Not Taken and Other Poems
  • The Poetry of Pablo Neruda
  • Selected Poems
  • The Poetry of Robert Frost
  • The Collected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • The Collected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Shakespeare's Sonnets
  • The Complete English Poems
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Emma Straub was all set to spend May on tour promoting her new novel, All Adults Here. Instead, due to the global pandemic, the Brooklyn-based auth...
14 likes · 5 comments
“music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but
you are the music
While the music lasts.”
“You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
And how, how rare and strange it is, to find
In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends,
(For indeed I do not love it ... you knew? you are not blind! How keen you are!)
To find a friend who has these qualities,
Who has, and gives
Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you-
Without these friendships-life, what cauchemar!”
More quotes…