Nancy Duvall Hargrove

Landscape as Symbol in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot

Copyright © 1978 by the University Press of Mississippi

University Press of Mississippi
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, Mississippi 39211

The blurb from the dustcover:

A major aspect of T. S. Eliot's poetry, which has been overlooked by most critical studies, is his highly sophisticated use of landscape as symbol. Throughout his poetry, Eliot employs both urban and rural landscape to symbolize the diverse moral and emotional states of the human soul as it moves from a meaningless existence to one which is spiritually significant.

Landscape as Symbol in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot thoroughly examines this complex and brilliant symbol in five chapters. In the opening chapter the author discusses Eliot's concept of the symbol in general, his use of landscape as symbol in particular, and his major sources for this technique, Tennyson and Baudelaire. The next four chapters proceed through a chronological, poem-by-poem analysis with emphasis on close readings of the works. Chapter II concerns the urban landscapes of the early poems through The Waste Land, while the third chapter focuses on the shift to rural landscape in the middle poems--"The Hollow Men," "Ash Wednesday," and two of the Ariel poems. Chapter IV presents an analysis of the important but often ignored series of poems entitled "Landscapes," and Chapter V is devoted to the predominantly rural landscapes of Four Quartets. The author concludes that "landscape can be seen as the major symbolic expression of Eliot's total poetic subject and therefore deserves recognition. . . as a brilliant and highly complex achievement which lies at the very center of his poetry."

Included in the book are approximately forty photographs of the actual settings which are the sources of the poetic landscapes. An integral part of the book, these photographs should be particularly helpful to those readers who have not been able to visit these locations.

The text and the photographs of Landscape as Symbol in the Poetry of T. S. Eliot make the book a long needed and valuable contribution to Eliot scholarship.

The contents of her book are:

List of Photographs     viii
Acknowledgments     x
Preface     xiii
I) Landscape as Symbol in Eliot, Tennyson, and Baudelaire     3
II) The Early Poetry     36
III) The Middle Poetry     89
IV) "Landscapes"     112
V) Four Quartets     131
Conclusion     207
Notes     215
Bibliography     227
Index     231

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hargrove, Nancy Duvall.
Landscape as symbol in the poetry of T.S. Eliot.

Bibliography: p. 227
Includes index.
1. Eliot, T.S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965.
Waste Land      I. Title.      II. Series.
PS3509.L43W36485      1988      821'.912      87-31555
ISBN 0-8057-7973-6 (alk. paper)
ISBN 0-8057-8023-8(pbk. : alk. paper)

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