Books: T. S. ELIOT: He knew the anguish of the marrow, the ague of the skeleton

VIOLENT contrasts racked his life and art. His poems could be golden and struck by grace, split by the metaphysical hammer of God; but his most golden lines were yoked to an ironic, satanic vision of the meanness of a scrap-iron age. He captured, and still captures, the minds of the young; but he personified himself as "an old man in a dry month," and his characteristic poetic voice was that of a man who seemed at least 50 the day he was born.

He was born a prairie-state American; he made himself the apotheosis...

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