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Thomas Stearns Eliot: Poet [Paperback]

A. David Moody
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 26, 1995 0521467500 978-0521467506 2
A. David Moody's Thomas Stearns Eliot: Poet was published to acclaim in 1979, with a successful paperback following in 1980. This carefully revised and corrected second edition, with a specially written preface and a new appendix, meets the demand for one of the classic studies of the twentieth century's best-known poet.

Editorial Reviews


'Moody's book seems to me the best, the most far-reaching, the most perceptive, book on Eliot. I know no other which is as helpfully devoted to Eliot, devoted, not devout.' Denis Donoghue, The Times Literary Supplement

'An important and original study, which admirably generates fresh thought about Eliot.' Bernard Bergonzi, Journal of American Studies

'Deeply studied and sensitive ... this study reflects, and compels on the reader, great admiration and respect for the master'. W. W. Robson in The Sewanee Review

'The most enlightening, most profound and, in some ways, most disturbing book about T. S. Eliot that I have yet read.' Norman Nicholson, Church Times

Book Description

This carefully revised and corrected second edition of a classic book, with a specially written preface and a new appendix, meets the demand for one of the foremost studies of the twentieth century's best-known poet.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (January 26, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521467500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521467506
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,570,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing out there February 25, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am trying to write a book about T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets and bought a copy of Redeeming Time which proved fairly useless. I checked out of the library a copy Helen Gardiner's Composition of the Four Quartets which was more helpful. Reading the Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot the article ( a very helpful article) on the Four Quartets was written by A. David Moody and so I finally bit the bullet and ordered his book. It is the the best thing on the subject I have seen. Eliot is a very precise writer when you know what exactly he is on about and Moody gives a blow by blow description of Eliot's argument (not a paraphrase, but a real walk through the poem). This is vitally important to me as I want to take Eliot apart and present him to my reader with all the vigor intact. I need industrial-strenght interpretation. If you like the poetry and don't care what exactly it means (if poetry is any good, you have don't to know what it means for it to work, though the knowing does increase appreciation), don't bother. This is overkill.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A. David Moody's THOMAS STEARNS ELIOT: Poet first appeared in 1979 and proved a very popular account of the Eliot's entire body of poetry. This second edition appeared in 1994, and besides minor corrections it features a new preface and a new appendix.

Moody's focus here is on Eliot's poetry in itself. The poet's biography is kept to a minimum, and there is little discussion of the role of Vivien Eliot, let alone Emily Hale or Jean Verdenal. The poems are, however, linked to Eliot's thoughts as a critic. In the main, Moody examples the metre and imagery of Eliot's writing, and in the later poetry the social and political concepts that the poet sought to express.

While the book is useful, I was unhappy with it for several reasons. One is that Moody's writing is extremely plodding. I read criticism frequently, and I find this probably the most unfriendly accounts of a poet's work that I've yet encountered. The poor typesetting and printing don't help either, and one expects better of Cambridge University Press.

Furthermore, the book is also dated in many respects. One can rejoice that it appeared after the discovery of the manuscripts of "The Waste Land", saving us from the old conjectures such as "The Hollow Men" coming out of TWL scraps. Nonetheless, the discussion of the early poetry lacks all the material revealed after the discovery of the drafts collected in Inventions of the March Hare Poems 1909-1917. Furthermore, the main body of the work was left alone when the second edition appeared, and the author says outright that he did not want to include recent developments in Eliot studies. What kind of scholar intentionally ignores progress in the field?
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas Stearns Eliot Poet by A. David Moody November 30, 2007
I have taken many notes from this beautifully written book about Eliot by A. David Moody. Never have I read anything on Eliot that has so moved me as a poet, both on the professional and personal level. I was impressed by Professor Moody's incisive, original insights and finely shaped prose. I read literary criticism, as I read literature in general, for the knowledge gained, for intellectural stimulation and for the sheer pleasure of "a good read." Moody achieves all this and more. As a reader I was taken for the first time into the complex workings of Eliot's mind, emotions and creative life via the poetry, as presented by Moody. This is imaginative and thought-provoking book, while all the time expressed in beautiful prose. A poet of Eliot's stature deserves the best of critical writing and this is what Moody brings into the field of Eliot criticism. I recommend this book to all who are interested in Eliot and also to those who enjoy a book for the sheer pleasure it brings, as a literary work in itself. You can't go wrong with Thomas Stearns Eliot Poet by A. David Moody.
-- Carolyn M. Grassi, poet, creative writing teacher (Pacifica, CA)
author: Transparencies, Poems (Patmos Press, San Francisco CA)
Journey to Chartres (Black Swan Books)
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