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'These romantic irritations': T.S. Eliot and Love Poetry

Hancock, Tim (2015) 'These romantic irritations': T.S. Eliot and Love Poetry. English: The Journal of the English Association, 64 (247). pp. 339-359. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1093/english/efv028


The word ‘love’ is conspicuous by its virtual absence from T. S. Eliot's early poetry, the only occurrence in verse published before 1930 being in the ironic title of J. Alfred Prufrock's song. Eliot is also associated with the modern critical reaction against nineteenth-century sentimentality, itself invariably linked to love poetry. Yet this review of Eliot's attitudes towards love poetry reveals that the subgenre and its concerns function as a persistent shadow presence throughout his oeuvre and that the rival claims of sentimental, erotic, and divine love profoundly influenced his own writing as well as his views on other poets. The essay concludes by arguing that Eliot's own late love poem, ‘A Dedication to my Wife’, which critics have tended to marginalize, disparage, or ignore, can best be understood and accommodated within the broad context of this underlying concern.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:T.S. Eliot; Love Poetry
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts > School of English and History
Faculty of Arts
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute > English
Arts and Humanities Research Institute
ID Code:34638
Deposited By: Dr Tim Hancock
Deposited On:28 Jun 2016 08:39
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 16:23

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