Preludes by T.S. Eliot | Critical Appreciation
Preludes by T.S. Eliot : The Poem entitled ” Preludes ” is written by T.S. Eliot. Prelude means introduction to something. In this poem, There are four preludes in Number. The first two Preludes were composed in 1910 at Harvard and the third and fourth preludes were written in Paris in 1911.
These four Preludes by T.S. Eliot were published in 1915. In these Preludes, Poet presents his mood, theme and imagery. He gives his views about filthy city life and slums which are common to all cities. He presents low aspects of Urban life in this poem.
Preludes by T.S. Eliot : In the Preludes, Eliot has described human beings in terms of the parts of the body to show the fact that they have changed and lost humanity because of their endless gloom and sordid days and nights.
The first two preludes presents a distinct image of Urban life. It describes dirty atmosphere of city at evening and morning. In third and fourth preludes, He presents his views that our mind want to show significance beyond the contents of consciousness.
Poet draws a picture of city street and dirty smelling people. He observes that people are suffering from infinite gloom and miseries. They do all work at the right time but they are not free from mechanical and sordid existence.
Subject Matter :
Preludes by T.S. Eliot : This poem has four preludes. In the first and second preludes, Poet presents winter evening and morning scenes. In third and fourth preludes He presents a figure of unclean woman and a sense of endless sufferings.
These four Preludes by T.S. Eliot are united or well connected that they form a single poem with musical structure. We can describe these preludes in following points :-
First Prelude :
Preludes by T.S. Eliot gives the picture of the winter evening in a house in back street of the metropolis. It is six ‘o’ clock, the smoky day is ending. The close of a smoky day is compared to the burnt out cigarette.
Now, the gusts of wind and rain cover the small pieces of broken leaves about the street walker’s feet. It also covers the small pieces of newspaper for garbage. Thus, The street is full of dust and filth.
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
The burnt-out ends of smoky days.
And now a gusty shower wraps
The grimy scraps
Of withered leaves about your feet
And newspapers from vacant lots;
The showers of rain strike the broken window curtains and the chimney pots. At corner of street, a lonely cab horse steams and stamps the ground then the street lamp are lighted.
The showers beat
On broken blinds and chimney-pots,
And at the corner of the street
A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.
Second Prelude :
Preludes by T.S. Eliot gives the picture of morning scene. The morning is greeted with the smells of beer from the streets. The streets are covered with saw dust and trampled by the dirty feet of workers going for the early coffee-stands.
The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust-trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee-stands.
There are various activities, actions to the morning time. The day begins with usual activities when the people of the street raise their dirty shades (curtains) in their furnished rooms.
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
Third Prelude :
Preludes by T.S. Eliott gives the picture of an unclean woman. The woman awakes and lies on her back in doze and waits. She thinks of thousands of dirty pictures / images of the last night which effects her soul. These images appear on the ceiling.
You tossed a blanket from the bed, You
lay upon your back, and waited; You
dozed, and watched the night revealing
The thousand sordid images
Of which your soul was constituted;
When the day comes back with light of the Sun, One hears the chirping of the Sparrows. A woman has such a vision of street.
She sits up on the edge of bed and curls the papers froma hair and grasps / takes her dirty feet in the palms of both dirty hands. She imagines that road is like a woman who is trampled by men.
And when all the world came back And
the light crept up between the shutters
And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,
You had such a vision of the street
Fourth Prelude :
The vision (dream) is described in the last Prelude, The street is like a woman who is stretched on her back and enduring the pressures of thousands men at 4,5 or 6 ‘o’ clock in the evening.
His soul stretched tight across the skies
That fade behind a city block,
Or trampled by insistent feet
At four and five and six o’clock;
These people with short tabacco pipes and evening newspaper and the eyes full of some definite certainities are rushing in street.
And short square fingers stuffing pipes,
And evening newspapers, and eyes
Assured of certain certainties,
When we think of the people of street, Our minds are filled with a picture of a gentle creature who is suffering endlessly.
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing.
The poet says to street walkers to wipe their mouths and laugh. The last two lines are an expression of endless human sufferings. It is just like ancient woman collecting fuel in vacant plots.
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;
The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots.
This sight is too deep for tears but one has to laugh to live. The poet means to say that the conditions are sad, We are helpless but we have to keep happiness inspite of sufferings.
The Meter of the Poem :
Preludes by T.S. Eliot : The meter of the preludes is iambic tetrameter. The opening lines are accented heavily.
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
The idea of time :
In T.S. Eliot’s poetry, the idea of time is the most important thing. This feature is there from begining. The concept of time runs from wasteland to four quarters. In this poem, He gives picture of morning and evening time. It shows his love for time.
Preludes by T.S. Eliot : Eliot’s Poems are very obscure to read and understand. He uses such a material that his readers cannot read. He uses Sanskrit words whose meaning is difficult to understand.
Thus, These preludes written by Eliot deal with the sordid aspects of city life. Eliot’s Poetry is difficult and at many place it becomes obscure.
Eliot has restored the intellectual dignity of English Poetry. According to him,
“Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion but an escape from emotion.
It is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality.”
This Poem is very famous Poem and one of the prominent work of T.S. Eliot. This Poem presents depressing nature of city life and the human soul.
Read Also :
A Request :
Friends! Hope you have liked the information given by us about “Preludes by T.S. Eliot | Critical Appreciation“. If you have any questions or suggestions, Please comment below and tell us. We will try our best to help you.
If You like the notes then don’t forget to share your friends on social media. Thank you for reading the notes and stay on our website ..!