Paired Poets." It attempts to compare and contrast the lives, personality, psychology and the work of T.S. Elliot and DH Lawrence. Furthermore, it elaborates the similarities and the differences between both the poets and also details some of the most significant work done by these poets.
Life and Personality of T.S. Elliot and D.H.Lawrence
Thomas. Stearns. Elliot; a poet, editor and a critic was born on 26th September 1888 in St. Louis Missouri. His father; Henry Ware Eliot was the president of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company and his mother Charlotte Champe Stearns, a former teacher, an amateur poet and a social work volunteer at the Humanity Club of St. Louis. Born into a prosperous old New England family, Eliot was the youngest of the seven children. Afflicted with a congenital double hernia, he was in the constant eye of his mother and five older sisters. (notablebiographies.com)
Eliot was initially educated at Harvard after which he graduated in philosophy from Sorbonne. After spending almost a year in Paris, Eliot returned to Harvard to in order to pursue a doctorate in philosophy, but returned back to Europe and settled in England in 1914. (poets.org) The following year, he married Vivienne Haigh-Wood and began working in London, as a teacher initially and then at Lloyd's Bank and eventually a literary editor at the publishing house of Faber & Faber. Eliot founded and edited the exclusive and influential literary journal Criterion from 1922 till 1939. In 1927, Eliot became a British citizen and entered the Anglican Church. (online-literature.com)
During his stay in London, Eliot was swayed under the influence of Ezra Pound, who immediately recognized Eliot's passion for poetry and assisted in the publication of his work in a number of literacy magazines. By the year 1922 his reputation started to grow leaps and bound and by 1930 up till the next thirty years he was recognized as the most dominant figure in poetry and literary criticism in the English-speaking world.
As part of the Faber & Faber publishing house, Eliot published many young poets until he eventually became a film director. After a notoriously unhappy first marriage, Eliot separated from his first wife in 1933, and was remarried, to Valerie Fletcher, in 1956 T.S. Eliot received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948, and died in London in 1965. According to his own instructions, his ashes were interred in the church of St. Michael's in East Coker. A commemorative plaque on the church wall bears his chosen epitaph -- lines chosen from Four Quartets: "In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning."
David Herbert Lawrence, on the contrary was also one of the greatest figures belonging to the 20th century English Literature. He was born on 11th September 1885 at Victoria Street Eastwood near Nottingham. His father was Arthur John Lawrence; a struggling coal miner by day and a heavy drinker by night. His mother; Lydia was a school teacher and was superior in terms on education as compared to her husband. (biography.com) Being the fourth child in the family, Lawrence was faced with the harsh realities of life at a very early age. Poverty and friction between his parents were the two main dominant figures in his childhood. He was mostly educated in his hometown in Nottingham which ultimately led him into winning a scholarship. (online-literature.com)
Unlike Eliot, Lawrence lived a completely different life. He completed his foundation studies at Nottingham University at the age of 22. He initially started working as a clerk in a surgical appliance factory. In 1908 he started teaching in Croydon, a London suburb. He continued to work for almost four years as a pupil-teacher. Lawrence's mother died in 1910; he helped her die by giving her an overdose of sleeping medicine. In 1912, just after the death of his mother, Lawrence met Frieda von Richthofen, Professor Ernest Weekly's wife and fell in love with her. Frieda left her husband and three children, and they eloped to Bavaria. (biography.com) Lawrence's life was immensely impacted by the First World War, during which he and his wife were unable to obtain passports and were constant targets of harassments from the local authorities. They were accused of spying for the Germans and were officially expelled from Cornwall in 1917. Moreover, they were not permitted to emigrate until 1919, when their years of wandering began. (online-literature.com)
T.S. Eliot was first noticed as a poetic genius when he moved to London and started working with Ezra. Some of his initial work to be published includes "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in Poetry in 1915, his first book of poems, Prufrock and Other Observations in 1917, This established him as a leading poet of the avant-garde. Along with the passage of time, his publication of The Waste Land in 1922, led him to be considered by many to be the single most influential poetic work of the twentieth century. Eliot's reputation began to grow to nearly mythic proportions; by 1930, and for the next thirty years, he was the most dominant figure in poetry and literary criticism in the English-speaking world. (online-literature.com)
As a poet, he portrayed an affinity for various English metaphysical and symbolist poets of the 17th century and the 19th century French. His poems generally reflected cynicism of a post-World-War-I youth generation with the values and principles reflecting that of the Victorian era. Even while working as a critique, he had a colossal impact on the modern-day literary taste and views. Eventually, in his late thirties after he converted to orthodox Christianity these views started to become increasingly wrapped around the social and religious conservatism. (poets.org) Some of his most prominent work from later stages in his life includes Sacred Wood in 1920s, Ash Wednesday in the 1930s, Strange Gods in 1934,; The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933), After Strange Gods (1934), Notes Towards the Definition of Culture (1940) and Four Quartets in 1943. T.S. Eliot was a legendary playwright. Some of his most well-known verse dramas include The Family Reunion, Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party. (online-literature.com)
David Herbert Lawrence, on the other hand started working in 1909. Some of his most anthologized poems include "Snake" and "How Beastly the Bourgeoisie is." Initially he sent some of his work to Ford Max Ford, who initially recognized his sheer genius and started publishing his work in the English Review. (biography.com) It was then that Lawrence was able to meet rising young writers such as Ezra Pound. Lawrence started his writing career in 1911 when his first novel; the White Peacock was published. Soon in 1913, Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers, based on his childhood was published. Lawrence married Frieda von Richthofen in 1914 and traveled with her to several countries. His fourth novel, The Rainbow (1915), was based on two sisters who grew up in Northern England. (online-literature.com)
After The Rainbow, Lawrence started working on The Lost Girl in Italy. Although He resumed writing it for some years, he eventually rewrote the story in an old Sicilian farmhouse near Taormina in 1920. (biography.com) Some of the most renowned works of Lawrence was based around his own personal life. This includes the "Lady Chatterly's Lover which was first published privately in Florence in 1928. This was based on a love affair between a wealthy married woman and a man who worked for her husband's estate. (online-literature.com) This book was considered as a pornographic and was banned for a time in both UK and the U.S. Lawrence's other novels from the 1920s include Women in Love (1920), a sequel to The Rainbow. His novel Aaron's Rod in 1922 exhibits the influence of Nietzsche, and in Kangaroo (1923) Lawrence expressed his own idea of a 'superman'. The Plumed Serpent in 1926 was a vivid evocation of Mexico and its ancient Aztec religion whereas The Man Who Died in 1929 was a bold story of Christ's Resurrection. Lawrence's non-fiction works include Movements In European History in 1921, Psychoanalysis And The Unconscious (1922) and Studies In Classic American Literature in 1923. (online-literature.com)
David Herbert Lawrence died on March 2nd 1930 in Venice, France. Apart from being a legend in the literacy world, Lawrence was also well-known was his expressionist paintings which he completed in the 1920s. (online-literature.com)
Critical View of their works:
Eliot seemed to possess a distinct, unambiguous style of writing which one could easily identify, regardless of the intricacies of reading and interpreting his work. Usually, his sentences are said to be long and indirect, extending a metaphor throughout the verse or at times even more. This is quite evident in one of his poems' "Burnt Norton" mentioned below: (online-literature.com)