April 13, 1997 |
With an opening blast like "April is the cruellest month," it was probably inevitable that someone would link that most modern of poems, T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," with the day many modern Americans find odiously cruel: April 15, Tax Day. And so poetry boosters in seven big cities will be handing out pocket-size copies of Eliot's poem at post offices Tuesday night as taxpayers scurry to get that all-important pre-midnight postmark. ("Hurry up please its time," Eliot wrote.
October 2, 1988 |
It is astonishing to me to think that the centenary of T.S. Eliot's birth was last Monday and that I am perhaps his only living intimate friend, due to the fact that he was 59 and I was 25 when we met. Eliot spoofed his pedantic image in a poem that begins, "How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot." After our first meeting, which inaugurated an 18-year friendship, until his death in 1965, I wrote to thank him for tea at his office in London, saying, "How pleasant to meet Mr. Eliot!"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 1988
The greenhouse effect. The ozone hole. Acid rain. Ocean sewage. How ironic that just as the danger of nuclear war seems to be receding, we are suddenly faced by looming ecological disaster everywhere we look. Perhaps T.S. Eliot was more prophetic than he knew when he wrote, "This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper." MAX SHAPIRO Los Angeles
December 9, 2011
Two finalists for the T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry have withdrawn, saying they objected to investment company Aurum Funds sponsoring the United Kingdom award. The Poetry Book Society, which runs the annual award for a collection of poetry, lost funding from Arts Council England as part of government spending cuts. "I fully understand why the Poetry Book Society has looked elsewhere for funding," said Australian John Kinsella, who was shortlisted for his work "Armour. " But as "an anticapitalist in full-on form," he said, he had to withdraw on ethical grounds.
May 14, 2008 |
"April is the cruelest month." Yes, even in May. Last Friday morning, the opening line of "The Waste Land," T.S. Eliot's most famous poem, became one of the most explosively Googled phrases in America. (Eliot spelled "cruellest" with two L's, but I'm all in favor of editing poets for brevity.) The line appeared on Google's aptly named Hot Trends list, a utility offered by the company that offers a glimpse of what the online nation is most furiously searching for at any given moment.
July 21, 2012 |
Along with millions of idealistic young men who were cut to pieces by machine guns and obliterated by artillery shells, there was another major casualty of World War I: traditional ideas about Western art. The Great War of 1914-18 tilted culture on its axis, particularly in Europe and the United States. Nearly 100 years later, that legacy is being wrestled with in film, visual art, music, television shows like the gauzily nostalgic PBS soaper "Downton Abbey" and plays including the Tony Award-winning"War Horse," concluding its run at the Ahmanson Theatre.