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Thomas Stearns Eliot was born to a very distinguished New England family on September 26 1888 in St Louis Missouri His father Henry Ware was a very successful businessman and his mother Charlotte Stearns Eliot was a poetess His paternal grandfather established and presided over Washington University While visiting Great Britain in 1915 World War I started and Eliot took up a permanent residency there In 1927 he became a British citizen While living in Britain Eliot met and married Vivienne Haigh-Wood and at first everything was wonderful between them Then he found out that Vivienne was very ill both physically and mentally In 1930 Vivienne had a mental breakdown and was confined to a mental hospital until her death in 1947 Her death was very hard on Eliot and he died on January 4 1965 Most of Eliots works were produced from the emotional difficulties from his marriage Because of Eliots economic status he attended only the finest schools while growing up He attended Smith Academy in St Louis and Milton Academy in Massachusetts In 1906 he started his freshman year at Harvard University studying philosophy and literature He received his bachelors degree in philosophy in only three years Eliot went on to study at the University of Oxford and also at the Sorbonne in Paris At the Sorbonne he found inspiration from writers such as Dante and Shakespeare and also from ancient literature modern philosophy and Eastern mysticismT S Eliots first poem was The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock written in 1915 It is widely recognized as one of Eliots most brilliant poems J C C Mays claims that It is one of his most approachable poems since it structurally takes fewer risks than some of his later poems The tone of effort and futility of effort is central in Eliots poems Mays 111Another poem The Waste Land was written in 1922 and it contrasts modern society with societies of the past
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