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Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in Missouri on September 26 1888 He lived in St Louis during the first eighteen years of his life and attended Harvard University In 1910 he left the United States for the Sorbonne having earned both undergraduate and masters degrees and having contributed several poems to the Harvard Advocate After a year in Paris he returned to Harvard to pursue a doctorate in philosophy but returned to Europe and settled in England in 1914 The following year he married Vivienne Haigh-Wood and began working in London first as a teacher and later for Lloyds Bank Gordan 1-3 and 23-26 It was in London that Eliot came under the influence of his contemporary Ezra Pound who recognized his poetic genius at once and assisted in the publication of his work in a number of magazines most notably The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock in Poetry in 1915 His first book of poems Prufrock and Other Observations was published in 1917 and immediately established him as a leading poet of the avant-garde During a 1921 break from his job as a bank clerk to recover from a mental breakdown Eliot finished the work that was to secure him fame The Waste Land Academy of American Poets This poem heavily edited by Pound and perhaps also by Eliots wife Vivien addressed the fragmentation and alienation characteristic of modern culture making use of these fragments to create a new kind of poetry Martin With the publication of The Waste Land in 1922 now considered by many to be the single most influential poetic work of the twentieth century Eliots 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 Sloan Eliot became interested in religion in the later 1920s and eventually converted to Anglicanism His poetry from this point onward shows a
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