"T.S. Eliot"

T.S. Eliot
Public DomainT.S. Eliot
Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) was an English poet and literary critic who was born in St. Louis, Missouri and educated at Harvard. He moved to England in 1914 and remained there for the rest of his life. He took British citizenship in 1927 and renounced his U.S. citizenship.

His most famous poems are “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” the hugely influential “The Waste Land,” “The Hollow Men” (which concludes with “This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper”), “Ash Wednesday,” and “Four Quartets.” His book of light verse entitled “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” provided the inspiration for the 1981 smash Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, “Cats.”

Although Eliot’s early poems might be said to anticipate the confusion and fragmentation of the 20th century to follow them, they would not likely have been known or understood by the airman of the 256th Squadron. Ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen plucks the name out of the air to confuse Colonel Cargill when the latter calls the squadron headquarters from Rome.