T.S. Eliot

In the November 1947 issue of Poetry appeared snapshots of contributors Arthur Gregor, W. R. Moses, John Malcolm Brinnin, and Lois Kent. All had responded to a request from the magazine for a photograph to be used “in connection with our college program,” an effort to increase readership among students, which also included the production of supplementary study guides by editor Hayden Carruth. According to the circulated request, a contributor’s photograph need not be “taken by a professional...as long it is fairly natural and unposed looking,” something Moses clearly had in mind when he submitted a snapshot of himself staring down at his infant child. Of equal interest were the two photographs on the opposite page: the candid shots of T.S. Eliot reproduced here. Eliot’s work did not appear in the November issue. The photographs depict scenes from Eliot’s May 23, 1947 reading at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. The Library of Congress recorded the reading, which filled the auditorium where it was held to nearly twice its capacity. A description of the event by poet (and wife of the us Attorney General) Katherine Garrison Chapin appeared in the September 1947 issue of Poetry. Chapin listed Karl Shapiro, Ezra Pound’s wife and son, and her friend Saint-John Perse among those in the audience. Eliot had translated Perse’s Anabase in 1930. In addition to being a poet, Perse had served as a diplomat in pre-occupation France and was living in exile in Washington at the time of the National Gallery reading. Saint-John Perse was a pen name. His real name, Alexis Leger, appears in the caption.

Originally Published: November 1st, 2012

Paul Durica is a graduate student at the University of Chicago and the founder of Pocket Guide to Hell Tours and Reenactments.

Appeared in Poetry Magazine This Appears In
  1. August 13, 2016
     dissertation services

    It is nice to see that even before, they are already trying to shape a better education for their students that they still need to do some activities that will be going to help their school for the benefit of them all.