Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. He studied philosophy and literature at Harvard, Sorbonne and Oxford. After WW1 he decided to live in London and in 1927 he became a British subject. In 1915 he married Vivien Haigh-Wood, whose mental instability led to her confinement in institutions from 1930 to her death in 1947. This influenced him much. He worked as bank clerk, teacher and editor in Faber and Gwyer Publisher Company. Later he became the director of this firm, which was renamed to Faber and Faber. In 1927 he joined Church of England. He was awarded the British Order of Merit and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948 and the American Medal of Freedom in 1964. He died in London on Jan. 4, 1965.
He was friends with Ezra Pound. Ezra Pound regarded Eliot as a truly modern poet who had developed an extraordinary original idiom that fused tradition and superior learning with the contemporary and colloquial. He was successful on both sides of the Atlantic.
His most famous poem is The Waste Land (1922). It expresses the impotence and the blue funk of a man who stands in front of an unavoidable death.
It contains memoirs from the time before WW1, mythic elements and references about Dante and Shakespeare. Past and present are melting into.