The Politics of T. S. Eliot

tse20116By David J. Levy

T.S. Eliot is not a political poet; but he was a traditionalist and a moralist, and his artistic integrity led him to postulate an organic society with a religious basis. A conservative? Maybe. A High Tory? Certainly.

T.S. Eliot is not a political poet in the accepted sense of the term. When we think of political poetry we do not think of the Wasteland, or the Four Quartets, or even of Coriolan: there are political points in all these works but they are not political poems. They lack the “public manner” which is expected of such poetry; criticism of an age is seen through the predicament of an individual or group: in short, they lack the directness of message which political poetry is normally expected to possess. In order to understand Eliot’s politics we must go to his prose; armed with a knowledge of that, we are in a much better position to see the political ideas which appear throughout his poetical work. Read more.

Published in Traditional Britain Group on the ‘Traditional Britain Blog’, 2014.