dialogue, and activity. This modern poem acts as a new version of the Boston Evening Transcript, a report of the apathy, ennui, and the "unreal" quality of civilization, as represented by the various voices that speak the poem. Eliot continued to have newspapers in mind as he drew on the dialogue and concrete activities of people for what he called "objective correlatives" that express a particular emotion solely through the use of external facts (Essays 124). Eliot gives us, in fragments, his version of the Anytown's Daily Herald, and he seemed to be acutely aware of his journalistic method. He originally titled the The Waste Land "He Do the Police in Different Voices," a reference to a line in Charles Dickens's Our Mutual Friend (1865), in which an orphan named Sloppy reads the newspaper aloud to an old woman.
In spite of Eliot's own critical justification for his intellectual and impersonal style, he maintains a personal aspect in his work, embodied in the sometimes narrative quality of his study of people. He replicates the pattern of The Waste Land in his last major poetic work, Four Quartets, a collection of four poems based loosely on the last quartets of Beethoven which are the-matically entwined with each other. The progression of these poems illustrates Eliot's midlife conversion to Anglicanism. They embody a subjective and didactic impulse, ultimately attempting to help readers transcend the despair of the world.
In their musical quality, these poems are spiritual, inspirational, and intended to evoke action. The world is the place, as suggested in the third of the quartets, "The Dry Salvages," where "music [is] heard so deeply / that it is not heard at all, but you are the music." Eliot ultimately believed it was up to him to transcribe that music, the world, for his readers.
He writes in "Little Gidding," the last of the quartets, that "the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started." Eliot spent his artistic career theorizing and writing in an innovative style, yet borrowing content from history. It is a career representative of modernism—although it projects the individual poet embarking on a lifelong romantic quest for the regeneration of self. In this way Eliot follows Whitman and Emerson in the sustained American tradition of the authentic poetic impulse, to seek, find, and, instead of create a new, in Eliot's case, to reconstitute what has been lost. His steady development of what Stephen Spender describes as "ritual" and the observance of the ritual separates Eliot from the other poets, as ritual becomes for Eliot and his readers the "foremost aim of living" that joins "the living with the dead" as well as "the present with the past" (7).
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