Summary

This chapter has explored Eliot's and Pound's engagement with social and political questions, focussing in particular on how Eliot's conversion to Christianity and Pound's commitment to Social Credit economics shaped their poetry and their understanding of the poet's role in society. Both poets move away from the ideologically open texts of The Waste Land and the early Cantos to a more didactic form of poetry: rather than analysing the contemporary situation, this poetry aims to provide answers. Pound thought he had found these answers in the fascist Italy of Mussolini, Eliot in Anglo-Catholicism. Both poets wrote important prose works that integrate their literary and social views under the banner of 'culture', and their late poetry encapsulates their broad conception of this term, prescribing it as an antidote to the political turmoil of mid-twentieth-century Europe.

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