A poem in four parts by T. S. Eliot, published as a whole in New York in 1943. It comprises ‘Burnt Norton’, ‘East Coker’, ‘The Dry Salvages’, and ‘Little Gidding’, all of which appeared previously in other volumes.
The four quartets represent the four seasons and the four elements; the imagery of the first centres on a Cotswold garden; that of the second round a Somerset village; the third mingles the landscape of Missouri and New England, the landscapes of Eliot's youth; and the fourth uses as a symbol Little Gidding. But all are concerned with time past and time present, with the wartime London of the blitz as well as the England of Julian of Norwich and Sir T. Elyot. These were the first of Eliot's poems to reach a wide public and they succeeded in communicating in modern idiom the fundamentals of Christian faith and experiences.
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T. S. Eliot (1888—1965) poet, critic, and publisher