Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 10 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Michael of the Saints
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Rare recording of T.S. Eliot reading his famous ‘Four Quartets’

J-P Mauro - published on 01/18/18

Many consider the poem sequence to be his greatest work.

It is always exciting when we get to hear an author read their own words, so when we came across this recording of T.S. Eliot reading his own Four Quartets we were understandably ecstatic. Four Quartets is a sequence of four poems that were written over a six-year period, between 1935 and 1941. Eliot first wrote Burnt Norton as an independent work, in 1935, and several years later he wrote three more: East Coker, The Dry Salvages, and Little Gidding.

Wikipedia describes the work as:

Four interlinked meditations with the common theme being man’s relationship with time, the universe, and the divine. In describing his understanding of the divine within the poems, Eliot blends his Anglo-Catholicism with mystical, philosophical and poetic works from both Eastern and Western religious and cultural traditions, with references to the Bhagavad-Gita and the Pre-Socratics as well as St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich.

The four works were joined together under the title Four Quartets by Eliot’s New York publisher, in 1943. While many critics hailed the work as Eliot’s great last work, some — including George Orwell — were put off by their overt religiousness. Of the works, Eliot told Donald Hall, in a 1959 interview:

“I’d like to feel that they get better as they go on. The second is better than the first, the third is better than the second, and the fourth is the best of all. At any rate, that’s the way I flatter myself.”
Tags:
ArtPoetry
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
2
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
3
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
4
Francisco Veneto
Priest brother of pilot whose plane broke in two says “St. ...
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
resurrection
Philip Kosloski
4 Fun facts about Easter Week
7
NUNS
John Burger
Benedictine nuns in Missouri seem to be targeted by shootings
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.