T S Elliot ‘Preludes’ Poem Theme

T S Elliot ‘Preludes’ Poem Theme

T.S Elliot ‘Preludes’ Poem Theme : Prelude poetry is a detailed description of the urban experience. The first preface describes the evening of a dirty, wet winter with stale food stale.

T S Elliot ‘Preludes’ Poem Theme


The winter evening settles down

With smell of steaks in passageways.

Six o’clock.

The burnt-out ends of smoky days.

And now a gusty shower wraps

The grimy scraps

Of withered leaves about your feet

And newspapers from vacant lots;

The showers beat

On broken blinds and chimney-pots,

And at the corner of the street

A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.

And then the lighting of the lamps.


The morning comes to consciousness

Of faint stale smells of beer

From the sawdust-trampled street

With all its muddy feet that press

To early coffee-stands.

With the other masquerades

That time resumes,

One thinks of all the hands

That are raising dingy shades

In a thousand furnished rooms.


You tossed a blanket from the bed,

You lay upon your back, and waited;

You dozed, and watched the night revealing

The thousand sordid images

Of which your soul was constituted;

They flickered against the ceiling.

And when all the world came back

And the light crept up between the shutters

And you heard the sparrows in the gutters,

You had such a vision of the street

As the street hardly understands;

Sitting along the bed’s edge, where

You curled the papers from your hair,

Or clasped the yellow soles of feet

In the palms of both soiled hands.


His soul stretched tight across the skies

That fade behind a city block,

Or trampled by insistent feet

At four and five and six o’clock;

And short square fingers stuffing pipes,

And evening newspapers, and eyes

Assured of certain certainties,

The conscience of a blackened street

Impatient to assume the world.

I am moved by fancies that are curled

Around these images, and cling:

The notion of some infinitely gentle

Infinitely suffering thing.

Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh;

The worlds revolve like ancient women

Gathering fuel in vacant lots.

Introduction Of The Prelude

T.S Eliot’s ‘Preludes’ is in four-part. This poem was probably written in 1910 – 12 and published in 1915. The four sections of the poem are integrated, presenting instinct, plot and imagination. Eliot is a modern poet who has embraced dirty cities and slums as the subject of his poetry. These four parts of the prelude portray a picture of the dirty streets and dirty people living in the city.

In this way, the poet has presented a picture of a sad and depressing world. The presenter of the poem presents a depiction of the poor living in the streets of the city, who are highly distressed to engage in various activities. In this era of mechanization, there is little hope of protection from impoverishment and drudgery.

T.S Eliot Preludes Theme Summary

Prelude poetry is a detailed description of the urban experience. The first preface describes the evening of a dirty, wet winter with stale food stale. It presents a characteristic indicator winter scene in the poorer neighbourhood of a city street.

The second preface begins with a filthy dull morning smelling fluffy liquor. People get up in their homes and the shadows of their hand movements fall on the glass portion of the window like those on stage. He takes cumbersome steps to drink coffee at coffee shops. Thousands of dirty shadows can be seen waking up in the morning.

This prologue presents a description of a city woman with low-level ideas and imagination. She goes from her sleep, still the same. She still wants to sleep. All his dirty pictures last night roamed his brain. She hears the sparrow’s voice rising in the dirt of the gutter. Immediately she feels disturbed and frustrated at the thought of walking in a street with a bad odour in search of a customer. Her business of prostitution is extremely painful.

Nobody can understand his pain. She then sits on the edge of her bed and removes the curled paper from her hair. In the fourth preface, we again have a dull view of the evening.

The viewer settles all these scenes in himself – his soul is in great distress, then the speaker becomes me because he becomes aware of any suffering that has no end.

In the last 3 lines, the speaker seems to have inertia with fear at the initial image of desperation and hatred at obscenity. Yet there is also a shadow of mercy because the scene of an old woman gathering fuel in a blank space will create a feeling of mercy rather than pleasure.

T.S Eliot Preludes F.A.Q

What Kind of Description do T. S. Elliot’s Poem ‘Preludes’ begin?

The poem Preludes opens with a description of the unattractive and unimpressive winter evening of a (unknown) city.

Name the longest and shortest section of the poem Preludes.

 Part IV (or the last part) with sixteen lines is the longest part; while part II of the poem Preludes with ten lines is the shortest part.

Who is the major character in T. S. Eliot’s poem Preludes?

The city woman with low – level ideas or the fallen woman or the prostitute; which has been introduced in section III is the main character.

T. S. Eliot composed the poem Preludes in what kind of verse?

T S Eliot composed Preludes in free verse.

Read it also:

Leave a Comment