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Publisher's Summary

A selection of the most significant and enduring poems from one of the 20th century’s major writers, chosen and introduced by Vijay Seshadri, performed by T.S. Eliot, Vijay Seshadri, Daniel Halpern, Willem Dafoe, Natasha Trethewey, Meghan O'Rourke, Natalie Diaz, Frank Bidart, Joy Harjo, Rosanna Warren, Emily Jungmin Yoon, Tracy K. Smith, Nicole Sealey, Jorie Graham, Kevin Young, Louise Glück, Eileen Myles, Carol Muske-Dukes, Campbell McGrath, Robert Hass, and Monica Youn.

T.S. Eliot was a towering figure in 20th-century literature, a renowned poet, playwright, and critic whose work - including "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915), The Waste Land (1922), Four Quartets (1943), and Murder in the Cathedral (1935) - continues to be among the most-read and influential in the canon of American literature.

The Essential T.S. Eliot collects Eliot’s most lasting and important poetry in one career-spanning audiobook, with an introduction from Vijay Seshadri, one of our foremost poets.

Performer Table of Contents

"Introduction by Vijay Seshadri" read by Vijay Seshadri

"La Figlia che Piange" read by T.S. Eliot

"Portrait of a Lady" read by Daniel Halpern

"Preludes" read by T.S. Eliot

"Rhapsody on a Windy Night" read by Meghan O'Rourke

"Mr. Apollinax" read by Natalie Diaz

"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" read by Frank Bidart

"Gerontion" read by Joy Harjo

"Dans le Restaurant" read by Rosanna Warren

"Whispers of Immortality" read by Emily Jungmin Yoon

"The Waste Land" read by Willem Dafoe and Tracy K. Smith

"The Hollow Men" read by Nicole Sealey

"Ash Wednesday" read by Jorie Graham

"Marina" read by Kevin Young

"Journey of the Magi" read by Louise Glück

"Coriolan" read by Eileen Myles

"Choruses from The Rock: I, III, IV, VII" read by Carol Muske-Dukes (III, VII) and Natasha Trethewey (I, IV)

"Old Deuteronomy" read by Campbell McGrath

"Sweeney Agonistes" read by Vijay Seshadri and Rosanna Warren

"From Four Quartets: Burnt Norton; Little Gidding" read by Robert Hass

"Tradition and the Individual Talent" read by Monica Youn

Text from Collected Poems, 1909-1962: copyright 1930, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1963 by T.S. Eliot; copyright 1954, 1956, 1959, 1963 by Thomas Stearns Eliot; copyright renewed 1958, 1962, 1964 by Thomas Stearns Eliot; copyright 1934, 1936 by Harcourt Brace & Company; copyright 1948 by Faber & Faber Limited; copyright renewed 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1982, 1984, 1991 by Esme Valerie Eliot. Text from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats: copyright 1939 by T.S. Eliot; copyright renewed 1967 by Esme Valerie Eliot.

©1962, 1991 T.S. Eliot; Various (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Essential T.S. Eliot

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Important

This production isn't just excellent; it's important.

Seshadri's introduction is an extraordinarily deep and insightful reflection on Elliot which deserves to be listened to more than once.

He has assembled many of the most famous poets living in the United States today as readers. Poets are not always great readers of poetry, but even when they are not, their readings often give insight into their own interpretations of the poems. When Frank Bidart says " Let us GO, and make our visit," his emphasis makes me understand a line from Prufrock, which I have loved for 30 years, in a new way.

On the other hand, the poet Campbell McGrath is perhaps the best reader of poetry I've ever heard in my life. I heard him read once in person and he is simply a knockout.

I wrote a paper on Louise Gluck once which left me afraid of her ruthless austerity, and her reading of The Gift of the Magi here did not alter my feeling.

The only incompetent reading here is by the publisher, who steps in to read one poem, I'm sorry to say.

I prefer the early, hopeless, not yet religious Eliot to the later myth-soaked poet of The Wasteland or the conservative Anglican of Four Quartets, but this is an exemplary collection which does important scholarly work of its own.

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Was hoping for more

As an English major, I thought Eliot's poetry would be so much greater. The Waste Land was good but not exactly what I hoped it would be. He is a great poet but his work was underwhelming.

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Missed the point of "The hollow men".

some things cannot be felt by amatuers. Try being in "The Shit" before reading this. . .

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As the Title Says: Essential

This collection provides an excellent assortment of Eliot’s most important works enhanced by the reading of the poems by some of our best Poets. As with any group of artists, some do a better job of interpretation than others but overall the quality of the readings is quite good. Very enjoyable. Five Stars. *****