Preludes: Introducing Eliot
“Preludes” means an introduction. Eliot’s Preludes is not just an introduction to his own poetry, but of an entire generation of poets and philosophers. To study Eliot’s “Preludes,” is to allow oneself the initiation that Eliot found necessary, to understand the more complex network of images which abound his longer poems.
The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
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.