TS Eliot penniless, tired a year after 'Waste Land' poem

Posted By: Staff
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London, Oct 31 (ANI): TS Eliot's poem 'The Waste Land' might have given him international stardom but a year after it was published he was broke, and on the verge of a breakdown.

A series of newly published letters have revealed that his personal life had turned into a nightmare despite winning accolades for his literary work.

He was forced to work for Lloyds bank by day and edit Criterion, a quarterly magazine, by night, reports the Telegraph.

On March 12, 1923, he wrote: "I am now in the midst of a terrific crisis. I wish to heaven that I had never taken up the Criterion. It has been a great expense to me. I have not got a penny out of it.

"There is not enough money to run it and pay me too. I think the work and the worry have taken 10 years off my life.

"I must either give up the bank at once and find some work which takes less of my time... or else I must give up the Criterion before my health crashes."

Eliot refused to give up his bank job and wrote on April 26, 1923: "The bank is a secure job for life, with a pension at 60, a year's salary and a pension for my wife in the event of my death.

"The main point, is the security for my wife. She will inherit very little. I must make reasonable provision for her before undertaking on any adventures."

The workload, and worry about money had shaken his confidence in writing.

On December 31, 1923, he said: "I am ashamed to have sent you such badly written articles. I must stop writing and read and think for a long time before recommencing.

"Otherwise I shall lose my reputation and disgrace the periodicals for which I write. It is no use squeezing a dry sponge and no use trying to work a tired and distracted mind." (ANI)

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