T. S. Eliot

Some men use poetry to express romantic ideas. Some use it to tell stories. Others, like T. S. Eliot, use poetry to express their thoughts about events and emotions.

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born on September 26, 1888, to a prosperous couple in St. Louis, Missouri. Though they lived in the Midwest, the Eliots kept their strong ties to New England. As a young man, Eliot attended Harvard University where he earned his BA in only three years. He began working on his MA but went to Paris for a year to study and tour Europe. After returning to Harvard in 1911 to finish his master's degree and then work on his doctorate, he added Sanskrit and Pali to his list of learned languages - he also knew Latin, Greek, French, Italian, and German.

Three years later, Eliot was in Oxford, England, to continue his studies. He was taking a short course in Germany when WWI broke out, and he rushed back to London and then Oxford. While in Oxford he met Vivienne Haigh-Wood. They married a short time later in June 1915 to the dismay of his family. Eliot began teaching and lecturing at Birkbeck College (part of the University of London). Though he worked hard at his writing and teaching, he was not able to achieve financial stability until he began working for Lloyd's Bank.

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