Paradigms of the Ecocritical Canon in T. S. Eliot’s Early Poems

by Arianna Antonielli

Taking into consideration T. S. Eliot’s early poetry from an ecocritical perspective, this article investigates a few of the more than 40 poems he wrote in the years 1909-1914 in a notebook he called Inventions of the March Hare. Edited in 1996, the volume includes poems which highlight his concern with the (un) natural world and his implicit critique of the degrading environment caused by the spoiling consequences of  modernity. Focusing on the representation of the wasted urban landscapes portrayed in these poems, emphasis will be given to Eliot’s environmental awareness, which coincided to some extent with his encountering the maudite realité of French symbolist poets.