Classicism and Abstraction in T.S. Eliot’s "Four Quartets": Poetry and Dance

Caterina Guardini (Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature Straniere, Università degli Studi di Udine)


Eliot’s Four Quartets tend to be identified with the struggle for classical order and the music analogy implicit in the title of the poem, but, as some scholars have tried to demonstrate, Eliot’s concern with the visual avantgardes, in particular ballet, does have an influence on his poetry. These pages are an attempt to analyse the images, metaphors and terminology borrowed from dance which are used in the poem and compare them to a recent transposition of the poem into ballet by the Canadian choreographer Deborah Dunn: the reciprocal connection between word and image testifies to the visual dimension of Four Quartets.

DOI: 10.4424/lam32014-8


Thomas Stearns Eliot; Four Quartets; Poetry; Dance; English literature

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