T. S. Eliot, The Ariel Poems (Numbers 1-8)

'The Ariel Poems were an important component in the establishment of Faber’s reputation'

From Faber and Faber's blog, The Thought Fox: ‘The ‘Ariel Poems’ of T. S. Eliot – Journey of the Magi, A Song for Simeon, Animula, Marina and Triumphal March – are a much-loved feature of his poetic oeuvre. Yet the story of how and why they were written is not widely known: for they were commissioned by one of Eliot’s fellow directors at Faber, as part of a bigger series of separate little illustrated poetry pamphlets (price, 1s) for the Christmas ‘gift’ market from 1927 to 1931. Each consisted of just one previously unpublished poem by a major writer of the time, with ‘decorations’ on the cover, and an appropriate illustration (printed in three colours) by a well-known or especially talented younger artist. Collectively known as the Ariel Poems it was intended that they could also be sent as Christmas cards (and indeed Eliot sent copies of his as Christmas presents to Marianne Moore and other poets).' [Read More]

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