Thomas Stearns Eliot is buried in the Parish Church of St. Michael, East Coker,
Somerset, England. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes were interred
below his memorial plaque on Easter Sunday 1965.
Eliot's ancestors originated from East Coker before
emigrating to America in the 17th century. East Coker is also the
title of the second of the long poems that make up The Four Quartets.
In 1914 Eliot met Ezra Pound who encouraged him
to settle in England. Eliot eventually became a British citizen in 1927.
Eliot's poem The Waste Land (which was edited by Pound) proved to
be hugely influential and established him as the pre-eminent of the
modernist poets. His other famous works include: The Love Song
of J. Alfred Prufrock, Portrait of a Lady, The Hollow Men, and
Eliot was also a major critic, whose work
influenced the likes of F. R. Leavis. As director of Faber and Faber,
Eliot was also responsible for signing up such poets as Auden, Spender
and George Barker.
The last eight years of Eliot's life were perhaps the happiest as
a result of his marriage to Valerie Fletcher in 1957. (Valerie had been his secretary at
Faber and Faber.) She was thirty years old and he was sixty eight. His first
marriage to Vivien Haigh-Wood ended unhappily due to her mental instability.
eventually committed to a psychiatric hospital.
Eliot won the
Prize for Literature in 1948.
There is also a commemorative stone in 'Poets' Corner', Westminster Abbey, London.
correlative and 'Poets on