Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday

ELIOT, T.S. Ash Wednesday.

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ELIOT, T.S. Ash Wednesday. London, The Curwen Press 1930

8vo; Original blue cloth decorated with gilt title and gilt lettering on spine; top edge gilt, else untrimmed; housed in publisher's brown paper-covered slipcase; pp. [xii], 13-28, [iv]; publisher's slipcase slightly rubbed to the extremeties and beginning to split along the spine; crack to upper cover now expertly repaired; free endpapers slightly tanned; end papers lightly offset; otherwise near-fine.
First Edition, Number 584/600 copies, signed by the poet.
Often referred to as his, 'Conversion Poem', Ash Wednesday is a long poem written during Eliot's conversion to Anglicanism. Marking the Christian fast day that signifies the beginning of Lent, a day of penitence to acknowledge one's sins, the poem revolves around a narrators hope for salvation in a blasphemous world. Throughout its six parts, the speaker evolves through a series of illuminating and distressing metaphorical transformations some of which find powerful inspiraton from Dante and from texts of liturgy though the poem maintains throughout much of a contrasting, secular undertone. The first section claims the title of an appropriate love poem by Cavalcanti - "Because I do not hope to turn again".

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