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Morning at the Window by T.S. Eliot
Transcript of Morning at the Window by T.S. Eliot
Morning at the Window
THEY are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,
And along the trampled edges of the street
I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids
Sprouting despondently at area gates.
The brown waves of fog toss up to me
Twisted faces from the bottom of the street,
And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts
An aimless smile that hovers in the air
And vanishes along the level of the roofs.
Analysis of Piece
Eliot crafts a simple, observational poem that captures and communicates the dreariness of everyday existence.
Communicated through personification as the speaker observes "brown waves of fog toss up to me/ Twisted faces" (5-6).
Metaphor also functions making souls of maids seem like weeds that are "sprouting despondently at area gates" (4).
Ghostly diction also adds to the tone as smiles "hover in the air" and "vanish along the level of roofs" giving a sign of joy a deathly, spirit like quality (8-9).
A Look at Magritte's Work
Born in St. Louis, MO in 1888.
Began to live in London in 1914 and became British citizen in 1927.
Published first major poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" in 1915.
Poetry became known for radical innovations in style.
Captured disillusionment of the younger generation post WWI.
Was known for his use of Christian imagery, allusion to legend and myth, and broad understanding of classic literature.
All of the above were heavily used in poems.
The Key to
Analysis of Art
This Painting shares similarities to poem.
Both use the idea of Window as subject.
Eliot shattered convention, Magritte shatters perception.
Looking out into the world, or how to view reality.
Break down what you think you see so as to see what is really there.
How does it connect to the period?
Both pieces deal with seeing the world.
What you think you see may not be true.
Individual strives for meaning.
Individual must interpret what the world means.
Altschul, Serena. “Surrealist Rene Francois Magritte,” YouTube.com, uploaded by CBS Sunday Morning, 20 Oct. 2013, https://youtu.be/DRlpD-iEnMQ.
Eliot, T.S. "Morning at the Window." Poets.org, Academy of American Poets, https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/morning-window
Magritte, Rene. “The Key to the Fields.” museothyssen.org, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, http://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssen/ficha_obra/3.