Unreal City, / Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, / A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, / I had not thought death had undone so many. / Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, / And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. / Flowed up the hill and down King William Street, / To where St Mary Woolnoth kept the hours / With a dead sound on the final stock of nine.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), The Waste Land
6 thoughts on “London in Quotations: T. S. Eliot”
Literally just read the same wonderful stanza last night in a book I had specially posted to Oz, Halliday’s ‘Fictional London’. Bliss!
Thank you – Eliot is one of my favourites.
I’ve just finished reviewing The Book Lover’s Guide to London by Sarah Milne, I’ll have to get Halliday’s book. Thanks for the comment.
I wonder whether you are aware of the time T.S Eliot was recognised by a London cabbie?
Eliot was surprised, but the cabbie told him “Oh, I’ve got an eye for a celebrity. I’ve had them all in my cab. Why, only last week I had Bertrand Russell in here. I said to him, I said, ‘So, Lord Russell, what’s it all about then?’
“And d’you know, he couldn’t tell me?”
What a brilliant story, Thanks. It’s a bit like in the film Shakespeare in Love when a ferryman tells Shakespeare that he’s had Marlow as a passenger, then brags that he has also written a play.
Sounds like little has changed since he wrote that, except the famous fogs.
Best wishes, Pete.
Yes, I’m old enough to remember being sent home from school due to a pea souper.
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