Rhapsody on a Windy Night Summary & Analysis by T. S. Eliot

T s eliot rhapsody on a windy night.small

"Rhapsody on a Windy Night" is an early poem by one of the 20th century's foremost literary figures, T.S. Eliot. It was written in 1911, around the time Eliot was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. Often considered one of Eliot's most difficult poems, "Rhapsody" is above all an investigation into time, memory, and the mind. It follows its narrator wandering an urban street from midnight until 4:30 a.m. The world around the narrator seems at once familiar and strangely nightmarish, and a sense of futility and hopelessness invades the speaker's experience of the world as time goes on. The poem ends with its speaker arriving home with the prospect of the next day feeling like the "last twist of the knife"—perhaps the ultimate insult, to have to get ready for the day ahead despite the creeping sense that life lacks any purpose or meaning. The poem was first published in 1915 in Blast 2, the second and final edition of an influential literary magazine edited by Wyndham Lewis.

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