The Influence of St John of the Cross

  • Paul Murray


The name of St John of the Cross first occurs in notes which Eliot made when he was still a student at Harvard from 1908 to 1914.1 But it was not. until about ten years later, in the period immediately preceding his conversion, that Eliot began seriously to read the work of the Spanish Carmelite.2 At first, although he was greatly impressed by the mystical teachings of St John, Eliot was by no means convinced that St John was a great poet. This judgment was based on a comparison which he made between St John's work and the mystical poetry of Dante.


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  1. 1.
    Lyndall Gordon, Eliot’s Early Years (Oxford, 1977) p. 60.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    T. S. Eliot, ‘The Silurist’, Dial, Lxxwn, 3 (September 1927) p. 260.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    See Haüsermann, ‘lEast Coker by T. S. Eliot’, English Studies, xxm. 4 (August 1941) p. 109.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Paul Elmer More, The Catholic Faith ( Princeton, N.J., 1931 ) p. 264.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Paul Murray 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Dominican Studium, Tallaght, and Angelicum UniversityRomeItaly

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