'Prufrock and Other Observations' is Published
T. S. Eliot's first collection of poems, published in 1917 under the imprint of the Egoist magazine.
Ezra Pound undertook arrangements for publication and assisted with the costs of printing. Its forty pages contained work Eliot had produced between 1911 and 1915 while variously resident in Paris, Boston, and Oxford. The following poems appeared in the order given: ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’, ‘Portrait of a Lady’, ‘Preludes’, ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’, ‘Morning at the Window’, ‘The Boston Evening Transcript’, ‘Aunt Helen’, ‘Cousin Nancy’, ‘Mr Appolinax’, ‘Hysteria’, ‘Conversation galante’, and ‘La Figlia che Piange’. ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ offers the fullest demonstration of the radical newness of style and technique Eliot had achieved: like most of the poems, it combines the flexibility of free verse with a highly disciplined irregularity in the use of rhyme; it constitutes an encompassing projection of a sensibility defined through interactions of mood, perceptions, preoccupations, and other cognitive events.
Eliot's first important publication, and the first masterpiece of 'modernism' in English, was 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.' Nothing like the first three lines of 'Prufrock' had previously appeared in English poetry. 'Prufrock' was the first poem by either of these revolutionists [Eliot and Pound] to go beyond experiment to achieve perfection. It represented a break with the immediate past as radical as that of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth in Lyrical Ballads (1798). From the appearance of Eliot's first volume, Prufrock and Other Observations in 1917, one may conveniently date the maturity of the 20th-century poetic revolution; for, in addition to the title poem, the book contained 'Preludes' and 'Portrait of a Lady'--both mature works; and the revolution had come of age" (Britannica). Gallup A1. Ezra Pound was so impressed by Eliot's work that he agreed to publish Prufrock at his own expense, in a small edition of only 500 copies.