T.S. Eliot and the Power of the Mississippi Scott Simon reads part of T.S. Eliot's poem "The Dry Salvages from Four Quartets" about the power of the Mississippi River.

T.S. Eliot and the Power of the Mississippi

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The poet T.S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, and he knew the power of the Mississippi River. His 1941 poem "The Dry Salvages" from "Four Quartets" begins this way:

I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river Is a strong brown god - sullen, untamed and intractable, Patient to some degree, at first recognized as a frontier, Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce, Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.

The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten By the dwellers of cities - ever, however, implacable, Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder Of what men choose to forget.

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