Some poems had urban landscape as the backdrop; but mostly it is the inner landscape of the individual's mind that he tried to portray. His language focuses on the acute loneliness of the urban life that shows no sympathy to the individual. Isolation in the crowd is aptly expressed by his images, along with the ordinariness of life. His poetic forms could be termed as dreary compared to earlier poets; but he is depicting the depthless dreariness of modern life.
He said: 'A large part of any poet's imagination must come from his reading and from his knowledge of history.' His poems had a sense of history, though he ventured into assessing modern society too often. The complexity of modern life has come across through his images. Glimpses of people who live in the impersonal modern world, spiritually exhausted, emotionally unsupported are shown in The Love song' The language shows the inherent confusion, feeble images, and unauthentic pretence that go through life. The culmination in a sense of defeat is almost predictable and the language could not have been clearer.
In the same way, the image of the male observer in the Portrait of a Lady sounds acutely detached and unemotional while encroaching the lonely life of the woman without apology. Once again, almost in identical language, he visualises the mundane city life in Preludes.
"To early coffee-stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dingy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms." (18-23).
There is a definite sense of lack of time and difficult endeavours in the Rhapsody of a windy night. The division of hours and too many mentions of time brings it into acute focus. The same sense of rushing time comes across in the Portrait of a lady when her age is mentioned. The miserable lonely existence and the longing are portrayed alongside the mutilated life along with its acute lack of time for better things.
Among the windings of the violins
And the ariettes
Of cracked cornets
Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins
Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own,
His poetic forms and language reflect the defeated and hopeless idealism. His images show that dreams and elegance are left behind. Eliot's images portray modern society's lack of idealism, emptiness and dangerous cynicism in the modern society. He portrayed the prostitutes as one of the uglier sides of city life in Rhapsody...
" 'Regard the woman
Who hesitates towards you in the light of the door
Which opens on her like a grin.
You see the border of her dress
Is torn and stained with sand,
And you see the corner of her eye
Twists like a crooked pin.'" (16-22).
It almost sounds inhuman and devouring. His language becomes cynically powerful when he depicts the hopelessness and emptiness of the present world. The images become oppressingly pessimistic and perhaps this is the result of the World War which saw horrendous destruction in Europe the signs of which exist