A Short Analysis of T. S. Eliot’s ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’

A reading of Eliot’s early poem by Dr Oliver Tearle

Sylvia Plath once said that she thought anything should be able to be used in a poem, but she couldn’t imagine a toothbrush in a poem. Yet at the end of ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’, T. S. Eliot had used the toothbrush as a way of hinting at the workaday world (we brush our teeth every day, at least if we wish to avoid too many trips to the dentist), with it hanging on the wall, just as the shoes wait by the door, ready for the following morning when the world will once more spring into action.

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