What is the source of the poem Journey of the Magi by T. S. Eliot?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The source of the poem "Journey of the Magi" by T. S. Eliot is the Gospel of Mark from the New Testament. The poem was written by Eliot after his conversion to the Church of England. It describes the journey of the magi bearing gifts to the infant Jesus, guided by a star that pointed the way to the manger in which he was born. The poem is written from the point of view of the magi, and begins with a realistic evocation of the journey: 

"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:

The term "magi" refers to wise men. It is a Greek derivative of a Persian term "magus" referring to a type of Zoroastrian priest who was an expert in astrology and studied the movements and configurations of the stars to investigate the divine realm.


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