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Published in the second decade of the twentieth century, T.S. Eliot's early somber poem Preludes deserves its title. In its four sections Preludes 'raises the curtain' on many of the themes the premier modernist poet exhibited in his later work, most especially in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land. During a 24-hour period, quartered into evening, middle of the night, morning, and back to evening again, each stanza and line immerses the reader in the desolation, grime, and hopelessness of a broken civilization. To underscore this, Eliot experiments with a fragmented, even makeshift rhyme scheme throughout the poem, including the first stanza. Here, the rhymes are scattered irregularly - 'wraps' and 'scraps', for example - as if to emphasize the futility of living in a day that is already 'burnt out'
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