Eliot's "The death of Saint Narcissus" and Herbert's "Affliction" (I)

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1986


Among the many verses that T.S. Eliot originally planned to include in The Waste Land but dropped or radically revised following Ezra Pound's advice is "The death of Saint Narcissus."

The specific and general debt of "The death of Saint Narcissus" to "Affliction" (I) gives evidence of a different kind regarding how early and deep Herbert's poetic influence on Eliot was. The seriousness and continuity of Eliot's long-standing affinity to Herbert is underscored as we see that early in his life he recalled and relied on "Affliction" (I) when he began to draft one of his own poems of anguish and failure.


Published: Gottlieb, Sidney. "Eliot's "The death of Saint Narcissus" and Herbert's "Affliction" (I)." George Herbert Journal 9.2 (1986): 54-56.