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The Boston Evening Transcript by TS Eliot

The Boston Evening Transcript

The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript
Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn.
When evening quickens fainly in the street,
Wakening the appetites of life in some
And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript,
I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning
Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld,
If the street were time and he at the end of the street,
And I say, “Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript.”


The poem “The Boston Evening Transcript” by TS Eliot uses many literary techniques to emphasize that people during the time period were easily manipulated. A metaphor combined with a simile is used in the second line of the poem. According to the speaker, the readers of the Boston Evening Transcript sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn. The speaker is dehumanizing the readers of the newspaper and makes the tone negative and derogatory. By comparing people to ripe corn the speaker is clearly stating what he thinks of the readers. Tone is once again shown as the speaker illustrates the contrast between people that read the newspaper and people who do not. Comparing these two groups of people by stating, when evening quickens faintly in the street, wakening the appetites of life in some and to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript. Stating what the speaker observes in the two separate groups clearly embodies his (the speaker’s) view on the newspaper. The tone of the entire poem is negative and against the Boston Evening Transcript. Through the poem, readers can see what the effect of this particular newspaper does to people and how easily it can take over their lives. Again stating that the readers prefer to read the newspaper instead of doing something else, influences their opinions on different subjects. At the end of the poem the speaker adds, “Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript,” which shows that even though things are not always positive and do have a negative effect on people’s lives it is just the way things will always be.


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4 thoughts on “The Boston Evening Transcript by TS Eliot

  1. Thank you so much for this! I have to analyze this poem for my American Lit class, and after reading this I have a much better understanding.

    Posted by Rose | March 14, 2015, 2:31 pm
  2. Hello, well, this analysis is very nice and as my colleague I have to analyse it for the class. However, I was wondering how to anaylise this poems, because to be honest I don´t possess this critical thinking for poems and fiction in general, what can I do to have a better understanding of those texts?

    Posted by Maria | March 23, 2015, 5:54 pm
    • Hi Maria, thanks for the lovely comment. I would have to say that you just have to build up your skill and analysis skills. Just take some time to read through each line carefully when dealing with a poem after you’ve read through it once or twice. See if any literary devices were used and go from there. It is also really helpful to know the year that something was written so that you can see if there is any historical connection to be made with something written. Just keep on trying to trudge through what you can. But really just enjoy what you are reading!

      Posted by sraisam1211 | March 27, 2015, 11:31 pm

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