Collected Poems 1909-1962

T.S. EliotFaber and Faber 2002
Pages: 224

The Rock was a pageant play performed in London in 1934, in conjunction with a fund-raising campaign aimed to build new churches in the suburbs of the city. The Choruses, later included by Eliot in his collected works, are the poetic texts that in origin intermixed a number of historical scenes focusing on the building of churches in London. Eliot wrote this text under commission, out of an impetus of obedience and need to belong to his recently-joined Anglican Church, for which he put his own literary respectability a stake. Despite their beauty and depth, The Choruses are now largely considered a minor work. They are in fact one of the founding texts of the charism of Communion and Liberation, one of the most cited in Giussani’s works and the source of many of his key images and expressions. Giussani talked of Eliot as one of his favourite poets, describing him as a prophet of contemporary society. He often recommended to read and re-read The Choruses from The Rock, which as he himself recognised, he started to quote after the ‘68, as a response to the confused need “to do something” in the middle of a crisis.