T. S. Eliot, A Song for Simeon

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A Song for Simeon (published September 1928) is the second of Eliot’s “Ariel” poems. A 37-line poem in four uneven and partly-rhymed stanzas, it is based on the episode in the Gospel of St. Luke (2: 25-35), of the infant Jesus being presented by Joseph and Mary at the temple in Jerusalem at the prescribed ceremony of Mary’s purification and the consecration of the first-born son. Waiting in the temple is the old man Simeon, who has been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he has seen the Messiah. Taking the baby in his arms, he prays to God in what has come to be known in Christian liturgy as the “Canticle of Simeon” or “Song of Simeon”, or in Latin the

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Citation: Baker, William, Katie Wales. "A Song for Simeon". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40472, accessed 07 February 2023.]

40472 A Song for Simeon 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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