The Hollow Men

is a poem by T. S. Eliot in five numbered parts, first published as a complete sequence in Eliot’s collection

Poems 1909-1925

(November 1925)


It was the only new poem in the collection, being the first of Eliot’s poems to appear since

The Waste Land

(1922). Four of its five sections had been published separately in magazines in 1924-25. In a letter of February 1923, Eliot had indicated his intention “to throw off

The Waste Land”

(cited Ricks & McCue I: 712), but in later remarks he was to characterise “The Hollow Men” as the exhausted conclusion of his pre-Christian Waste-Land phase, regarding it as a poem of despair. The poem’s title, as Eliot acknowledged, was suggested by William Morris’s prose romance

The Hollow Land



and Rudyard Kipling’s poem…

2032 words

Citation: Baker, William, Katie Wales. "The Hollow Men". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 August 2023 [, accessed 17 April 2024.]

585 The Hollow Men 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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