Typically, Eliot first published his poems individually in periodicals or in small books or pamphlets, and then collected them in books. His first collection was Prufrock and Other Observations (1917). In 1920, he published more poems in Ara Vos Prec (London) and Poems: 1920 (New York). These had the same poems (in a different order) except that "Ode" in the British edition was replaced with "Hysteria" in the American edition. In 1925, he collected The Waste Land and the poems in Prufrock and Poems into one volume and added The Hollow Men to form Poems: 1909–1925 . From then on, he updated this work as Collected Poems . Exceptions are Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats (1939), a collection of light verse; Poems Written in Early Youth , posthumously published in 1967 and consisting mainly of poems published between 1907 and 1910 in The Harvard Advocate , and Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917 , material Eliot never intended to have published, which appeared posthumously in 1997. 
In the next few lines the author pulls from the Bible to illustrate the desolation of the land and the plight of man. He talks about "stony rubbish" and "a heap of broken images," (Abrams 2370). These ideas once again serve to illustrate the broken condition of man's spirit. It is as if nothing can fix these problems, and man is doomed to accept the broken state of the land. The reason for his helplessness is that his experience is limited to a realm of broken images where he can see only his own shadow, where the light is so blinding that he cannot even imagine the answers to the questions posed in lines 19 and 20. The speaker beckons to the reader, telling him that he will show him fear in a handful of dust. "The lines are enigmatic, but they suggest that the fear which he speaks is in some way darker, more terrible even than the prophet's warning," (Gish 50). One can only imagine being lured to a darkened area with
Eliot attributed a great deal of his early style to the French Symbolists--Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Mallarme, and Laforgue--whom he first encountered in college, in a book by Arthur Symons called The Symbolist Movement in Literature. It is easy to understand why a young aspiring poet would want to imitate these glamorous bohemian figures, but their ultimate effect on his poetry is perhaps less profound than he claimed. While he took from them their ability to infuse poetry with high intellectualism while maintaining a sensuousness of language, Eliot also developed a great deal that was new and original. His early works, like "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and The Waste Land, draw on a wide range of cultural reference to depict a modern world that is in ruins yet somehow beautiful and deeply meaningful. Eliot uses techniques like pastiche and juxtaposition to make his points without having to argue them explicitly. As Ezra Pound once famously said, Eliot truly did "modernize himself." In addition to showcasing a variety of poetic innovations, Eliot's early poetry also develops a series of characters who fit the type of the modern man as described by Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and others of Eliot's contemporaries. The title character of "Prufrock" is a perfect example: solitary, neurasthenic, overly intellectual, and utterly incapable of expressing himself to the outside world.