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The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

The Waste Land (1922)

by T. S. Eliot

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7731718,672 (3.97)89
"A long modernist poem almost following the legend of the Fisher King and the Holy Grail" --Provided by publisher.

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» See also 89 mentions

English (14)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I can't help it, I have always loved T.S. Eliot's diction and modes of expression. Now I have it in e-book form. I know Thomas Stearns isn't the best model for human behavior, but he surely could express himself. This poem, an elegy, a summoning of Buddhist and Christian traditions, a description of the ruptures of civilization, couldn't be more timely. ( )
  deckla | Jul 15, 2018 |
Yeah, I'm going to be that guy who gives T.S. Elliot 2 stars. Sorry, Mr. Elliot. I'm not a fan of non-narrative poetry. I gave it my best shot, but quite honestly it read like complete gibberish to me. ( )
1 vote Sylvester_Olson | Jul 1, 2018 |
As is true for most readers, when I first encountered The Waste Land in the 1960s, I found myself in a very foreign poetic land. I read the annotations and explications. I listened to my professors. I reread and mad innumerable margin notes. I felt the poem's power and despair. But its meaning seemed hard to parse.

Now, decades later, rereading yet again, I know the poem and the poem knows me. We still live in The Waste Land. The loss of all mooring after WWI still remains a debris we drift with. But the poem itself seems very approachable now, its discordant ballet of voices powerful as ever, but its sense much more apparent to me.

You must read and reread this poem. My critical opinion of it had moved over time to it being overrated---but now, no. It is a seminal poem of the last century. And its relevance today is profound. ( )
1 vote dasam | Jun 21, 2018 |
non posso dire che la poesia sia il mio pane. Pochi sono gli autori per i quali faccio eccezione. L'ingessato Eliot è uno di questi. Chissà perchè mi piace? Forse perchè agita antichi ricordi di classicismo scolastico? Forse perchè la sua scrittura è più spesso, una prosa poetica? forse perchè mi fa pensare a Gabriele Rossetti, un pittore che amo molto? Chissà.
Certo ha scritto uno dei versi più evocativi che abbia mai letto: "Aprile è il più crudele dei mesi: genera lillà dalla terra morta, mescola ricordo e desiderio..." ( )
  icaro. | Aug 31, 2017 |
Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. - T.S Eliot

Less understanding on my part, though some communication on Mr. Eliot's, so by his own
definition, The Waste Land must be genuine poetry. If that sounds less than enthusiastic, it's probably a reflection of my disappointment at not being totally blown away by what is generally reckoned to be one of the greatest poems of the twentieth century. I'm sure the deficit is on my side, and I'll certainly return to this poem as there are undoubtedly depths I've not plumbed.

Four stars, nonetheless, because there's some nice stuff about the cruelty of April, drowned Phoenicians, and overheard gossip about abortions. ( )
  Michael.Rimmer | Jul 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I will take a brief look at Consider Phlebas and then at The Waste Land, followed by examples of how the latter informs the former.
added by elenchus | editJohn Black blog, John Black (Oct 4, 2012)
Eliot was to tell the Paris Review that in the composition of the closing sections "I wasn't even bothering whether I understood what I was saying." There seems no reason at all why we should not take him at his word. Defensive modesty of this variety can often be worth noting; what critic has ever succeeded in getting any sense or any beauty out of the final pages? And in what conceivable universe—even the batty, sinister one of Ezra Pound, who insisted that the poem open in that manner—is April the cruelest month?

It is not disputable that by publishing The Waste Land when he did, Eliot caught something of the zeitgeist and enthralled those who needed borrowed words and concepts to capture or re-express the desolation of Europe after 1918... It is certainly the most overrated poem in the Anglo-American canon.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe Atlantic, Christopher Hitchens
Look at it as a film scenario, which in many ways it resembles, and you can see that it goes much farther – with its jump cuts and flashes backward and forward and montages and intense economy – than anything by Truffaut or Godard or Fellini or Antonioni....

The twentieth century has seen bigger and more ambitious poems than The Waste Land – such as the Cantos of Pound, the Anathemata of David Jones, the Anabase of St-John Perse – but no poem has been a more miraculous mediator between the hermetic and demotic. It is, curiously when one considers the weight of polyglot learning it carries, essentially a popular poem, outgoing rather than ingrown, closer to Shakespeare than to Donne. It was Pound who said that music decays when it moves too far away from the dance, and poetry decays when it neglects to sing. The Waste Land sticks in one’s mind like a diverse recital performed by a voice of immense variety but essentially a single organ: it sings and goes on singing.
added by SnootyBaronet | editEncounter, Anthony Burgess

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T. S. Eliotprimary authorall editionscalculated
Praz, MarioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricks, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Sibilla, ti thelis?; respondebat illa: Apothanin thelo.
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Per Ezra Pound il miglior fabbro.
First words
April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.
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Disambiguation notice
Contains only The Waste Land and nothing else. Do not combine with collections of Eliot's work, including The Waste Land and Other Poems.
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Book description
Nel 1922, in The Waste Land, Eliot aveva dato espressione al consapevole disorientamento di un'epoca che, iniziatasi colla prima guerra mondiale, può dirsi duri tuttora e non si saprebbe meglio definire che col titolo di un volume dell'Auden, The Age of Anxiety, l'epoca dell'ansia. The Waste Land chiudeva il suo barbarico edificio con alcuni frammenti di poeti del passato, vestigia di una nobile e secolare tradizione di cultura, e con la dichiarazione: "Con questi frammenti io ho puntellato le mie rovine". The Waste Land voleva essere insomma un edificio di bassa epoca deliberatamente eretto sull'Ultima Thule del pensiero europeo, proprio al limite della desolazione incombente che minacciava di travolgere ogni traccia d'una cultura secolare. Dall'introduzione di Mario Praz
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