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The Waste Land and Other Poems by T. S.…

The Waste Land and Other Poems (1922)

by T. S. Eliot, T. S. Eliot

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3,663252,340 (4.16)68
April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain . . . Published in 1922, The Waste Land was the most revolutionary poem of its time, offering a devastating vision of modern civilisation which has lost none of its power as we enter a new century.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
What can I say, Eliot had an incredible command of language. Not all of the poems hit me as hard as others, but many of them got my brain churning with ideas. Even in the poems that didn't leave an impact were artistically brilliant and super fun to read. ( )
  MaxAndBradley | May 27, 2020 |
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

I first heard of The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufock while listening to a podcast of Entitled Opinions (thanks Tom) last winter. That podcast concerned Dante, however I found Eliot's images both vivid and modern. I then mentally shelved such for a future read. This present week appeared apt. While sorting through Marx and, then, Derrida on Marx and Shakespeare I found the prevailing winds favorable. Diving into such, I didn't care for the titular poem in the collection. The Waste Land and especially Eliot's notes for such strikes me as mere wanking. Oh well, verse isn't my métier, especially those alluding to the Grail. I did like Marina and Two Choruses from 'The Rock'

I journeyed to London, to the timekept City
Where the River flows, with foreign flotations.
There I was told: we have too many churches.

( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
I don't really know what to say about this except "read it." How do I review The Waste Land without writing a lengthy academic paper (which, btw, I have done)? It's a gorgeous poem, full of imagery and symbolism. Read it, then read it again. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
This is a short collection of poems of ten poems by TS Eliot, including his longer works "The Wasteland", "The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock", and "Ash Wednesday", as well as some shorter works.
Some of these (such as Prufrock and Landscapes) are transparent enough on the first read through. However "The Wasteland" requires a lot more work – the allusions, the references, the symbolism is all more dense and consistently obscure than that found in pretty much all poetry written before this. This is not to say however that we can't understand its general meaning quite well without having read it a dozen times, read a commentary on it, and listened to a couple of lectures (though you will probably want to), as its tone and imagery convey enough of its meaning without us getting every reference and allusion. And this is what makes it work as poetry – that it communicates exactly what it is trying to communicate without the reader completely and consciously understanding all of its content straight away – because it works on more than one level.
So what is the Wasteland about? It's about post-war London – about how horrible it is, like Dante's hell. It's about a fractured Europe which is compared to the body of Osiris chopped up and scattered around. It's about decay, the grubbiness and shabiness of things, and the parched wasteland of society waiting for renewal following World War I. The symbolism is variously religious, mythological, literary, operatic, contemporary, and exotic.
Aside from the depressing content of the Wasteland, its deliberate obscurity means that it lacks much of the immediate aesthetic appeal that entices many people to much poetry. However this is what Modernism is about – creating something new that doesn't always rely on the aesthetic appeal of orderly verse, attractive imagery, fine sentiment, and clarity – in the same way that modernism in painting broke the traditional rules of visual aesthetics. Eliot didn't invent modernism in poetry, but he does exemplify it. He uses different voices, mixes up symbolism and references from different cultures, with different meters, styles, themes and tones. This gives the poetry a cultural richness and a lot to get out of it, but this requires more of the reader, and for this reason Eliot won't appeal to many readers. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | May 11, 2018 |
I'll admit I didn't 'get' most of it. I mean, the poem The Waste Land is crazy dense with references...
But it seemed really beautiful... I just have no idea. 3/5 to be safe, I suppose... ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
T. S. Eliotprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eliot, T. S.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Let us go then, you and I, / When the evening is spread out against the sky / Like a patient etherised upon a table; / Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, / The muttering retreats / Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels / And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells; / Streets that follow like a tedious argument / Of insidious intent / To lead you to an overwhelming question... / Oh, do not ask, 'What is is?' / Let us go and make our visit.
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This work (Harcourt) contains the following selected poems:
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
- Preludes
- Gerontion
- Sweeney Among the Nightingales
- The Waste Land
- Ash-Wednesday
- Journey of the Magi
- Marina
- Landscapes (I. New Hampshire; II Virginia; III Usk)
- Two Choruses from 'The Rock'

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