website statistics The Waste Land (York Notes Advanced) - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

The Waste Land (York Notes Advanced)

Availability: Ready to download

The text of Eliot's 1922 masterpiece is accompanied by thorough explanatory annotations as well as by Eliot's own knotty notes, some of which require annotation themselves. For ease of reading, this Norton Critical Edition presents The Waste Land as it first appeared in the American edition (Boni & Liveright), with Eliot's notes at the end. "Contexts" provides readers with The text of Eliot's 1922 masterpiece is accompanied by thorough explanatory annotations as well as by Eliot's own knotty notes, some of which require annotation themselves. For ease of reading, this Norton Critical Edition presents The Waste Land as it first appeared in the American edition (Boni & Liveright), with Eliot's notes at the end. "Contexts" provides readers with invaluable materials on The Waste Land's sources, composition, and publication history. "Criticism" traces the poem's reception with twenty-five reviews and essays, from first reactions through the end of the twentieth century. Included are reviews published in the Times Literary Supplement, along with selections by Virginia Woolf, Gilbert Seldes, Edmund Wilson, Elinor Wylie, Conrad Aiken, Charles Powell, Gorham Munson, Malcolm Cowley, Ralph Ellison, John Crowe Ransom, I. A. Richards, F. R. Leavis, Cleanth Brooks, Delmore Schwartz, Denis Donoghue, Robert Langbaum, Marianne Thormählen, A. D. Moody, Ronald Bush, Maud Ellman, and Tim Armstrong. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.


Compare

The text of Eliot's 1922 masterpiece is accompanied by thorough explanatory annotations as well as by Eliot's own knotty notes, some of which require annotation themselves. For ease of reading, this Norton Critical Edition presents The Waste Land as it first appeared in the American edition (Boni & Liveright), with Eliot's notes at the end. "Contexts" provides readers with The text of Eliot's 1922 masterpiece is accompanied by thorough explanatory annotations as well as by Eliot's own knotty notes, some of which require annotation themselves. For ease of reading, this Norton Critical Edition presents The Waste Land as it first appeared in the American edition (Boni & Liveright), with Eliot's notes at the end. "Contexts" provides readers with invaluable materials on The Waste Land's sources, composition, and publication history. "Criticism" traces the poem's reception with twenty-five reviews and essays, from first reactions through the end of the twentieth century. Included are reviews published in the Times Literary Supplement, along with selections by Virginia Woolf, Gilbert Seldes, Edmund Wilson, Elinor Wylie, Conrad Aiken, Charles Powell, Gorham Munson, Malcolm Cowley, Ralph Ellison, John Crowe Ransom, I. A. Richards, F. R. Leavis, Cleanth Brooks, Delmore Schwartz, Denis Donoghue, Robert Langbaum, Marianne Thormählen, A. D. Moody, Ronald Bush, Maud Ellman, and Tim Armstrong. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are included.

30 review for The Waste Land (York Notes Advanced)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    I'm trying to write a term paper on this poem (key word is "trying") and then I realized, hey, I should waste some time by writing a review of the poem on Goodreads! So here we are. Here's my thing about T.S. Eliot: the man is ungodly brilliant and I love almost everything he's written. Does this mean I understand a single goddamn word of it? Of course not. But (and this is the great part) that doesn't matter. Eliot has been quoted as saying he's perfectly aware that no one has any idea what his I'm trying to write a term paper on this poem (key word is "trying") and then I realized, hey, I should waste some time by writing a review of the poem on Goodreads! So here we are. Here's my thing about T.S. Eliot: the man is ungodly brilliant and I love almost everything he's written. Does this mean I understand a single goddamn word of it? Of course not. But (and this is the great part) that doesn't matter. Eliot has been quoted as saying he's perfectly aware that no one has any idea what his poems are about, and he's perfectly cool with that. Understanding Eliot's poems is not the point; the point is to recognize that he writes with incredible skill and to just lose yourself in the words. My Lit book, How to Read a Poem, said it best: "Eliot is often see as an intellectually difficult, fearfully elitist writer, and so in some ways he was. But he was also the kind of poet who put little store by erudite allusions, and professed himself quite content to have his poetry read by those who had little idea what it meant. It was form - the material stuff of language itself, its archaic resonances and tentacular roots - which mattered most to him. In fact, he once claimed to have enjoyed reading Dante in the original even before he could understand Italian...In some ways a semi-literate would have been Eliot's ideal reader. He was more of a primitivist than a sophisticate. He was interested in what a poem did, not what it said - in the resonances of the signifier, the lures of its music, the hauntings of its grains and textures, the subterranean workings of what one can only call the poem's unconscious." Translation: in Eliot's eyes, we are all uncultured idiots, and he wouldn't have it any other way. So, for those of you struggling to get through the wordy, allusion-tastic, multiple-language maze that is The Waste Land, I can only tell you this: Relax and just enjoy the ride. You have nothing to fear. T.S. Eliot loves you. Read for: Perspectives on Literature

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot The Waste Land is a long poem by T. S. Eliot, widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central work of modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the United Kingdom in the October issue of Eliot's The Criterion and in the United States in the November issue of The Dial. It was published in book form in December 1922. Among its famous phrases are "April is the cruellest month", "I will show you fear in a The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot The Waste Land is a long poem by T. S. Eliot, widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central work of modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the United Kingdom in the October issue of Eliot's The Criterion and in the United States in the November issue of The Dial. It was published in book form in December 1922. Among its famous phrases are "April is the cruellest month", "I will show you fear in a handful of dust", and the mantra in the Sanskrit language "Shantih shantih shantih". The poem's structure is divided into five sections. The first section, "The Burial of the Dead," introduces the diverse themes of disillusionment and despair. The second, "A Game of Chess," employs vignettes of several characters—alternating narrations—that address those themes experientially. "The Fire Sermon," The third section, offers a philosophical meditation in relation to the imagery of death and views of self-denial in juxtaposition influenced by Augustine of Hippo and eastern religions. After a fourth section, "Death by Water," which includes a brief lyrical petition. The culminating fifth section, "What the Thunder Said," concludes with an image of judgment. عنوانها: «سرزمین ویران (حسین رازى، حمید عنایت و چنگیز مشیرى)»؛ «سرزمین هرز (بهمن شعله ور، مهدى وهابى)»؛ «دشت سترون و اشعار دیگر (پرویز لشکری)»؛ «دشت سترون (شهریار شهیدی)»؛ «ارض موات (بیژن الهی)»؛ «خراب آباد؛ معجزه قرن بیستم (محمد حامد نوری)»؛ «سرزمبن بی حاصل (حسن شهباز، جواد علافچی)»؛ شاعر: تی.اس الیوت؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش ماه مارس سال دوهزار و دو میلادی سرزمین بی حاصل: نخستین چاپ این منظومه با عنوان «سرزمین ویران» با ترجمه جنابان حسین رازى، حمید عنایت و چنگیز مشیرى، در اسفند ماه سال 1334هجری خورشیدی، در جُنگ هنر و ادب امروز، دفتر اول چاپ شد؛ در زمستان سال 1343هجری خورشیدی، جناب «بهمن شعله ور» اقدام به ترجمه این اثر کرد، که با همین عنوان «سرزمین هرز»، در مجله آرش منتشر شد انتشارات نیل در تهران نیز، در سال 1350هجری خورشیدی، این شعرها را با عنوان «دشت سترون و اشعار دیگر» به چاپ رساند، که ترجمه ی آن را جناب پرویز لشکرى انجام داده بود در سال 1357هجری خورشیدی مترجم دیگرى نیز به سراغ شعرهاى الیوت رفت؛ این بار جناب حسن شهباز، کتاب الیوت را ترجمه و به بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب سپرد؛ نشر فاریاب در سال 1362هجری خورشیدی، ترجمه ی جناب بهمن شعله ور را، با عنوان «سرزمین هرز»، بار دیگر به نام خود چاپ و منتشر کرد آخرین ترجمه پیش از کتاب حاضر نیز، در مؤسسه ی نشر هما، با عنوان «دشت سترون» انجام شد این کتاب در سال 1377هجری خورشیدی در بازار کتاب ایران توزیع شد؛ همچنین نشر امتداد در تهران هم، به سراغ شعرهاى این شاعر انگلیسى رفته، و کتاب «سرزمین هرز» را با ترجمه ی جناب مهدى وهابى چاپ و منتشر کرده است ترجمه هاى یاد شده، در حال حاضر جزء کتابهاى کمیاب بازار کتاب هستند؛ البته به این فهرست، علاوه بر ترجمه ی جناب جواد علافچی، و ترجمه ی جناب هومن عزیزی را هم، که در سایت اینترنتی مانی ها منتشر شده باید افزود نقل تکه ای از شعر: درخت خشک سایه ندارد؛ جیرجیرک، راحتت نمی­گذارد؛ در این سنگ­های خشک، صدای آبی نیست؛ تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 24/10/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    You know, one of the greatest poems of the 20th century and that kind of thing. I must know a fair amount of it by heart. Here's a story about "The Waste Land" that some people may find amusing. Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate in Cambridge, a friend of mine asked me for advice on how to impress female Eng Lit majors. Well, I said, you could do worse than use The Waste Land. Just memorise a few lines, and you'll probably be able to bluff successfully. We did some rehearsals, and eventu You know, one of the greatest poems of the 20th century and that kind of thing. I must know a fair amount of it by heart. Here's a story about "The Waste Land" that some people may find amusing. Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate in Cambridge, a friend of mine asked me for advice on how to impress female Eng Lit majors. Well, I said, you could do worse than use The Waste Land. Just memorise a few lines, and you'll probably be able to bluff successfully. We did some rehearsals, and eventually agreed on the following script. He would start off by quoting the first few lines: "April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain." And then he would say, But that's not my favourite bit! and quote the following: "What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, You cannot say, or guess." He tried it out a couple of times, and it worked! Female Eng Lit majors, I apologise for assisting with this deception. It wasn't very nice of me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nataliya

    You guys. YOU GUYS. So this is where all those lines come from? “April is the cruelest month”, “I will show you fear in a handful of dust” and “Consider Phlebas”? Well, damn. I was a science major in college, and took humanities courses for fun, but neither one of my two required English classes covered this poem. And so I missed out on deep analysis or even just not too deep explanation. Because I just read it four times in a row — and no, I don’t get it. I tried to read some annotations, and I j You guys. YOU GUYS. So this is where all those lines come from? “April is the cruelest month”, “I will show you fear in a handful of dust” and “Consider Phlebas”? Well, damn. I was a science major in college, and took humanities courses for fun, but neither one of my two required English classes covered this poem. And so I missed out on deep analysis or even just not too deep explanation. Because I just read it four times in a row — and no, I don’t get it. I tried to read some annotations, and I just don’t get it. I even found three different Russian translations of this poem hoping that a different language would help elucidate meaning. And still no luck — even after resultant seven(!!!) times reading it. Individual bits make sense (sometimes) but the big picture, the gestalt, escapes me. Unless it’s not supposed to come together, in which case I’m cool. Ahhh, that’s a good line. I may be a tad suspicious of poetry that requires extensive annotations to get it. Apparently the poem alone is under 20 pages but there is a 320 page book with annotations for it??? I can just picture Eliot rubbing his hands together and giggling in the supervillain-like manner over the image of generations of English scholar mining the poem for meaning. But hey, the opening four lines are just amazing; there’s absolutely nothing about them that isn’t perfect: “April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain.” I mean, I don’t even care that reading it seven times in a row, in two different languages, left me confused. Those four lines with that rhythm and cadence and whatever that literary trick of ending those lines like that — those alone are worth it. Oh, and this one caught my attention: “And upside down in air were towers Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells.” Yeah. Beautiful. And frustratingly difficult. But now I can feel all smug knowing where the quotable lines come from, even if I still have no clue about what it actually *is*. Star ratings? These are meaningless here. So 4 stars for 4 perfect opening lines.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    I read a lot of poems as an English major back in the day.* Not many have stuck with me over the years, but The Waste Land is one of them: T.S. Eliot's lamentation about the spiritual drought in our day, the waste land of our Western society, lightened by a few fleeting glimpses of hope. It's fragmented, haunting, laden with symbolism and allusions, difficult, and utterly brilliant. A diverse cast of characters take turns narrating the poem, or having their conversations overheard by the narrato I read a lot of poems as an English major back in the day.* Not many have stuck with me over the years, but The Waste Land is one of them: T.S. Eliot's lamentation about the spiritual drought in our day, the waste land of our Western society, lightened by a few fleeting glimpses of hope. It's fragmented, haunting, laden with symbolism and allusions, difficult, and utterly brilliant. A diverse cast of characters take turns narrating the poem, or having their conversations overheard by the narrator, including: ✍ a Lithuanian countess, reminiscing about her childhood and life ("I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter") ✍ a prophetic voice, like Ezekiel, examining the barrenness of civilization ("Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter ...") ✍ Madame Sosostris, a famous but fake clairvoyant, telling a fortune with tarot cards ("I do not find the Hanged Man. Fear death by water. I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring. Thank you.") ✍ a bored woman of leisure, talking to her husband, who answers in his mind ("What are you thinking of? What thinking? What? I never know what you are thinking. Think. / I think we are in rats' alley Where the dead men lost their bones.") ✍ Two women talking in a bar about sex and abortion ("Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart. He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you To get yourself some teeth.") ... and many more. Those are just the main ones in the first two (of five) sections). Symbols of drought and fertility, spiritual waste and renewal, surface and resurface, showing a different facet each time. I'd forgotten that the Holy Grail (cup) and Holy Lance (spear) doubled as a nifty set of female/male sexual symbols! This is a poem that deserves to be read, taken apart and studied, and then simply read again and appreciated. "These fragments I have shored against my ruins..." *I still have my 2600 page The Norton Anthology of English Literature, which has extensive analysis and footnotes. It also has my helpful handwritten margin notes from 30+ years ago, written in the most amazingly lovely, minuscule handwriting imaginable (seriously, the letters are about a half a millimeter high) that I could never in a million years recreate now.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    I would not presume to offer anything approaching a definitive judgment of this unique and influential poem, a poem which presents us—in early modernist fashion—with a provocative collage of voices and scenes, fragments which Eliot has collected from the “heap of broken images” that litter the desert of our culture, but which he presents in a way that grants them new terror and new poignancy, in a way that shows us “fear in a handful of dust” and hints--if only by its absence--at the possibility I would not presume to offer anything approaching a definitive judgment of this unique and influential poem, a poem which presents us—in early modernist fashion—with a provocative collage of voices and scenes, fragments which Eliot has collected from the “heap of broken images” that litter the desert of our culture, but which he presents in a way that grants them new terror and new poignancy, in a way that shows us “fear in a handful of dust” and hints--if only by its absence--at the possibility of a greener world to come. First off, let me say I was disappointed in this little edition. I picked it up initially because it contained an introduction by Paul Maldoon, an Irish poet with a reputation for allusiveness and obscurity—just the sort to illuminate this fragmentary and cryptic masterpiece. But his introduction is brief and not terribly helpful, and his enthusiasm for Irish literature leads him to see literary connections where they do not exist. For example, although I believe he is correct when he says the “Nighttown” episode of Ulysses is a major influence on the poem, he is mistaken when he speculates that Eliot’s working title for it,”He Do the Police in Different Voices” is also derived from this episode. (It is actually a quotation from a character in Dicken’s A Mutual Friend, who is describing the oral reading technique of her precocious foster child, how he brings to life the crime stories published in the sensational magazine, The Police Gazette.) I was also disappointed in the lack of notes. I was looking for more extensive annotations, because I need them to help me unmask many references in this often obscure poem. But when they said “notes,” I guess the editors just meant Eliot’s original notes, which are almost invariably appended to the poem anyway, whatever the edition. I’ll end by reproducing a few passages which illustrate something I noticed for the first time this reading: the large number of gothic and decadent images in this poem. In spite of its classical allusions, modernist structure and tone, we are still not that far from the decadent ‘90’s here: “That corpse you planted last year in your garden, “Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? “Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? “Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men, “Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again! “You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!” * * * * * * * * * In vials of ivory and coloured glass Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes, Unguent, powdered, or liquid—troubled, confused And drowned the sense in odours… * * * * * * * * * Above the antique mantel was displayed As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king So rudely forced... And other withered stumps of time Were told upon the walls; staring forms Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed. * * * * * * * * * A rat crept softly through the vegetation Dragging its slimy belly on the bank... White bodies naked on the low damp ground And bones cast in a little low dry garret, Rattled by the rat’s foot only, year to year. * * * * * * * * * Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman —But who is that on the other side of you? * * * * * * * * A woman drew her long black hair out tight And fiddled whisper music on those strings And bats with baby faces in the violet light Whistled, and beat their wings And crawled head downward down a blackened wall And upside down in air were towers Tolling reminiscent bells, that kept the hours And voices singing out of empty cisterns and exhausted wells. In this decayed hole among the mountains In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home. It has no windows, and the door swings, Dry bones can harm no one. Only a cock stood on the rooftree Co co rico co co rico In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust Bringing rain

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav

    April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. The above mentioned lines mark one of the most profound onsets in the history of modernist literature; and perhaps with eruption of the highly dense, heart pounding effusion, a magical spell envelops the reader who would be kept shifting between time and space, embark and decay of civilization, prophecy and satire, philosophy and faith, life and death throughout the m April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. The above mentioned lines mark one of the most profound onsets in the history of modernist literature; and perhaps with eruption of the highly dense, heart pounding effusion, a magical spell envelops the reader who would be kept shifting between time and space, embark and decay of civilization, prophecy and satire, philosophy and faith, life and death throughout the mind-clouding, breath- taking journey of around 433 lines; of which, some can stand on their own alone protruding their beings through the undulations of nothingness. The ghostly but spectral voyage starts with The burial of dead , takes one along through the graveyards, stony mystical landscapes to hyacinth gardens, up to the magical but heart poundings scenes exuded out of mystery of tarot cards. At times, one might feel lost as if something unknown but with mighty prowess is carrying one to nowhere but then a sudden clout strikes your consciousness with a colossal impact, you are taken aback by sudden surge of the intensity as you come to Unreal City; and out of nowhere, death strikes you, Dante' s Inferno emerges out of cloud of your memory. You are taken through threads of life emerging out from dead. The game of black and white squares, arranged in an alternate manner to give a checkered impression, brings you to the stark absurdity of life- the change of Philomel embodies the absurdness prevailed in the life of Philomel which (who) has been transformed by gods, but as a compensation, and who cries her heart out of agony yet the world is so deaf and insensitive to her anguish that it occurs a heart-rending song to it. You are blown further on gust of wind towards a nether world where the most potent questions, but disguised under the sheath of ignorance (or perhaps incompetence), surge up by opening grand (ferocious) arms, from the depth of being and nothingness. The idea of The Waste Land (perhaps) seems to be sprouted out of modern problems—the war, industrialization, abortion, urban life—which the poet addresses in it and at the same time to participate in a literary tradition. Eliot once, famously, wrote his friend Conrad Akein: ''It's interesting to cut yourself to pieces once in a while and wait to see if the fragments will sprout", the imagination of Eliot resembles the decaying land that is the subject of the poem: nothing seems to take root among the stony rubbish left behind by old poems and scraps of popular culture. As the other poems of Eliot are, The Waste Land is highly symbolic and extensively use allusions, quotations (in several languages), a variety of verse forms, and a collage of poetic fragments to create the sense of speaking for an entire culture in crisis. It's a poem of radical doubt and negation, urging that every human desire be stilled except the desire for self-surrender, for restraint, and for peace. The poets has blend satire and absurdity so well that it looks probably a superhuman task to determine whether the use of some themes/ rhymes, in way which cajoles a seemingly comic effect, is deliberate or accidental as surfaces up. The poem is quite meticulously, but effortlessly, written in fragments- not like traditional verses- which would give altogether different effects to the reader when they are read in fragments or in entirely. The poem concludes with a rapid series of allusive literary fragments: seven of the last eight lines are quotations. As one moves through these quotations, it might occur as if the poem becomes conscious of itself, the being of the poem emanates from the verbose kingdom of words and the poem itself stands in front of the reader- staring straight into the eyes of reader; and a sudden shiver runs through his/ her spine to realize what has just traverses through the scanner of 'conscious' eyes. I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London Bridge in falling down falling down falling down Poi s'ascose mel foco che gil affina Quando fiam uti chelidon- O swallow swallow Le Prince d'Acquitane a la tour abolie These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fir you. Hieronymo's mad againe. Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata Shantih shantih shantih. It's a great achievement in modernist art but one needs to be patient to truly feel the shivers of its magical existence; as it's a characteristic of modernism, the appreciation of the poem demands devotional labor as well as a sympathetic imagination. Beneath these meticulously crafted poetics lay assumptions about art that were curiously religious, and that fostered theories of poetry as a liturgy for the elect. Excerpts The Burial of Dead Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither Living or dead, and I knew nothing, Looking into the heart of light, the silence. O'ed und leer das Meer. Unreal City, Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID Who is the third who walks always beside you> When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead up the white road There is always another one walking beside you Gilding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman -But who is that on the other side of you? Datta: what have we given? My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful dancing of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract By this, and this only, we have existed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alok Mishra

    Some people are born to become the trendsetters and I will say that T. S. Eliot has opened the new gates to poetry after the publication of his masterpiece The Waste Land. Poetry was supposed to be about lyrics and music only. He created a different kind of disturbing music but that rang to the ears the alarming sound of perversion in humanity... The Waste Land will be remembered for its uniqueness and incompleteness and even then, for creating a new trend...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I quite often cite the famous line "April is the cruellest month" completely out of context. And I happily refer to The Waste Land and Eliot's Nobel Prize when I do. However, I can't say I ever understood the long trail of lines that it contains, even though I read it several times. And most bizarre of all, I don't even agree with my favourite quote from it. FEBRUARY is the cruellest month: dark and cold and wet, and no end in sight! Somehow, I don't think I missed the point of the poem though, by I quite often cite the famous line "April is the cruellest month" completely out of context. And I happily refer to The Waste Land and Eliot's Nobel Prize when I do. However, I can't say I ever understood the long trail of lines that it contains, even though I read it several times. And most bizarre of all, I don't even agree with my favourite quote from it. FEBRUARY is the cruellest month: dark and cold and wet, and no end in sight! Somehow, I don't think I missed the point of the poem though, by misquoting, by disagreeing with the statement, and by not getting it at all. I think The Waste Land means just that: human confusion on all levels expressed in poetic language. February is the stupidest month too, so I might be wrong.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    This is the hardest poem I’ve ever read. Certainly, the difficulty experienced when reading something is not enough reason to leave a bad review. I’m currently reading Ulysses, a notoriously difficult book, but I am enjoying it nonetheless. This, however, is an entirely different creature. Despite being an English student I do find poetry difficult. It may be because of my background. I transferred from sciences into English, so I had very little experience beyond a few poems I read at school. This is the hardest poem I’ve ever read. Certainly, the difficulty experienced when reading something is not enough reason to leave a bad review. I’m currently reading Ulysses, a notoriously difficult book, but I am enjoying it nonetheless. This, however, is an entirely different creature. Despite being an English student I do find poetry difficult. It may be because of my background. I transferred from sciences into English, so I had very little experience beyond a few poems I read at school. So when I entered the world of poetry at degree level I was way out of my depth. It took me a long time to catch up on what I’d missed, and it took me even longer to actually enjoy poetry. The point is reading poetry is different to reading novels. It’s harder to do, and I have to concentrate greatly to do it. But, every so often, when you find the right poem for you, it takes you away as you become lost in a mirage of words, images and metaphors. And sometimes, it strikes a chord within you and you feel everything the poem is saying. The Waste Land does none of these things. Instead it bombards you with countless intertextual references and information. In order to gain a thorough a succinct understanding of this poem, a poem that takes no longer than thirty minutes to read, I would likely have to spend five-six hours researching the meaning of the terminology, phrasing and historical mentions. That’s how difficult it is. Perhaps if I was a white middle class, highly educated man from the nineteen-twenties then I might be able to appreciate this poem more. But, as it stands, I’m not! The worse thing about the poem for me is its lack of coherency. This in itself is not a bad thing. It’s a modernist text; this is what modernist authors did. But, when combined with the fact that the surface level of the writing is near incomprehensible to me, it became rather a painful experience to read it. There are some obvious things to take from the poem. It is post world war one and the content is an image of the destruction that followed, the deprivation, the sadness, the darkness and, of course, the actually wasted land ruined by war. But these images aren’t enough for me to enjoy the poem. It would be like reading Shakespeare’s The Tempest and coming to the conclusion that it is a play about the follies of revenge. This is true, but it is also about many other things that combine to form a piece of artistic brilliance. When I read The Waste Land I feel stupid. I feel like I’m reading something that I cannot quite understand, and this annoys me. I feel like at times T.S Elliot is being pretentious, inserting references just do demonstrate his intellect rather than contribute something meaningful to the poem at large. And I don’t like it. I don't want to find out what they mean. For me this poem is everything great poetry shouldn’t be. But this is just my opinion. For the right reader this poem would be excellence itself. However, it’s not something I’d personally recommend. And, if that wasn't enough, as a side note, T.S Eliot is highly critical towards Shelley- we could never get on!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Eiseman-Renyard

    This Pisses Me Off and Makes Me Feel Like a Moron I've had to read this twice in the course of my education, and I don't like it one bit, though I thoroughly appreciate its status and importance. Sort of like my attitude to atomic weapons. You wouldn't dismiss atomic weapons as 'crap', but you could legitimately say 'I appreciate their significance but I don't like them at all.' I don't think there has ever been more literary masturbation about any other piece of writing than The Wasteland, an This Pisses Me Off and Makes Me Feel Like a Moron I've had to read this twice in the course of my education, and I don't like it one bit, though I thoroughly appreciate its status and importance. Sort of like my attitude to atomic weapons. You wouldn't dismiss atomic weapons as 'crap', but you could legitimately say 'I appreciate their significance but I don't like them at all.' I don't think there has ever been more literary masturbation about any other piece of writing than The Wasteland, and I personally found it charmless, aloof and with nothing to engage my wish to push through that first impression. Yes, it's all the pieces of the 'shattered' classical world, thrown together in a different and hideous mixture to reflect the modernists' belief that the world as they knew it, and all previous literary forms, weren't up to the task of reflecting their contemporary world - but I really don't like the result. It doesn't engage me and it doesn't illuminate me. Maybe that was the point. Still don't like it, and I'm not in university anymore, so I don't have to try to keep up with the intellectual dick-swinging which surrounds this piece. Thanks but no thanks. Anything this determinedly difficult just puts my back up, and the more I learn of Eliot himself the less I feel like tackling it. Okay, Eliot, you're a misogynistic, anti-Semitic elitist who doesn't think anyone without a classical education is worthy of reading your work. Well, fine. Fuck you. I'll take my comprehensive-educated Jewish arse elsewhere.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ted

    86th book of 2020. I am going to create what my mind was like when I read this, for the first time, late at night, with Eliot in my ear, eyes on the page. With images coming in and out of focus, and maybe memories, or new memories, new dreams, interfering. Eliot is italicised. I am not. The Burial of the Dead April is the cruellest month. I was born in April, rather, born on the same day as Adolf Hitler: April 20th. It is true, I read, much of the night, and I dream of going south in the winter. N 86th book of 2020. I am going to create what my mind was like when I read this, for the first time, late at night, with Eliot in my ear, eyes on the page. With images coming in and out of focus, and maybe memories, or new memories, new dreams, interfering. Eliot is italicised. I am not. The Burial of the Dead April is the cruellest month. I was born in April, rather, born on the same day as Adolf Hitler: April 20th. It is true, I read, much of the night, and I dream of going south in the winter. No, south from here is only water, the faithful sea. Swimming the other day: the cold surprised us, as it always does. Skin salt and slick. And underwater, like forgetful snow, for all the fears washed from my head – they were replaced with water. But it is not Death by Water yet. My swimming took me back to the Pyrenees, walking in the hills, swimming in the rivers… in the mountains, there you feel free. A dog’s bark. Pine needles. And on the balcony, with a shower of rain - followed by thunder (allow me to move further into the poem here: DA). The thunder rolled through the mountains – in the winter, it makes the snow quiver, and fall from the leaves. I often wonder if a tree’s voice would be muffled from under so much snow…Son of man, You cannot say, or guess. When the thunder and the snow held, and the summer surprised us, we drank coffee, and talked for an hour on that balcony, just a stone’s throw from my bed, draped with a mosquito net – as if a veil. I’ll say again, I read, much of the night. France, like all other travels, return to me in broken images. Back in England- under the brown fog of a winter dawn, memories roll away, as if thunder through the mountains. Those broken images remain. Maybe I’ll dream, that in a crowd there is a man I know, with his face turned away. Maybe I’ll dream that he has a man buried in his garden. I ask what kind of tree would grow from the body of a man? Answer: A tree that would whisper through layers of snow. A Game of Chess Sweat down my back like salt. My brother strikes down a Bishop, I feel fear for a Rook. The sun reflecting light upon the table. In these moments of silence, between another Pawn’s demise, one’s mind cannot help but wander. A girl I once knew, learning the movements of a King, or Queen. Her parents footsteps shuffled on the stair. I could say anything, “My nerves are bad tonight.” She would not listen. And as I read late into the night – purple ink through her curtains – she said, “Why do you never speak. Speak. What are you thinking of?” So the memories loop. We are bored, so I say – We shall play a game of chess. There is no chance of rain. Even as we play we wonder, What shall we do tomorrow? There is nothing more to do. Another Pawn falls. HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME - dinner. We eat quietly – memories drifting like snow. Until, good night, good night, until tomorrow. The Fire Sermon For I have finished University now, and the list of people to ring has been cleaved in two. No more empty bottles on a kitchen table at night, no more cigarette butts. Not a single testimony of summer nights. Before University, my friends left school, and left left no addresses. One in Bath. One in Dubai. In College we went to Rome together- we learnt of Carthage – now Tunisia. Rome was our ethereal city, we said – the Tiber sweats! The peal of bells white towers! And like all great war, burning burning burning burning. If I were Tiresias, I would have known that our days were numbered, that all days are numbered. That time is unstoppable. If only I could be throbbing between two lives, I cry. I sat down and wept once for them, in the past, and now I do so in the present: the last fingers of leaf clutch and sink into the wet bank - and they are swept away – forgotten, as I. Death by Water Returning again to the sea, entering the whirlpool. The water drags one down. My brother almost drowned in a capsized boat. But he didn’t, we are home now, around the cry of gulls, with our parents. My mother quiet. My father not. He laughs, crinkle-eyed, and says I was once handsome and tall as you - and my brother and I take that for him saying – I know I am getting older. What the Thunder Said I have spoken of thunder. The downpours in France, England, Croatia… I remember them well. The night after thunder on the beach, clear again: sweat is dry and feet are in the sand, the tide plays with us. Silhouetted mountains of rock - but tomorrow, there will be thunder without rain. Back in the Pyrenees there is not even solitude in the mountains. The cicada has its own chorus. The grass is always singing. When my brother returned from his travels in India, Asia, we all wanted to ask who is that on the other side of you?, as if he brought someone home with him, as if he had grown an extra shadow, become a new man. Travelling gives us rebirth – even in our empty rooms in Dubrovnik, Yosemite, Budapest, we cut down an old self to create a new one. We whisper: We who were living are now dying. We can tell ourselves this things when we are away from home, because when we are away from home, nothing scares us. I look ahead up the white road - my future – and see, sometimes, falling towers, and other times, a palace. There are reasons. We cannot know how many cycles are left within us, how many times we will be reborn. We do not know where we will go or what we will find. We may find Paradise. Or we may find The Waste land. And yet, I believe, that even in The Waste Land, there is chance for rebirth, for a metamorphosis. These fragments I have shored against my ruins. In a flash of lightning I am, again, anew.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Grosbety

    “A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water.” “The Wasteland”, a poem at the deepening crux of modernism, is a whirlwind of broken, disparate pieces fitting to explore T.S. Eliot’s vision of a nihilistic world where gentle, purifying youth and spiritual inclinations/beliefs, which assuage us on the terrifying, fleeting journey of existence, float into thin air and lose their ability to free us as e “A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, And the dry stone no sound of water.” “The Wasteland”, a poem at the deepening crux of modernism, is a whirlwind of broken, disparate pieces fitting to explore T.S. Eliot’s vision of a nihilistic world where gentle, purifying youth and spiritual inclinations/beliefs, which assuage us on the terrifying, fleeting journey of existence, float into thin air and lose their ability to free us as even the most calming, cleansing idea of an antidote, water, leads to our inevitable deaths. There is something relentlessly oppressive, habitually slovenly, and drenched chillingly in how haunting it can be to live and feel, which characterizes this poem’s greatest intricacies, as it never backs away from entering into the messy realm of our own sentience and ability to perceive that the end will eventually draw near. This idea of the universe becomes absurdly paradoxical as the poem speaks of being able to not connect nothing with nothing. That calls to mind a feeling of desperate alienation and lack of ability to make sense of anything, as you walk around in a confused blizzard of your own making, which exists amidst the depths of your own self-created wasteland. As you also find yourself living in a horrifying purgatory in which you’re “neither / Living nor dead” and you continue to know nothing, as silence washes over you mixed with vacant light. However, there could also be and arise an omnipotent presence of a dulled optimism, amidst the trapping idea of purgatory, as between living and death springs up like an incalculable flower the capacity to just quietly exist. As that slight awareness of existence fills the hollowed parts of our soul like a herbal tea warming our insides in which we’ve felt a bitter chill for so long. “A current under sea Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell He passed the stages of his age and youth Entering the whirlpool.” These lines continually whisper with the vividness of harried existentialism with the faintness of a beauty, which exists in beckoning calamity and breathless quietude, astir with temptation and desire to believe and hope. Because to believe and to hope is to stay sane amongst the greater puzzle and riddles that besiege our existence and world. We will never understand or be able to translate the foreignness of an experience we’ve never lived or understand even the closeness of the world that lives underneath our feet and that was much the feeling that surrounded parts of this poem, but other parts stood out to me with a clarity that I couldn’t deny because those parts were part of the ornately rich tapestry, which strings us together, marking a world in which we are connected by our own universality and shared sense of the beauty and pain of the human experience.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Håkon

    I must confess. I have no idea what I just read. But it was the most beautiful thing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rakhi Dalal

    After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience.

  16. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    T. S. Eliot, who was a literary man who previously had faith in literary wisdom and social norms, I think discovered during World War I how useless lessons of wisdom and defined social mores were against processing the experience of massive wartime deaths and maiming. His personal tragedy of a very damaging marriage was also very difficult. In 'The Waste Land', I think Eliot was ranting at literature, society, religion and culture for failing to stop the 'collapse' of civilization. Eliot also ra T. S. Eliot, who was a literary man who previously had faith in literary wisdom and social norms, I think discovered during World War I how useless lessons of wisdom and defined social mores were against processing the experience of massive wartime deaths and maiming. His personal tragedy of a very damaging marriage was also very difficult. In 'The Waste Land', I think Eliot was ranting at literature, society, religion and culture for failing to stop the 'collapse' of civilization. Eliot also rages at the ultimate impotence of classic literature to warn the individual or society about the utter devastation and cruelty of war. The poem is full of allusions to those myths and wiseman sayings which reflect the darkness in humanity rather than the wisdom. He includes bits of memory in his poem which emphasize the cluelessness and obtuseness of people. In my opinion, most Westerners suffer at a certain point in their lives a sudden feeling that civilization is collapsing because they think society has moved away from the classic ideals which maintained the life they imagine they grew up in. In most cases however, civilization is actually continuing on as it always has; it's the veils of classic idealism that the educated observer was looking through that were ripped way. To a child, Reality is a description which he has been taught to believe in. Grownups do their best to live ideally, but I think true wisdom is accepting that we often fall short of what we aspire to, but we need to get on anyway. Eliot's poem, though, is a wail of despair. I read that hundreds of thousands of young male aristocrats, many of whom were officers and the next generation of leaders, died in WWI along with millions of 'ordinary' people. I guess that this massive die-off of millions hastened the end of centuries-old medieval-class relationships which probably had given comfort, continuity and stability to most European people of the early 20th century. But the generation educated to rule by maintaining class divisions beneficial to that upper class died. I think wars before WWI used to have long pauses in the conduct of war, which was no longer possible in WWI due to the advances of war mechanization. Adding to the psychological turmoil, for a soldier surviving ongoing warfare it means you get sent to the front on multiple tours. In addition, the aftermath of every war fought close to home is a huge upheaval because of the resulting shortage of young men, a spread of disease vectors, transfers of and new concentrations of wealth, and disrupted markets. But added to the usual wartime disruptions, I think, WWI was the first war which had massive long-distance killing, not the more honorable warrior to warrior battle. Fighting sword to sword probably feels different emotionally than being killed by invisible shrapnel or powerful percussions that come out of nowhere without pause, from hearing the sound for hours of constant shelling, or dying from a gas which suffocates you invisibly. I can only imagine it. I've heard accounts from Vietnam fighters, and I guess among the usual horrors that cause PTSD, in particular, was not being able to see anything because of the thick jungles combined with the distances bullets could travel invisibly. I think the change from single face-to-face combat to sudden mass mechanized death on any army unprepared by training or TV or movies or video games (I'm not being flippant) was exponentially devastating. I know everything about war is bad, but I'm guessing if you can't see, hear, or feel the distant soldier who is killing your friends sitting 1 inch from you is a more searing experience, even with mental preparation. I think random death makes the ideals of unquestioned patriotism and honor more difficult to hang onto. Among the few rewards of being a warrior is that 'mano y mano' victory - I believe it's biology-based for many men. However, when a person's strength and intelligence and value is made moot simply because of where you accidentally happen to be standing or sitting when shrapnel strikes, it probably feels unjust, wrong, unfair, whimsical, more pointless, more meaningless, and random than you can mentally prepare for. You'd have to be shocked by the randomness of dying! It would raise questions about everything you believed about the protective 'shields' of religion, societal mores and expectations; and about being a good person as a strategy for deserving to stay alive, and about the having a purity of purpose to be deserving of winning, even being too educated, thus too smart or valuable to be killed, etc. For most Americans, the closest experience of the possibility of death comes from car or sport accidents and illnesses. Many people, of course, rely on the normal life patterns surrounding them for reassurance that they are magically protected from death. In war, though, there are no normal life patterns around them. Soldiers become aware that anyone can die and no one has magical immunity. No prayer, no amulet, no ritual, no strength or skill, no powerful person or strategy, nothing can protect you from a sudden act of warfare in the physical space around you. In the days of battle you see perfectly decent, good, family men chopped mercilessly into pieces despite their utilizing every bit of training and good fortune. I feel like having a bit of a rant myself.

  17. 4 out of 5

    B. P. Rinehart

    [From 2012, I think]: One of my early Goodreads reviews was of the anthology of Eliot The Waste Land and Other Writings where I reviewed the structure of the book more than I did any of the poems. I have looked back since writing it and am unsatisfied. This is one of my favorite poems, if not my favorite and it deserves better, so I will review it by itself. Now this is a *cue sudden dramatic music* modernist work (which is to say, no "roses are read/violets are blue" here). It was released in TH [From 2012, I think]: One of my early Goodreads reviews was of the anthology of Eliot The Waste Land and Other Writings where I reviewed the structure of the book more than I did any of the poems. I have looked back since writing it and am unsatisfied. This is one of my favorite poems, if not my favorite and it deserves better, so I will review it by itself. Now this is a *cue sudden dramatic music* modernist work (which is to say, no "roses are read/violets are blue" here). It was released in THE year for literature 1922 (Ulysses anyone). I think all through Eliot's and his contemporaries careers they were sort of making the point that society as a whole had lost something in its understanding and appreciation of literature. So this wide assortment of writers decided they would employ some "tough love" to counter this trend. When I read Eliot, Joyce, Faulkner, some Ezra Pound, and others I really enjoyed the whole "breaking the rules" aspect of their work and I got a blast out of reading and deciphering their works. So now I am going to the land of the Dead and try to talk quickly about the first part of this poem now: The Burial of the Dead is the first, most famous, and for some the only read section of this poem. The first line alone: "April is the cruelest month" has become legend (on a smaller note my b-day and my father's d-day happen to be the same month [and year] so I had a dark chuckle at this line). So the stanza goes on into a story which you have no idea what is happening (and you don't need an idea) because it is the rhythm of the poem that is key, and it is only when you realize that you should be (maybe) reading this aloud that it makes sense. Now for the next two stanzas it is more of the same: something is happening with some people and as soon as it looks like a coherent story is taking place--NEW STORY. All the while rhythm-wise nothing has changed, even the non-english lines keep the same pattern and rhythmic verse as the english. Then the whole tempo changes when you get to 'Unreal City": Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, I had not thought death had undone so many. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet, Flowed up the hill and down King William Street To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine. There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying, "Stetson! You who were with me in the ships at Mylae! That corpse you planted last year in your garden, Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year? Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed? Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men, Or with his nails he'll dig it up again! You! hypocrite lecteur!--mon semblable!--mon frère!" Now we are in a apocalyptic/dystopian setting (complete with Dante quotes) and we see the narrator recognizing someone in "underworld London" and acquiring about both a corpse and gardening (a theme that is alive all through this poem) and more non-english. Like all of this poem nearly every line could be an allusion to some obscure piece of literature that Eliot knows most of his readers won't get (jokes on him now, we have 'internets'). Though I could go through all of the sections of this poem thoroughly, the other section of this poem that is worth pointing out is the last section which is the section Eliot wrote to Bertrand Russell the whole thing was leading to. “What The Thunder Said” is my favorite section and it also showed the future direction of Eliot’s poetry and ideas. "After the torchlight red on sweaty faces After the frosty silence in the gardens After the agony in stony places The shouting and the crying Prison and palace and reverberation Of thunder of spring over distant mountains He who was living is now dead We who were living are now dying With a little patience" - lines 1-9 of WTTS The trick with Eliot (and all modernist poet's) is to not to get hung-up on the reading, but focus on the recitation of the lyrics. As crazy and out of focus as this poem may seem to sound, if you listen to it or recite it yourself, the beauty of it manifest itself. The allusions while interesting (Dante and the Fisher King are the main culprits) are not actually the focus of this poem, but the tools in-service to it."Who is the third who walks always beside you? When I count, there are only you and I together But when I look ahead, up the white road There is always another one walking beside you, Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded I do not know whether a man or a woman --But who is that on the other side of you? What is that sound high in the air Murmur of maternal lamentation Who are those hooded hordes swarming Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth Ringed by the flat horizon only What is the city over the mountains Cracks and reforms and bursts in violet air Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria Vienna London Unreal" - lines 40-57 of WTTSAnother person who deserves credit for helping to shape this poem is Ezra Pound, who was its main editor. Looking at this large "facsimile/manuscript" edition, it is amazing to see how much longer this poem was suppose to be (it verged on "epic" status) and just how thorough Pound was with his red pen (Eliot's first wife also did some editing to the poem, but this was mainly Pound's judgment most of the way through). It is no wonder to me that Eliot dedicates the whole work to Pound who is given the title in Italian "The Better Craftsman.""My friend, blood shaking my heart The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract, By this, and this only, we have existed, Which is not to be found in our obituaries" lines 84-88 of WTTSOne of the big influences in this poem and Eliot's subsequent works is South Asian religion (i.e. Hinduism and Buddhism). The magnificent third section of this poem is of course called The Fire Sermon, one of the most well-known of all Buddhist texts. In WTTS though, he turns decisively towards Hinduism and this section permeates with references to The Bhagavad Gita and The Upanishads. It is interesting to note that even after his conversion to Christianity when he writes his most religious-themed volume of poetry, Four Quartets, he still quotes the Gita at length for one entire piece of that work (one wonders why Eliot never thought to actually just become a Hindu, Ash Wednesday not withstanding). In any case, I always find myself listening to this poem on my iPod (Eliot's recording of it) and there is a very good fanedit of it on Youtube So to end this review I will quote the end of the The Waste Land itself: "DA Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in his prison Thinking of the key, each confirms his prison Only at nightfall, aethereal rumors Revive for a moment a broken Coriolanus DA Damyata: the boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London bridge is falling down falling down falling down Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina Quando fiam uti chelidon--O swallow swallow Le prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie These fragments I have shored against my ruins Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe. Da. Dayadhvam. Damyata. [from a Hindu fable: 'Give, have compassion, have self control'] Shantih shantih shantih [from a Hindu mantra: 'Peace...peace...peace']"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land is a vast tentacular earthly creature. If its head is in Russia, one of its tentacle is in Honolulu while other is in Cambodia. Since this creature is so big, just two legs won't do. And that is not all. I am not sure what zoologists would say, but I am certain that this creature's tentacles are rigged. If you want to climb on it, you can't do so without taking help and mind you, this system of climbing is so faulty that you can't even take help of any random person. T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land is a vast tentacular earthly creature. If its head is in Russia, one of its tentacle is in Honolulu while other is in Cambodia. Since this creature is so big, just two legs won't do. And that is not all. I am not sure what zoologists would say, but I am certain that this creature's tentacles are rigged. If you want to climb on it, you can't do so without taking help and mind you, this system of climbing is so faulty that you can't even take help of any random person. Call it the shyness for speaking out, but finding the person is going to be very difficult. It is the modern world you see, we no longer believe in staticity.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    i think this might make me an anti-intellectual, but i enjoyed this poem so much more when i read this outside of the classroom and infused it with my own tenuous understanding of what was going on in the poem. in class, explicating every single obscure reference effectively killed it. still such a powerful opening though. his poems have lines you want to taste in your mouth, and repeat over and over like magical intonations, or write down covertly in a secret book of quotes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    My Ph. D advisor at U Minnesota in the late 60's was Saul Bellow's best friend there a few years earlier: great pic of Leonard Unger, a TS Eliot expert, cracking up Bellow posted in Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. (See Facebook, Alan P Bruno, Dec 7, 2012) Legend had it that Leonard and Saul composed, over lunch at the U Minn Faculty Club (top of the Student Union--whereas the grad students ate in the bottom cafeteria) a translation of the first four lines of the Wasteland--into Yiddish. Also, my g My Ph. D advisor at U Minnesota in the late 60's was Saul Bellow's best friend there a few years earlier: great pic of Leonard Unger, a TS Eliot expert, cracking up Bellow posted in Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. (See Facebook, Alan P Bruno, Dec 7, 2012) Legend had it that Leonard and Saul composed, over lunch at the U Minn Faculty Club (top of the Student Union--whereas the grad students ate in the bottom cafeteria) a translation of the first four lines of the Wasteland--into Yiddish. Also, my great Amherst College friend Tom Weiskel, subject of my recent Parodies Lost (and Harold Bloom's favorite young colleague at Yale) and I, with our future wives, rowed from Star Island where we had summer jobs to Appledore which had a prior hotel, in the 1890's, that burned down (see also paintings by Childe Hassam). We recited bits from the Wasteland in the boat, and on Appledore. Eliot's great parodies of Chaucer, "April is the cruelest month" (vs "Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote [sweet showers]" and of Shakespeare, "The Chair she sat in.." (vs "The barge she sat in..." Ant and Cleop). Knew, but didn't quote TSE's "DEath by Water," and "HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME," as well as "O O O O that Shakespeherian rag..." "The hot water at ten..." At Star Island's Oceanic hotel, I was the night watchman, and the hot water was delivered at 7. No running water in rooms, of course. Tom Weiskel was the Messenger, a job my older brother had had. My cousin Bob Frost had presided over the the Oceanic for years, owned by the Unitarian and Congregational churches.

  21. 5 out of 5

    ✨ jami ✨

    “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” I had to read this for a Modernism unit I'm taking, which made sense because I knew nothing about this poem going in except that it's supposed to be THE modernism poem (and also that Ezra Pound edited the shit out of it?) I read T.S Eliot's other famous poem The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock in highschool, which I liked because of it's beautiful writing and cleve “April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.” I had to read this for a Modernism unit I'm taking, which made sense because I knew nothing about this poem going in except that it's supposed to be THE modernism poem (and also that Ezra Pound edited the shit out of it?) I read T.S Eliot's other famous poem The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock in highschool, which I liked because of it's beautiful writing and clever use of allusions. The wasteland is also beautiful and clever. Maybe too clever because I barely understood anything that was happening. Just when I was getting a good grip on the scene some allusion of other language would crop up and I'd be thrown off my game. We get it, Eliot. You've read all the books, you know all the languages, you've seen all the shakespeare. Just chill. T.S Eliot has such beautiful, rich poetic writing. He really does form so interestingly and created vivid, rich poems. I went back after each section to look up what every line meant - and this was super interesting. It's amazing how much meaning is in one line. But I think the highlight of the poem really is the writing really. It's beautiful at times, creepy in places, ominous and then hopeful. I really enjoyed the flow of it. I think you should all read thisgood ass proper review from someone else because it's brilliant and I loved it. It was interesting to read this and see what everyone's been talking about all these years. I think the last poem was my favourite. “I sat upon the shore Fishing, with the arid plain behind me Shall I at least set my lands in order? London Bridge is falling down falling down falling down

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    In college I read an author I loved and can't find him. He wrote in the 20's in prose, and they called him the street poet. He didn't rhyme but made you feel his words. I thought Eliot might be that one. I'm not sure if I read him then but the poem amazed me. The more I read and write the more I understand and the deeper the pleasure. I read Eliot a couple years ago and hated it. I read him again this week and read in awe. His words branch off into hundreds of novels your mind creates. His image In college I read an author I loved and can't find him. He wrote in the 20's in prose, and they called him the street poet. He didn't rhyme but made you feel his words. I thought Eliot might be that one. I'm not sure if I read him then but the poem amazed me. The more I read and write the more I understand and the deeper the pleasure. I read Eliot a couple years ago and hated it. I read him again this week and read in awe. His words branch off into hundreds of novels your mind creates. His imagery takes you into the very experience to see, feel, taste, touch. Wow. My favorite of Eliot's remains "The Hollow Men." I plan to read that next.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Shank

    In summary: the poem is aptly titled if ‘waste’ is the colloquial ‘to poop on’, and ‘land’ means ‘my time’. Okay, so this has been on my reading list for a while. It was supposed to be so good. Its legend preceded it, and it had a lot to live up to, judging from many literature buffs . Some have referred to this poem as an embodiment of the zeitgeist of the 20th century. Besides being a poet and writer, T.S. Eliot was a literary critic whom any author of his time would have begged on all fours to In summary: the poem is aptly titled if ‘waste’ is the colloquial ‘to poop on’, and ‘land’ means ‘my time’. Okay, so this has been on my reading list for a while. It was supposed to be so good. Its legend preceded it, and it had a lot to live up to, judging from many literature buffs . Some have referred to this poem as an embodiment of the zeitgeist of the 20th century. Besides being a poet and writer, T.S. Eliot was a literary critic whom any author of his time would have begged on all fours to have him supply a forward for their work. Much like it’s literary twin, Joyce’s Ulysses (which I tried to read but realized after reading a quarter of the book that the hours I spent on it was flushed down Time’s shi’uh), Wasteland is already, and will continue to increase as positively useless to the majority of us. Apparently Eliot wrote it after reading Ulysses, and it seems he couldn’t vomit it out of his head in any form other than this poem. I was glad it was short so that I could say I read it (which, I’m guessing, is probably the only reason anyone ever read it), but what it loses in brevity of content, it makes up for in…complete nonsense. I’m sure there’ll be some brain out there that will remind me that it is only nonsense to the pedestrian mind, but I’ll remind him/her that if they actually enjoyed burning through life researching every metaphorical nuance, literary allusion and rephrasing (plagiarism?...!), personal life reference, and inside joke to Ezra Pound and his friends (oh C’MON!!) like I DID, then they are a zombie who likes to eat brains. While reading this, I also read the companion A Guide To the Selected Poems of T.S. Eliot by B.C. Southham. In it Southham tells us that even James Joyce, feeling that parts of Wasteland paralleled his Ulysses, went a step farther to accuse Eliot of mimicry and even mocked Eliot in one of his stories. When Sir James Frazer, whose widely celebrated history of mythology, The Golden Bough, was cited by Eliot as one of the prime resources and another inspiration for his poem, read Eliot’s poem, he ‘soon gave up in bewilderment’. To give an idea of the impossibly cryptic nature of the poem: it is well known that Eliot’s notes to the poem are mostly a spoof to poke fun at the pedantic nature of ultra-annotated, scholarly works. They were added as an afterthought when a publisher needed more ‘volume’ to thicken the short work to publish as a book. Sort of funny…I guess. It may be a great puzzle to solve, but it isn’t beautiful. There was hardly a line that could stand on its own. Well, maybe two: “That corpse you planted last year in your garden,/ Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?” and, “A current under the sea/ Picked his bones in whispers.” Now that was nice. Very nice. But it doesn’t get much prettier than that. And it definitely gets more boring and obscure. One star Eliot!! That’s for making me feel stupid!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily O

    What can one say about The Waste Land that hasn't already been said? It's disjointed, difficult, long, and brilliant. Parts of it are confusing and grotesque (I'm looking at you, carbuncular young man) while other parts are strikingly painfully beautiful. It is laden with symbolism and references to everything under the sun. The only interpretation people can agree on is that something is terribly broken, though no-one can seem to agree on exactly what that thing is. If you like poetry, and are What can one say about The Waste Land that hasn't already been said? It's disjointed, difficult, long, and brilliant. Parts of it are confusing and grotesque (I'm looking at you, carbuncular young man) while other parts are strikingly painfully beautiful. It is laden with symbolism and references to everything under the sun. The only interpretation people can agree on is that something is terribly broken, though no-one can seem to agree on exactly what that thing is. If you like poetry, and are up for a challenge, I can definitely recommend The Waste Land. I promise, the only greater satisfaction than being able to brag to other people that you've read The Waste Land is the satisfaction that comes from reading it. It really is quite beautiful and immensely satisfying. If you aren't as lucky as I am, and you don't get to read this in a classroom setting with people to help you sort through all of the rich symbolism and literary references, then I highly suggest you read the Norton Critical Edition or some other similar edition. What I like about this edition is all the extra stuff in the back. It has excerpts from every work that Eliot quotes or refers to, which is very helpful if you're like me and haven't actually read The Inferno or don't know of the top of your head who Philomela is. It even has a copy of the sheet music for the Shakespearean Rag. Now that is just cool. It also contains lots of critical essays written by other people about The Waste Land. Each has a slightly different interpretation, so reading them can really help you see the poem from lots of different angles and decide for yourself what interpretation makes the most sense. I suggest that everyone at least tries to read The Waste Land at least once in their lives, if only so you can say that you have. It's really quite an experience. If you are as scared of this poem as I was and you don't have a class to help with the interpretation, then I suggest getting The Norton Critical Edition, or some similar edition, to help you through it. But no matter what edition you can get your hands on, just read it. Spend some time with it. Don't let the intimidation keep you from enjoying the language. I promise you won't regret it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    André

    April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. "The Waste land" is unquestionably one of the hardest poems any reader can get into. This poem is so full of intertextual references that will make any reader question the real meaning of those verses. The text perceives itself as a beast with so many analogies and references. T April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. "The Waste land" is unquestionably one of the hardest poems any reader can get into. This poem is so full of intertextual references that will make any reader question the real meaning of those verses. The text perceives itself as a beast with so many analogies and references. The nature of the writing makes any reader picture historical references within a flash. Let's take into account the date of the poem (it was written in 1922). It's surely a post-world war one text that brings to the surface compelling topics about Identity/Society crisis, Human condition, Chaos and apocalypse. Furthermore, the nature of all these topics (throughout the poem) presents voices of satire and prophecy that serve as a lesson for a better future: a future for Humanity that doesn't prevail in total disorder and starts to learn from the mistakes of the past. Because, for every ending, there's a new beginning. Eliot's work is not an easy text to digest. However, it's a literary challenge that transports any poetry reader into engaging philosophical realms about Human nature. Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brittney Andrews (beabookworm)

    T.S. Eliot has written some of the most thought-provoking poems I've ever read. He is brilliant, just brilliant. You will definitely love Eliot's poetry style if you enjoy the works of Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe. Some of my favourites: I. The Burial of the Dead. April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. ... And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your T.S. Eliot has written some of the most thought-provoking poems I've ever read. He is brilliant, just brilliant. You will definitely love Eliot's poetry style if you enjoy the works of Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe. Some of my favourites: I. The Burial of the Dead. April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain. ... And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Hicks

    Ars Poetica A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit Dumb As old medallions to the thumb Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown - A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, Memory by memory the mind - A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs A poem should be equal to: Not true Ars Poetica A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit Dumb As old medallions to the thumb Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown - A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, Memory by memory the mind - A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs A poem should be equal to: Not true For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea - A poem should not mean But be Archibald MacLeish Eliot's memorable poem certainly fits MacLeish's criterion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    L.A. Starks

    This highly literary poem is recommended only for those who want to delve into its heavily allegorical word-by-word symbolism and who are willing to go outside the text to understand it. While I don't recommend T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland for mystery, suspense, and thriller readers who are looking for straightforward plot and characters, those who like the setting of the early 1900s and the sheer rhythm of the lines will find this classic stays with them. For a laymen's explanation: https://en.wiki This highly literary poem is recommended only for those who want to delve into its heavily allegorical word-by-word symbolism and who are willing to go outside the text to understand it. While I don't recommend T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland for mystery, suspense, and thriller readers who are looking for straightforward plot and characters, those who like the setting of the early 1900s and the sheer rhythm of the lines will find this classic stays with them. For a laymen's explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Was...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nouha

    I wish to be an old lady of sixty, surrounded by giant cats rocking a chair swiftly, reading and truly comprehending Eliot's 'Waste Land'. I wish to be an old lady of sixty, surrounded by giant cats rocking a chair swiftly, reading and truly comprehending Eliot's 'Waste Land'.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jason Gignac

    Original Review To be perfectly honest, I really expected not to like this poem. I was really kind of expecting to hate it, in fact. I've read a little bit of Ezra Pound, a jillion years ago, didn't like it, and I guess just figured this would be the same. Here's the thing - I didn't hate it. And I don't know why. It was obtuse, it made no sense at times, it deliberately obscured itself, it had all the things I hate in modern poetry. Except for one little, tiny thing: It wasn't talking to itself, Original Review To be perfectly honest, I really expected not to like this poem. I was really kind of expecting to hate it, in fact. I've read a little bit of Ezra Pound, a jillion years ago, didn't like it, and I guess just figured this would be the same. Here's the thing - I didn't hate it. And I don't know why. It was obtuse, it made no sense at times, it deliberately obscured itself, it had all the things I hate in modern poetry. Except for one little, tiny thing: It wasn't talking to itself, it was talking to the listener. And I think that made all the difference, for me. Ezra Pound, who edited for Eliot, and who Eliot seems to have thought of as a mentor of sorts is just the opposite - he seems to talk to himself, and sneer at the reader for not knowing what he's talking about. Like this little bit from Canto XIV: howling, as of a hen-yard in a printing-house, the clatter of presses, the blowing of dry dust and stray paper, fretor, sweat, the stench of stale oranges, dung, last cess-pool of the universe, mysterium, acid of sulphur, the pusillanimous, raging; plunging jewels in mud, and howling to find them unstained; sadic mothers driving their daughters to bed with decrepitude, sows eating their litters, and here the placard ΕΙΚΩΝ ΓΗΣ, and here: THE PERSONNEL CHANGES, Blah, blah, blah, I stopped listening. Cause here's the thing, I feel like the only point of trying to understand this poom is so that I can sneer at people who don't understand. That's not much of a point for me. (I don't mean this as a personal attack on those who like Mr. Pound, I just never grokked him). T.S. Eliot is, also, kind of obscure at times, but the thing about, at least, The Waste Land is that you feel like it was written for the reader. It's not arrogant. So while you feel the obscurity, it's different, you feel this sort of desperation, like you're trying to get a child to describe a crime they've witnessed. It was kind of like reading Isaiah, which, when I was going to church, was one of my favorite bible books. The most famous part of the Waste Land is a good example: Only There is shadow under this red rock, (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), And I will show you something different from either Your shadow at morning striding behind you Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust. The words are not specific in their interpretation, but they are very specific in the way they make you feel. The other wonderful thing about this directed speech is that the mere experience of having it flood over you feels powerful. I didn't read this wtih footnotes, I didn't read it like a scholar at all (supposedly, you need a guidebook to make it through the poem with any idea of what it's about), but it was a powerful moving experience - perhaps more so, because the scattering nature of the language opens up the intuition. The effect probably was not a useful way to know what Eliot meant, but a very powerful way to know what he meant to me. And, with the entire poem taking about 30 minutes to listen to, it was just the right length for it, just long enough to draw you in to the experience and just short enough not to make you feel trapped by it.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...