T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” is a complex and fragmented poem that underwent major revisions before it was published in 1922. The published version we see and read today is considerably shorter in comparison to what Eliot had originally written. According to James Torrens’s article “The Hidden Years o f the Waste Land Manuscript,” Eliot had mailed “54 pages of The Waste Land, including the unused parts” to John Quinn, a “corporation lawyer in New York City,” which had shortly disappeared after Quinn’s death in July of 1924 (Cuddy 60). Eliot’s “lost” pages were not uncovered until the early 1950s (Ford). In 1971, a facsimile of the original drafts of “The Waste Land,” edited by Eliot’s second wife, Valerie, was published and revealed how much …show more content…
This part appears as the second stanza in the original draft starting at line fifty-five in which the first fifty-four lines before went unpublished (see Figure 1). In Richard Ellmann’s “The First Waste Land,” he perfectly summarizes what Eliot’s original beginning was as a “conversational passage describing an evening on the town, starting at ‘Tom’s place’…moving to a brothel, and concluding with a bathetic sunrise” (Cuddy 168). While reading the original draft, the speaker seems to be a soldier who is reminiscing about the past. For instance, when it says, “Sergeant, I said, I’ve only kept a decent house for twenty years” (Eliot 5). The speaker is talking to someone of higher rank which can indicate that the speaker is a soldier in the war. After reading the first fifty-four lines of Eliot’s draft, it seems that the speaker is remembering a time spent with friends at some point during their leave. Then in the middle of the section the speaker changes to an aristocratic woman named Marie, who recalls childhood memories of sledding and drinking coffee. The happy memories are then replaced by a description of a desolate land in the third stanza, “And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief” (Eliot 23). There is no indication of the connection between the two speakers in this section is, but it can be interpreted as two people which had a romantic …show more content…
Eliot’s “The Waste Land” I found that the meaning did not change due to the heavy cuts made by both Eliot and Ezra Pound. At first, I thought that the parts which were removed would have affected the meaning of the poem, but instead, it did not. All the large cuts from the poem involved around one person. For instance, in “The Burial of the Dead,” the original fifty-four lines only seem to be following the evening of one particular speaker which can be interpreted as a soldier, who appears at the end of the section in the published version. In “The Fire Sermon,” the large part that was edited out involved describing -- in rhyming couplets -- a lady named Fresca and the fourth section, “Death by Water,” involved a four-page tale about the Phoenician sailor. Each deleted part was unique in their own way but none significantly change how the poem is read. I found these deleted portions of text were either unnecessary or did not quite fit in with what Eliot was trying to convey about the postwar Europe and the type of wasteland it has become. However, when it comes to “The Waste Land” there seems to be no one true
In Eliot’s The Wasteland, It seems as if the more his world is falling apart, the more he wants to break it down and find what really matters or what he really needs to continue living and to truly appreciate life. As he examines his surroundings, he realizes so much of it is in ruins, and that alone makes him feel as though his own life is slipping away, as if he does not even control his own fate. Eliot also realizes how upside down and backward his world is now functioning. Everything that was once right is now wrong, and everything that once seemed moral is not moral any more. Once this is brought to his attention, Eliot decides the only way to overcome this is to do away with the bad and keep only the good, then reforming the old into a new overall positive and secure place of true life.
...to subjects relevant to today, such as religion.Eliot argues that without religion we are all lack direction and more importantly we lack substance in our lives. Without religion, we are superficial and it is due to this that we turn to pop culture. Pop culture is a filler for that which is intellectually rewarding. Eliot recognized this and for this reason he wrote “The Wasteland”. Eliot’s poem made bold statements about what was really happening in the modern world. Whether one argue with Eliot’s positions or not, his work joins the canon of the classic and ironically provides an opportunity for readers to plug into something greater.
The Modernist era of poetry, like all reactionary movements, was directed, influenced, and determined by the events preceding it. The gradual shift away from the romanticized writing of the Victorian Era served as a litmus test for the values, and the shape of poetry to come. Adopting this same idea, William Carlos Williams concentrated his poetry in redirecting the course of Modernist writing, continuing a break from the past in more ways than he saw being done, particularly by T.S. Eliot, an American born poet living abroad. Eliot’s monumental poem, The Waste Land, was a historically rooted, worldly conscious work that was brought on by the effects of World War One. The implementation of literary allusions versus imagination was one point that Williams attacked Eliot over, but was Williams completely in stride with his own guidelines? Looking closely at Williams’s reactionary poem to The Waste Land, Spring and All, we can question whether or not he followed the expectations he anticipated of Modernist work; the attempts to construct new art in the midst of a world undergoing sweeping changes.
Williamson, George. A Reader's Guide to T.S. Eliot; a Poem by Poem Analysis. New York:
In his poem "The Waste Land," T.S. Eliot employs a water motif, which represents both death and rebirth. This ties in with the religious motif, as well as the individual themes of the sections and the theme of the poem as a whole, that modern man is in a wasteland, and must be reborn.
...In "The Waste Land," Eliot delivers an indictment against the self-serving, irresponsibility of modern society, but not without giving us, particularly the youth a message of hope at the end of the Thames River. And in "Ash Wednesday," Eliot finally describes an example of the small, graceful images God gives us as oases in the Waste Land of modern culture. Eliot constantly refers back, in unconsciously, to his childhood responsibilities of the missionary in an unholy world. It is only through close, diligent reading of his poetry that we can come to understand his faithful message of hope.
T.S. Eliot is often considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th Century. Not only were his highly regarded poems such as “The Wasteland” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” influential to the literary style of his time, but his work as a publisher highlighted the work of many talented poets. Analyzing his poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” with psychoanalytic criticism reveals several core issues in the speaker of the poem, and may reflect Eliot himself.
Different speakers in "The Waste Land" mirror the disjointedness of modern experience by presenting different viewpoints that the reader is forced to put together for himself. This is similar to the disassociation in modern life in that life has ceased to be a unified whole: various aspects of 20th-century life -- various academic disciplines, theory and practice, Church and State, and Eliot's "disassociation of sensibilities," or separation of heart and mind -- have become separated from each other, and a person who lives in this time period is forced to shore these fragments against his or her ruins, to borrow Eliot's phrase, to see a picture of an integrated whole.
T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land is an elaborate and mysterious montage of lines from other works, fleeting observations, conversations, scenery, and even languages. Though this approach seems to render the poem needlessly oblique, this style allows the poem to achieve multi-layered significance impossible in a more straightforward poetic style. Eliot’s use of fragmentation in The Waste Land operates on three levels: first, to parallel the broken society and relationships the poem portrays; second, to deconstruct the reader’s familiar context, creating an individualized sense of disconnection; and third, to challenge the reader to seek meaning in mere fragments, in this enigmatic poem as well as in a fractious world.
T.S Eliot’s poem, The Waste Land, is written in the mood of society after World War I. By using these allusions, The Waste Land reflects on mythical, historical, and literary events. The poem displays the deep disillusionment felt during this time period. In the after math of the great war, in an industrialized society that lacks the traditional structure of authority and belief, in the soil that may not be conductive to new growth (Lewis). Eliot used various allusions that connected to the time period and the effect of the war on society in his poem. Aided by Eliot’s own notes and comments, scholars have been able to identify allusions to: the Book of Common Prayer, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles-Louis Philippe, James Thomas, Guillaume Appollinaire, Countess Marie Larsich, Wyndham Lewis, nine books of the Bible, John Donne, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Richard Wagner, Sappho, Catullus, Lord Byron, Joseph Campbell, Aldous Huxley, J.G. Frazer, Jessie L. Weston, W.B. Yeats, Shakespeare, Walter Pater, Charles Baudelair, Dente, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and John Webster—all within the first section of 72 lines, about one allusion every two lines (Lewis). Using various allusions, Eliot was able to connect to the fact that he lived in a modern day waste land as a result of the destruction caused by World War I. Eliot used the allusions to show that death brings new beginnings and change, and love still flourishes.
As its amplitude and frequency increase, the poem-wave loses any sense of a finite subject in a particular historical situation’ (Alright, 21). Not only specific to H.D, this measure of poetry could also be used to analyze some poems by Eliot and Pound. A central tenant of this kind of poetics is the frequent use of aquatic metaphors where the whole world is described in the form of an ocean – which recurs frequently in Eliot’s poems like ‘The Wasteland’, ‘The Hollow Men’, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’, ‘The Four Cantos’ and so on- a more specific example being H.D’s ‘Oread’ where she
The Wasteland is a poem Eliot wrote after his divorce with his wife Vivienne Haighwood. Critics say the title of the poem, the wasteland, comes from his thoughts on his marriage. This poem is considered to be “one of the most difficult poems in a difficult literary period”. The Wasteland is a poem that is said to be of his most influential work. At first glance, critics considered the poem to be too modern but then opinions changed as they realized the poem reflected Eliot’s disillusionment with the moral decay of World War I in Europe. T.S. Eliot in The Wasteland combines theme, style, and symbolism to explore life and death.