T. S. Eliot. The Waste Land Analysis. The Waste Land. The Waste Land is a highly influential 434-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot Eliot published the Waste Land in October 1922 The Waste Land is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation
T. S. Eliot The Waste Land Analysis
The Waste Land • The Waste Land is a highly influential 434-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot • Eliot published the Waste Land in October 1922 • The Waste Land is often read as a representation of the disillusionment of the post-war generation • Eliot wrote The Waste Land during a period of personally difficulty-his marriage was failing • Some famous phrases are "April is the cruellest month”(its first line) and "I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
Continued.. • Eliot, having been diagnosed with some form of nervous disorder, had been recommended rest, and applied for three months' leave from the bank where he was employed; the reason stated on his staff card was "nervous breakdown”. • The drafts of the poem reveal that it originally contained almost twice as much material as the final published version.
The Title • Eliot originally considered titling the poem He do the Police in Different Voices • There are many different voices (speakers) in the poem • The poem's title is often mistakenly shortened to "Wasteland“. Eliot insisted that the title include the word "The."
Structure • The five parts of The Waste Land are entitled: • The Burial of the Dead • A Game of Chess • The Fire Sermon • Death by Water • What the Thunder Said
Continued.. • The first four sections of the poem correspond to the Greek classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water • The text of the poem is followed by several pages of notes, meant to explain his metaphors, references, and allusions. Some of these notes are helpful in interpreting the poem, but some are arguably even more puzzling, and many of the most opaque passages are left unannotated. • The notes were added after Eliot's publisher requested something longer to justify printing The Waste Land in a separate book.
Style • The disjointed nature of the poem, the way it jumps from one adopted manner to another, the way it moves between different voices and makes use of phrases in foreign languages, is the most distinctive feature of the poem's style. • At same time Eliot was working on The Waste Land, Robert Bridges was working on a poem called “Poor Poll” which also includes lines in several different languages.
Allusions in "The Burial of the Dead" • "The Burial of the Dead" is the title of Eliot's first section and is an allusion to The Book of Common Prayer, the prayer book of the Anglican Church.
References in Pop Culture • Stephen King was inspired by The Waste Land, and quotes several lines from it, in his Dark Tower series. One volume is entitled The Waste Lands. • In The Simpsons episode "Little Girl in the Big Ten," a poetry club employee sound-checks a stage microphone with the line "Test... test... Roses are red... April is the cruellest month... CRUELLEST MONTH...“ • The movie Children of Men shares the poem's closing line, "ShantihShantihShantih" as well as many common images and themes. • The band Ted Leo and the Pharmacists use the line "Oed und leer dasmeer" from "The Burial of the Dead" in the song "Biomusicology”