The Waste Land

The Waste Land - Eliot #

Published in 1922, along with James Joyce’s Ullysses and Yeat’s The Second Coming, The Waste Land marks a distinct pivotal literary style.

Paradoxically while its innovative features are new, it harkens to the past for its derivative meanings through echoes, allusion, quotation (in several languages), a variety of verse forms, and a collage of poetic fragments.

Initially it appears an incomprehensible cacophonic melange of voices, pastiche of images, discordant threads or motifs. Only through committed analysis and dedicated research of references, can sense be made of it - and then inconclusively.

Composed of five stanzas, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and sound, the poem begins with the burial of the dead - likely the carnage of WWI.