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? And, by way of a postscript here, I wish somebody would add the cover of my edition of the poems to the Goodreads database. The problem people like Eliot had with such poetry — especially as an outsider who had grown up in America — was that it had lost its ability to arrest us, to make us see the thing being described in a new way. Yes, it's better than anything I've ever written, but that doesn't improve it any in my mind. His exploration of human consciousness, his celebration of language, his endless allusions. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. Eliot's interest in the mythic thought of primitive cultures, beginning at Harvard, perhaps in the spirit of scientific inquiry, takes a different form in the argument of The Waste Land.
The directions Eliot included in his notes to the poem suggest that Eliot hoped even after the poem was written that Tiresias could fill this role. The raped and wounded figures in his poetry represent not abject bodies that Eliot repudiates as a means of shoring up his precarious masculine heterosexual identity, as recent critics have claimed. Though the poem's opening lines do not hang together, neither do they fall cleanly apart. The masses produce a nearly perfect redundancy of citation, the episode suggests; culture and tradition are replaced by verbatim or unmasticated reproduction of earlier verbatim reproductions. And Conrad's Heart of Darkness is a landscape with which Eliot is deeply, disquietedly, guiltily almost, familiar, and with which he contrasts effects of sunlight, lips trembling in prayer, eyes gazing into the heart of light or hauntingly into the eyes, a ship answering to the hand on a tiller as a symbol of achieved love and civilization. He said, Marie, Marie, hold on tight. In brief, regarded as an existence which appears in a soul, the whole world for each is peculiar and private to that soul.
He said, Marie, Marie, hold on tight. The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne, Glowed on the marble, where the glass Held up by standards wrought with fruited vines From which a golden Cupidon peeped out Another hid his eyes behind his wing Doubled the flames of sevenbranched candelabra Reflecting light upon the table as The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it, From satin cases poured in rich profusion; 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; stirred by the air That freshened from the window, these ascended In fattening the prolonged candle-flames, Flung their smoke into the laquearia, Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling. I find his work intriguing and perennially compelling, always provocative and challenging, endlessly invigorating. This is Turdus aonalaschkae pallasii, the hermit-thrush which I have heard in Quebec County. The topic of memory, particularly when it involves remembering the dead, is of critical importance in The Waste Land. 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.
Its notes are not remarkable for variety or volume, but in purity and sweetness of tone and exquisite modulation they are unequalled. There is a power to you - in So behold T. My people humble people who expect Nothing. Isn't the greatest power of literature apparent in how it lives on after we have read it? All the same, this is one of the masterworks of the language, some of it still forms a lump in my throat as the currents rise and fall and I pass through all the stages of my youth and age. Repeated as here, a formal ending to an Upanishad. The wind Crosses the brown land, unheard.
The Hanged Man, a member of the traditional pack, fits my purpose in two ways: because he is associated in my mind with the Hanged God of Frazer, and because I associate him with the hooded figure in the passage of the disciples to Emmaus in Part V. 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. O City City, I can sometimes hear Beside a public bar in Lower Thames Street, The pleasant whining of a mandoline And a clatter and a chatter from within Where fishmen lounge at noon: where the walls Of Magnus Martyr hold Inexplicable splendour of Ionian white and gold. Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. His later poems in 'Poems 1920' and 'The Waste Land' always intimidated me, but I finally read them in preparation for studying 'The Waste Land' in class. But transferred to other contexts they become loaded with special meanings. Marie will provide neither coherence nor continuity for the poem: having been named, she will disappear; her part is brief.
Identification of the Grail story with the common myth of the hero assailing a devil-dragon underground or in the depths of the sea completes the unifying idea behind The Waste Land. And we shall play a game of chess, Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door. This section is apparently based on their marital life, and she may have felt these lines too revealing. That is how we expect pronouns to behave: same referents unless new antecedents. I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot pack of cards, from which I have obviously departed to suit my own convenience. So how could Eliot find out how to move poetry forward? My nerves are bad to-night.
Eliot, The Waste Land Touch Press, whose digital offerings include a survey of the solar system, a catalogue of gems and jewels, and a beefed-up periodic table, has released an interactive version of T. And the relation of the notes to the poem proper seems further emblematic of the relation of the work as a whole to the cultural tradition it is a commentary on. He and his first wife, , travelled to the coastal resort of for a period of convalescence. Not that he does the voices altogether helplessly; on the contrary, he gathers them in his fist like a rattlesnake's severed coils and shakes them so as to disturb his own and his readers' war-dulled, jazz-dulled, machine-dulled ears. The first three published poetic volumes of T. The word remains isolated, with no punctuation marks or other formal features with which to make sense of it. The most obvious question that rears up at this point is: if classicism, for Eliot, is a reference to a literary form, what sort of form could incorporate within itself the presence of the European literary tradition while simultaneously effecting its alteration? The fable of the meaning of the Thunder is found in the Brihadaranyaka — Upanishad, 5, 1.
For those a little more experienced with the poem, a couple commentaries might merit inclusion. If we listen attentively to the negations of The Waste Land, they tell us much about the poem that was missed when it was read from the affirmative point of view brought to it by its early defenders and admirers. You hear about a scene where a modern young man and woman—both not much to look at—are having this really awful, loveless sex. Goldsmith, the song in The Vicar of Wakefield. In which case is the typist less of a type? Gerard de Nerval, Sonnet El Desdichado. Decadence and pre-war luxury abounds in the first part of this stanza. The action of the poem, as Tiresias recounts it, turns thus on two crucial incidents: the garden scene in Part I and the approach to the Chapel Perilous in Part V.
It was Tiresias', it was he who doomed all men, throbbing between two lives, knowing which? In some distant past, when I was in college or maybe it was even high school, I was told by teachers just how good this poem was. The Waste Land is quite clear on that point. In some distant past, when I was in college or maybe it was even high school, I was told by teachers just how good this poem was. Stanley Sultan's few pages on the subject in Ulysses, The Waste Land, and Modernism form--as will be more fully noted--the one substantial, and neglected, exception. A Guide to the Selected Poems of T. And why exactly would I do that? It serves as a living testimony to the enmeshed pattern of human spirit and human culture. Memory creates a confrontation of the past with the present, a juxtaposition that points out just how badly things have decayed.
Eliot was en route to , , for treatment by Doctor Roger Vittoz, who had been recommended to him by ; Vivien was to stay at a just outside Paris. But the changes are incremental, frustrating the attempt to make strict demarcations. The very way in which these images resist, because of their natural simplicity and the literary allusions with which Eliot surrounds them, what would seem to be their obvious sexual symbolism is precisely their virtue, for they enable the poem to resolve its sexual conflict at the same time that it arrives at a figuration that places the poet beyond it. This can also reference the Chapel Perilous — the graveyard for those who have sought the Holy Grail, and failed. Eliot uses free verse in the fifth and final section of The Waste Land, in particular. Absolutism and its Discontents: State and Society in Seventeenth-Century France and England.