The Waste Land and Other Poems

The Waste Land and Other Poems

Book - 2003
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While recovering from a mental collapse in a Swiss sanitarium in 1921, T. S. Eliot finished what became the definitive poem of the modern condition, one that still casts a large and ominous shadow over twentieth-century poetry. Built upon the imagery of the Grail legend, the Fisher King, and ancient fertility cults, "The Wastle Land" is both a poetic diagnosis of an ailing civilization and a desperate quest for spiritual renewal. Through pastiche and collage Eliot unfolds a nightmarish landscape of sexual disorder and spiritual desolation, inhabited by the voice (literary, historical, mythic, contemporary) of an unconscious that is at turns deeply personal and culturally collective. This edition includes "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "Portrait of a Lady," "Gerontion," and more.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A : Penguin Books, 2003
Edition: New edition
ISBN: 9780142437315
Branch Call Number: 821.912 EL46W 2003
Characteristics: xxxiv, 108 pages ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Kermode, Frank 1919-2010


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Jan 16, 2018

I didn't read much poetry in my youth- but the ones I did either spoke of nature (Robert Frost) or were for children (Robert Louis Stevenson, Shel Silverstein). Somehow, I managed to get through college without reading renowned TS Eliot. I am here now, to remedy that oversight. I have mixed feelings about this collection. Certain poems really spoke to me, and brought me into turn-of-the-century America and England. His observations of city life were vivid, dirty, and real. This is where he's at his best. Morning at the Window- although one of his shortest in the collection, was my favorite. I can almost see the city waking, the housemaids already on the streets, the fog covering everything. Just beautiful imagery. The same goes for Preludes parts 1-4. He speaks of dirty, sawdust-filled streets. Of chimneys, of cab-horses. Some of it rhymes, some of it doesn't, and that's okay here- we're catching a glimpse of 1915 city life.
However, there are many things I didn't care for. Some of his poems are just a jumble of nonsense. I read some in-depth reviews to be sure I wasn't missing anything. He's attempting to intelligently comment on certain parts of society- but bounces around so much and twists his verbiage in such a fashion that the meaning gets lost. I didn't care for his major work, The Waste Land, which illustrates my previous complaint. Yes, the man was smart. Yes, he was trying to show that. No, it doesn't help that three of his poems were completely in French. I might be interested in more of his poetry, if he stuck to what he was good at.

Apr 25, 2017

Terrific little selection of the poems! Excellent and very useful notes for them too. One minor shortcoming: excluded some great poems like "The Hollow Men".


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