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The Well Known Poem
on 4 December 2009
The Waste Land T S Eliot’s well known poem has certainly become something of a bugbear amongst a large number of the population, but really it shouldn’t be. Admittedly it is written in more than English and it does have multiple narrators, but don’t let yourself think that you will never understand or appreciate this. It most certainly is not the easiest poem to read, but then again perhaps that gives this something that you don’t often find, something that draws you back and makes you re-read and think again. More than a poem this is also in some ways a narrative.
Building upon the Arthurian legends and the Classics, as well as religion in this piece of modernism that isn’t particularly long, Eliot created a very modern epic for his generation, and how he saw the world progressing, with a mix of satire and prophecy. Obscure in some places and something that always needs more than one reading this is a poem that is something to really get your teeth into. On the first reading you do get the whole feel, but if you come back to this on other occasions you suddenly realise that there is something that you missed or never made much of before, that definitely leads to more pondering.
Edited by Eliot himself and Ezra Pound this is the final poem that amazingly was reduced to so few lines. This edition does include all those notes that Eliot himself made to go with it.