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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
The Waste Land and Other Poems
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2017
I’m working my way through 20th and 21st Century poets at present and I thought I would give TS Eliot a try,having heard that The Wasteland was highly rated. After reading it and several other poems included in this collection I found that I just didn’t enjoy them. The Wasteland is a difficult and arcane poem ,even with the use of a study guide. It was rambling,random and disjointed,full of obscure high brow literary references and it didn’t appear to convey any particular overriding message or sentiment. It wasn’t really a social commentary either. The other poems were equally hard to understand and I couldn’t connect with them or the poet. Can’t say that I liked anything in this collection unfortunately. Of appeal to literary intellectuals only I would imagine.
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on 7 November 2016
Yes, Eliot is challenging, but the effort is worthwhile. I reached him once more via Dante: not so an oblique journey as I originally thought! Almost all the poems were of interest, but The Waste Land still merits its reputation: and still is exerting influence.
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on 23 August 2017
The Waste Land is a fantastic poem.
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on 20 June 2017
Lovely book and beautifully written poetry.
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on 12 March 2017
So many typos, complete rubbish.
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on 23 February 2015
I've read (and listened to) this collection of poems half a dozen times. THE WASTE LAND is, without a doubt, still my favourite. It's hard to understand, pompous at times and so dense with allusions to other works I lose track of what's Eliot's work and what isn't. And yet ... on some atavistic level this poem still "talks" to me. The rhythm, the magic, the sheer (dare I say it) poetry in the lines (April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land) draws a reader in and shakes up emotions I didn't even know I had.

The tension between the physical and the metaphysical is tremendous; Eliot clearly had a deep experience of how earthbound and limited we are by the very denseness of our bodies (...the last fingers of leaf Clutch and sink into the wet bank), while the voice of our souls rush by unheard (The wind Crosses the brown land unheard). THE WASTE LAND is a mournful cry of a man trapped in a world of harsh reality (it was written only four years afer the devastation of Europe in World War 1), sensing there is something more (Madame Sosostris), yet unable to feel or perhaps believe in it (... this card, which is blank,...,which I am forbidden to see). Here, in this poem, is the struggle between the intellect and the emotions (fear death by water - in the Tarot the water cards represent emotion), good and evil and man's lower, sexual nature and his higher, Divine nature.

What a brilliant, depressing, strong poem it is!

So strong, it almost overshadows the other poems in this collection. But ASH WEDNESDAY, with its tone of sorrow and penitance already obvious from the title, is another powerful poem, as is JOURNEY OF THE MAGI and the remainder of the poems.

In its struggle between hope and despair, this collection is as relevant today as it was in Eliot's time and is worth the effort it takes to try and grasp its elusive meaning.
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on 4 December 2016
This is a terrible printing of the poem. Editors notes are interspersed with the text, line numbers are printed erroneously and break the formatting of the text. Buy another edition instead.
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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.
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on 29 January 2014
A chance quotation in a book nudged me to look again at Eliot's poetry, which I haven't read for decades. This "slim volume" is a perfect re-acquaintance, without being too daunting. I remembered how I loved the poetry, and am finding new meaning this time around. Maybe I'll move on to more of it. Thank you.
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on 14 October 2015
This is an alright copy of 'The Waste Land' and gives a small amount of explanatory notes (if they can be called that) but the amount of typos is unacceptable and as a student of English Literature, there were nowhere near enough explanatory notes or even anything to point out the rich variety of other texts that have been inserted into or influenced this poem... If you simply want to acquaint yourself with the bare basics of this quintessential poem then I'm sure that this (extremely thin) book (or perhaps even pamphlet?) would be fine for you but if you want a really in-depth, intricate analysis and explanatory notes (and boy, you'll need them...), then I definitely wouldn't recommend this to you.
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