Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Waste Land: T.S. Eliot

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T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," is like a square trying to fit in a circle, it's just absurd. In this poem, we find the many faces of the world that have been exposed to one thing or another. He puts this poem in sections, each with a different title that may or may not relate to what is actually going on in that particular section. He opens with the seasons (which btw, I love this first section) and personifies them with humanistic values ( Spring was cruel, Winter kept them warm, Summer surprised them, etc).  Then leads straight into an interaction among the "narrator" and another character. This humanizes the poem for the reader which allows the reader to be able to connect with the poem.

Sometimes while reading, I got so lost. I re-read sections probably 3 or 4 times just to get some kind of inclination as to what in the world he was referencing. Then, I realized.. he isn't really referencing one thing.  I'm sure that the had something specific in mind while he was writing this, but as with every writer, it is open for interpretation (okay.. maybe not EVERY writer).

Beginning with line 43, Madame Sosotris, Eliot is talking about an encounter someone had with this clairvoyante. This section in particular sticks out to me because it draws out what is to happen with this person. Every situation this person will encounter is going to be "deadly" or so it seems. That is the impression in which Eliot gives off as he does with the rest of the poem. It holds a "gloomy" and "eerie" feel over it, as if you are reading it under a gray cloud.

Another section that caught my attention was under the section II. A GAME OF CHESS. He describes this women using phrases and words that incorporate your senses, especially smell. He talks about her satin cases poured in rich profusion and vials of ivory and coloured glass. This kind of writing puts the words on the reader, meaning that they can experience the poem rather than just read it and see the words, they can feel them and smell them etc.

Though T.S. Eliot writes in crazy circles and sometimes makes no sense at all, at the end of it all he brings it back together making the reader cognitively think and yet still appealing to the senses.

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