The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot: 434 lines of artistic posturing

Random, eclectic, failing to achieve emotional rhythm, largely hopeless, uninteresting, unappealing – this, which I’m told is a classic, strikes me as the kind of tripe I’d hear at a 10:00 at night in a bad coffee house. It’s a crushing letdown after the ponderous Four Quartets, which is much more worth your time. That poem (or four poems) by this same poet contains all the meaning of this obnoxious thing, and wraps them up in a far greater scheme of humanity’s relationship to time. The heart of this poem is: we live, we don’t appreciate our world, we don’t understand each other, and we spiral towards death. He doesn’t really explore this heartbreaking problem, nor illustrate it adequately. If anything, this poem is 434 lines of artistic posturing.

Source: Goodreads. John Wiswell.


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