The Waste Land and Other Writings

The Waste Land and Other Writings

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Also includes Prufrock and Other Observations, Poems (1920), and The Sacred Wood
Introduction by Mary Karr
First published in 1922, “The Waste Land,” T. S. Eliot’s masterpiece, is not only one of the key works of modernism but also one of the greatest poetic achievements of the twentieth century. A richly allusive pilgrimage of spiritual and psychological torment and redemption, Eliot’s poem exerted a revolutionary influence on his contemporaries, summoning forth a potent new poetic language. As Kenneth Rexroth wrote, Eliot “articulated the mind of an epoch in words that seemed its most natural expression.” As commanding as his verse, Eliot’s criticism also transformed twentieth-century letters, and this Modern Library edition includes a selection of Eliot’s most important essays.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375759345
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/02/2002
Series: Modern Library Classics Series
Edition description: MODERN LIB
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 519,543
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Mary Karr is an award-winning poet, essayist, and memoirist. She is also the author of four books of poetry, Abacus, The Devil’s Tour, Viper Rum, and Sinners Welcome, and three memoirs, The Liar’s Club, Cherry, and Lit.

Read an Excerpt

Portrait of a Lady

Thou hast committed
Fornication: but that was in another country,
And besides, the wench is dead.
The Jew of Malta.

Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon
You have the scene arrange itself as it will seem to do
With I have saved this afternoon for you;
And four wax candles in the darkened room,
Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead,
An atmosphere of Juliet’s tomb
Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid.
We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole
Transmit the Preludes, through his hair and fingertips.

So intimate, this Chopin, that I think his soul
Should be resurrected only among friends
Some two or three, who will not touch the bloom
That is rubbed and questioned in the concert room.

And so the conversation slips
Among velleities and carefully caught regrets
Through attenuated tones of violins
Mingled with remote cornets
And begins.

You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
And how, how rare and strange it is, to find
In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends,
[For indeed I do not love it . . . you knew? you are not blind!
How keen you are!]
To find a friend who has these qualities,
Who has, and gives
Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you

Without these friendships life, what cauchemar!
Among the windings of the violins
And the ariettes
Of cracked cornets
Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins
Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own,
Capricious monotone
That is at least one definite false note.

Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance,
Admire the monuments,
Discuss the late events,
Correct our watches by the public clocks.
Then sit for half an hour and drink our bocks.

Table of Contents

How to Read "The Waste Land" So It Alters Your Soul Rather Than Just Addling Your Headix
The Waste Land and Other Poems
Prufrock and Other Observations (1917)3
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock3
Portrait of a Lady8
Rhapsody on a Windy Night14
Morning at the Window16
The Boston Evening Transcript16
Aunt Helen17
Cousin Nancy17
Mr. Apollinax18
Conversation Galante19
La Figlia Che Piange20
Poems (1920)22
Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar25
Sweeney Erect26
A Cooking Egg28
Le Directeur29
Melange Adultere de Tout30
Lune de Miel30
The Hippopotamus31
Dans Le Restaurant32
Whispers of Immortality33
Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service35
Sweeney Among the Nightingales36
The Waste Land38
The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism
The Perfect Critic64
Imperfect Critics76
Tradition and the Individual Talent99
The Possibility of a Poetic Drama109
Euripides and Professor Murray117
"Rhetoric" and Poetic Drama123
Some Notes on the Blank Verse of Christopher Marlowe129
Hamlet and His Problems137
Ben Jonson144
Philip Massinger158
Swinburne as Poet174
Andrew Marvell197
John Dryden212
The Metaphysical Poets224

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The Waste Land and Other Writings 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
T.S. Eliot is truly a master of poetry. His style of dark, depressing prose, gorgeous description, veiled mysterious hidden meaning, and sharply witty satire is amazing.While some of my favorite poets have earned my respect from pretty writing, T.S. Eliot twists blackness, madness, and desperation into shining beacons of lyrical beauty.I also love how Eliot so frequently references other literary characters, especially Shakespeare. He also shows echoes of Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Marlowe, Emerson, the Bible, Arthurian Legend, Classical Greek, Shelley, Middleton, even Chopin, amongst others. These reflected acknowledgments to his heroes influence his writing deeply, and make it seem far more literary and relevant.His satire is clear and intelligent. I especially admired his short poem "The Hippopotamus," in which he compared the animal to the Roman Catholic Church.I cannot say that I had a favorite poem, as they were all brilliant. This is a perfect collection of Eliot's work.One of my favorite poets and thinkers of all time.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Carr's introduction addresses how to read The Waste Land, which is insightful and helpful for the reader who has not experienced the poem before. However, if one is interested in Eliot's landmark poem, an edition with more gloss would probably be worthwhile -- this one has none, other than the poet's own notes, which are nearly as enigmatic as the poem itself. There are other Eliot poems and essays in this edition, but those, too, can be found elsewhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This excellent compilation combines T. S. Eliot's poetry and his essays. The Waste Land, one of the greatest poems of all time is included, with an introduction that helps the reader understand this poem or see its meaning from a different perspective. Without a doubt, Eliot is one of the greatest Modernist poets, enriched by his both American and British influences. This book shows Eliot's genius as a poet and an essayist.