Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Fisher King

Eliot’s notes to The Wasteland identify Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Romance as a source of “incidental symbolism” in the poem. He suggests turning to Weston’s book for a better understanding of The Wasteland. In From Ritual to Romance, Weston … Continue reading

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Mortality in “The Deer Lay Down Their Bones”

Behind the house I grew up in, there was an expanse of open space that the whole neighborhood had access to. My cat regularly roamed back there while I would chase blue belly lizards. Once I was brave enough to … Continue reading

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Waste + Land: Reading Eliot’s Compost Heap

I cannot help but approach “The Waste Land” as an avid gardener. I’ve spent the last several years working out of small urban plots, one a 14 x 16 foot space on an approximately two-acre tract, the other an 8 … Continue reading

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Stop Striking the Stone

Since the beginning of the semester, I’ve been interested in the close relationship between social unrest and ecological crisis. We see it in “Darkness,” “The Ruined Cottage,” and the concept appears again with “The Wasteland.” It is impossible to separate Eliot’s … Continue reading

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Fire Sermon stuff

In the introduction to American Ecopoetry, Robert Haas mentions Bob Perelman’s analysis of a poem by William Stafford. Perelman’s critique of Stafford’s language is that Stafford’s use of “conscientiously unadorned and unadventurous language, leading to a seamlessly expressed insight or emotion … Continue reading

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Keystones

I particularly enjoyed the discussion of style in modern and post-modern poetry from the Haas introduction. Words became autonomous, in a way. Their placement became self-defined and free from the constraints for lines or lyricism. It’s mind-blowing to read “Frost … Continue reading

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Denial in “The Waste Land”

I had never read T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” before this week and, I must admit, it was one of the most difficult poems I have ever read. That being said, what I did understand haunted me. Once you get past … Continue reading

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Expensive Wasteland

Looking at “The Wasteland,” I was interested in the various locations that Elliot brings into the poem. He blends places filled with mystical meaning, “Thebes,” with places that are relatively mundane, “Queen Victoria St.” Places are not what we associate … Continue reading

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Children and Nature

In the poem “Frost at Midnight”, Coleridge reviews his unpleasant childhood in the city and feels an intense longing for life away from the city. Based on his personal experience, he explores the relationship between children and nature – he … Continue reading

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The Wasteland: An Ecology of Literature

Reading T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” is enough to give any girl whiplash. Just about every line in the work contains either a footnote from an editor or a note from Eliot himself. Footnotes from the editor are put in to … Continue reading

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