The Waste Land
by T S. Eliot
According to Wikipedia, "The Waste Land is a 434-line Modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922. It has been called "one of the most important poems of the 20th century." Despite the poem's obscurity-its shifts between satire and prophecy, its abrupt and unannounced changes of speaker, location and time, its elegiac but intimidating summoning up of a vast and dissonant range of cultures and literatures-the poem has become a familiar touchstone of modern literature. Among its famous phrases are "April is the cruellest month" (its first line); "I will show you fear in a handful of dust"; and (its last line) the mantra in the Sanskrit language "Shantih shantih shantih." Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 - January 4, 1965) was an American-born English poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century. The poem that made his name, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock started in 1910 and published in Chicago in 1915-is regarded as a masterpiece of the modernist movement. He followed this with what have become some of the best-known poems in the English language, including Gerontion (1920), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1945). He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948."
- B&R Samizdat Express, December 2009
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