September 29, 2010

The Wasteland

Filed under: Schoolwork — Chantelle @ 3:28 pm

We started studying a new poem in English last night called The Wasteland, by T.S. Eliot.

I’ll admit it. At first, I absolutely hated this poem. It made no sense, had no progression, and had no true definitive start and end points. It is impossible to read.

However, in class our prof was talking about some of the history behind the poem. This is an approach that very few of my professors have taken in the class before. It is common to learn about the authors themselves, but usually there is no story about how the work came to be.

In this particular case, she divulged that the original poem had actually been ~ 200 lines longer, and Eliot’s friend, Pound edited the poem for him and cut all of this out. This took away many of the connections between the different segments of the poem, and took away much of the poems flow. However, it gave the poem more of a dream-like feel. In essence, the poem was originally connected by being the thoughts of an older gentleman’s mind, disconnected by connected through him. In Pound’s edits, the introductionof the gentleman was removed, and hence this connection.

It truly is a fascinating poem… I’m glad that we are studying it.

You can read the poem here.

Studying this poem has really made me think about the thought progressions of my day-to-day life. How what goes on inside (thoughts) is completely different than your surroundings, and the randomness of it all.

My point? Lists and agendas can only do so much. Life is random. Embrace it.


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