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Most controversial poem the waste land by ts eliot

Eliot died, wrote Robert Giroux, "the world became a lesser place. Eliot,' the model poet of our time, the most cited poet and incarnation of literary correctness in the English-speaking world.

Whether he is liked or disliked is of no importance, but he must be read.

The Waste Land

The only "method," Eliot once wrote, is "to be very intelligent. Most controversial poem the waste land by ts eliot "there is a coolness in the midst of involvement; he uses texts exactly for his own purpose; he is not carried away.

Hence the completeness and inviolability of the poems. What he does in them can be taken no further. Of his early work, Eliot has said: Rajan writes, "the birth of meaning. Poetry cannot report the event; it must be the event, lived through in a form that can speak about itself while remaining wholly itself. This is a feat at least as difficult as it sounds, and if the poem succeeds in it, it is because, however much it remembers previous deaths by drowning, it creates its own life against its own thrust of questioning.

It is driven by a scepticism which resolutely asks the question but refuses to stop short at it, by a sensibility sharply aware of 'the disorder, the futility, the meaninglessness, the mystery of life and suffering. Not all of us share Eliot's faith. But all of us can accept the poetry because nearly every line of it was written while looking into the eyes of the demon.

Eliot himself is forever abandoning us on the very doorstep of the illuminating. One has again and again the feeling that he is working, as it were, too close to the object. He passes quickly from one detail of analysis to another; he is aggressively aware that he is 'thinking,' his brow is knit; but he appears to believe that mere fineness of detail will constitute, in the sequence of his comments, a direction.

What happens is that he achieves a kind of filigree without pattern. He is, in some ways, a meditative poet. But this does not mean a poet who deals in abstractions; Eliot's meditations are meditations on experience, in which the abstractions belong as much as the images; they are all a part of his particular cast of mind, the meaning he gives to past experience. But Eliot is, I think, a relatively indifferent, or uninterested, observer of the phenomenal world.

His direct affirmations are always summings-up of this style, concentrations for which the rest of his verse appears as so many hints.

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The result is an extraordinary fusion of diffidence and dogmatism. Wilson Knight notes, "to the health most controversial poem the waste land by ts eliot a culture," in that it "tells us the truth about ourselves in our present situation.

He gave us back our language enlivened and refreshed by new contacts with many other tongues. Potter Woodbery writes that "the modern poet, as Eliot himself on occasions has pointed out, finds himself faced with the task of revitalizing a language that has gone dead, of seeking out genuine but novel avenues of expression so that a sharpness of impact can once again be felt in English poetry.

The fresh vitality that the materials of the city give to these modern metaphors and similes makes them unusually arresting with the result that one finds himself drawn into a fuller and closer examination of their poetic meaning rather than gliding over them as is the tendency in the case of the more traditional 'poetic' figures. Eliot's indictment of the present age is spiritual rather than sociological. By culture Eliot means 'that which makes life worth living': By tradition, also, Eliot means both a conscious and an unconscious life in a social continuum.

He speaks of culture metaphorically as the 'incarnation' of a religion, the human manifestation of a superhuman reality. A culture's religion 'should mean for the individual and for the group something toward which they strive, not merely something which they possess. His popular reputation, Frye writes, "was that of an erudite highbrow.

But such a reputation would be contradictory to Eliot's view of the 'elite' as responsible for articulating the unconscious culture of their societies. Most controversial poem the waste land by ts eliot would like, he says, an audience that could neither read nor write. These are not only distinguishable but opposed, and in Christianity the opposition is total, as for it the selfish self is to be annihilated, and the other is the immortal soul one is trying to save.

Theories of conduct exalting the freedom of the personality or character without making this distinction are disastrous. Just as Eliot never accepted the statement that The Waste Land represented "the disillusionment of a generation," Braybrooke submits, he would never admit that his use of broken images "meant a separation from belief, since for him doubts and certainties represented varieties of belief. But the poem is a great poem because it will not force us to follow him.

It makes us wiser without committing us. It joins the mix of our own minds but it does not tell us what to believe. The poem resists an imposed order; it is a part of its greatness that it can do so.

There is no portrayal of common emotions, except when they are depraved, or silly. All the things which common men think of as practical and desirable vanish into insignificance under his vision. He sings of it when he speaks of the flower that fades, of the sea that seems eternal, of the rock in the sea, and of the prayer of the Annunciation.

In such [passages] the poet reveals his true mission, that of transmuting his intimate emotions, his personal anguish, into a strange and impersonal work. In this way, the poet becomes aware of his presence in the world, where his major victory is the imposing of his presence as a man by means of his lucidity and his creative power.

The second is better than the first, the third is better than the second, and the fourth is the best of all. At any rate, that's the way I flatter myself. And in his rigorous stripping away of the poetic, such a pure poetry is sustained. Although many critics have commented on the cyclical nature of the Four Quartets, Frye has actually diagrammed these poems.

The horizontal line is clock time, the Heraclitean flux, the river into which no one steps twice. The vertical line is the presence of God descending into time, and crossing it at the Incarnation, forming the 'still point of the turning world. The top and bottom halves of the larger circle are the visions of plenitude and of vacancy respectively; the top and bottom halves of the smaller circle are the world of the rose-garden and not unnaturally for an inner circle of the subway, innocence and experience.

What lies below experience is ascesis or dark night. There is thus no hell in Four Quartets, which belong entirely to the purgatorial vision. Eliot has always worked obliquely, by suggestion and by his penetrating personal rhythms. His power is in his sureness and mastery of subject and expression. And this sense of inviolable purpose seems to remove his verse from the ordinary realm of human interchange. He has created a world of formal perfection.

It lacks the dimension of human error. The form which Eliot came to see as the most perfectly ordered and most complete as a microcosmic creation of experience was drama. And if poetry cannot do that for people, it is merely superfluous decoration. As Miss Smith writes: Eliot are more likely to baffle than to inspire. Not only do Eliot's plays refuse to conform to today's dramatic modes but each play is theatrically different from the others.

Was it a mistake?

  • The dramatist's mission was thus both artistic and religious, and it was envisioned as a process of transformation;
  • He passes quickly from one detail of analysis to another; he is aggressively aware that he is 'thinking,' his brow is knit; but he appears to believe that mere fineness of detail will constitute, in the sequence of his comments, a direction;
  • From these premises Eliot concluded that the poet's work must be judged by standards from the past;
  • It is Eliot's one indubitable theatrical triumph, and the one English addition to the classic repertoire since Shaw;
  • His critical pronouncements were made valid by his poetry.

In all probability, yes. Certainly at his death Eliot's standing as a poet was secure, while his reputation as a dramatist was in the trough of the wave. His critical essays on Elizabethan and Jacobean dramatists, his use of the dramatic monologue in some of his best-known early poems. I always feel it's not wise to violate rules until you know how to observe them.

And I think it's a very good thing I didn't have the opportunity. From my personal point of view, the one good thing the war did was to prevent me from writing another play too soon. The dramatist's mission was thus both artistic and religious, and it was envisioned as a process of transformation. But when one comes to the big moment and if we can't get it we can't do drama there must be some simple fundamental emotion expressed, of course, in deathless verse which everybody can understand.

It was Eliot's discovery that prose drama isolates the audience from the action of the play. Poetic drama that makes a skillful use of contemporary idiom can be a means of involving the audience centrally in the action once more. For centuries drama has depended upon the Dionysian properties which Eliot's dramatic theories reject in favor of "reason.

The best criticism of Eliot's plays has been written by Eliot himself, and few theoreticians have proved their views so convincingly in practice. Eliot, a great poet, became both master and pupil of dramatic theory, yet however important his plays were, he was never to write a chef-d'oeuvre. His best play, Murder in the Cathedral, is noble in its theme and treatment, but lacks the natural abundance of creative genius.

His cold, austere intellectuality is apparent in all his plays, and the more his plays have moved from spiritual to secular, the more onerous most controversial poem the waste land by ts eliot has become in making his plays acceptable. Miss Gardner answers thus: The tradition of social comedy which Eliot took up is a very tough tradition. At the moment these plays are dated, but as they recede into history their social verisimilitude will be as much a source of strength as is the social truth of Restoration Comedy.

Miss Gardner says of these plays: It is Eliot's one indubitable theatrical triumph, and the one English addition to the classic repertoire since Shaw. This man who seemed so unapproachable was the most approached by younger poets—and the most helpful to them—of any poet of his generation," except for Ezra Pound. Certainly it was because he was willing to explicate, and thus to share, the principles by which he worked and lived that he became a great critic.

Carlo Linati, one of the first in Italy to write about Eliot, found his poetry "irrational, incomprehensible. It is noticeable that each of these dictators has been a critic as well as a poet, and we may infer from this the fact that it is necessary for them to practice both poetry and criticism. Eliot is by far the most important critic of the twentieth century in the English-speaking world. Webster states that "it is an error in tone and taste to treat [Eliot] as a systematic thinker, as a builder of a critical system" because Eliot himself, dividing criticism into "essays of generalization" and "appreciations of most controversial poem the waste land by ts eliot authors," came to abandon the former in favor of the latter which, he said, "seem to me to have the best chance of retaining some value for future readers.

The extreme of theorizing about the nature of poetry, the essence of poetry if there is any, belongs to the study of aesthetics and is no concern of the poet or of a critic with my limited qualifications. As John Paul Pritchard explains: From these premises Eliot concluded that the poet's work must be judged by standards from the past. But, Praz points out, "the critic's task should be to see literature ' not as consecrated by time, but to see it beyond time; to see the best work of our time and the best work of twenty-five hundred years ago with the same eyes.

In The Music of Poetry he said that his method was that of a poet 'always trying to defend the kind of poetry he is writing. He [saw] in Dante clear visual images [and] a concise and luminous language.