I read The Wasteland today —
for the first time in a long time.

I do not understand it all, and I don’t try to.  Not really.  I’ve never thought that was the point.

But reading it again after a long pause, I realised how much it shapes my experience.
It feels familiar.  Life long.

The poem is
for me at least
more a process — a shape of living — than a thing to understand.

Having gone away, and come back after a few years, I see more, understand more than I did.
there are ways in which my life has converged with the poem
ways in which is hasn’t
but what is being done feels familiar
the way of seeing, hearing, perceiving
the way of life

tears come too.  Sometimes as Lear enters with the woman’s anxiety.
Sometimes with lilacs.
Today, with Da, Datta, a moment’s surrender.

Elizabeth, you do not like this poem?  Tell me:  what is is about?

I am not sure I like it either, but there it is.  A part of me now.  An inescapable truth.

9 thoughts on “again”

  1. No I love The Wasteland! Although I do think the Hyacinth girl gets a shabby deal.

    It’s about jazz.

    And regeneration.

    (except Eliot seems to think that those things are opposite, which is foolish)

    More anon.

  2. No, that was real, not imagined! And I think from when I was working on my FQ paper.

    I don’t like Eliot, but I do like some of his poems, and The Wasteland is my favorite.

  3. that makes sense.

    I need to ponder the jazz/ regeneration thing — but I suspect the hyacinth girl gets a hard time for the same reason he polarizes them.

  4. I have a suspicion that the only female character that comes out of the Wasteland with her dignity intact is Queen Elizabeth.

    But then no-one likes the monarchy like a good American poet, no?

  5. Likewise Our Lady in Ash Wednesday and Four Quartets. No zealot like a convert in nationality and religion!

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