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The Waste Land

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  30,542 Ratings  ·  685 Reviews
The Waste Land is a highly influential 433-line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot. It is perhaps the most famous and most written-about long poem of the 20th century, dealing with the decline of civilization and the impossibility of recovering meaning in life. Despite the alleged obscurity of the poem—its shifts between satire and prophecy, its abrupt and unannounced changes o ...more
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Published January 31st 2006 by (first published 1922)
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You know, one of the greatest poems of the 20th century and that kind of thing. I must know a fair amount of it by heart.

Here's a story about "The Waste Land" that some people may find amusing. Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate in Cambridge, a friend of mine asked me for advice on how to impress female Eng Lit majors. Well, I said, you could do worse than use The Waste Land. Just memorise a few lines, and you'll probably be able to bluff successfully.

We did some rehearsals, and eventu
Huda Yahya
Feb 22, 2012 Huda Yahya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, college-books
أعذر كل من لم يستطع فهم أو محبة الأرض الخراب بالعربية
فأنا عانيت معها وحدي قبل دراستها بلغتها الأصلية
فالرموز وطريقة السرد(العظيمة) تؤثر كثيرا على من لا خلفية له عنها

هذه السنة بدأت في دبلومة الترجمة في الدراسات العليا
ووجدت أستاذي في الشعر هو أحد أساتذتي في الترجمة أيضا

وعندما علمت أنه يشرح القصيدة لإحدى الفرق أسرعت وطلبت منه الحضور معهم

وياله من تجدد للسحر
مجددا أعيش أجمل الجلسات الشعرية
وأتمتع بذكاء إليوت وقدرته المذهلة على تكوين القصيد

البعض يتجرأ على وصف القصيدة بالمفككة
وهذا في رأيي محض هراء

Apr 24, 2009 Madeline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm trying to write a term paper on this poem (key word is "trying") and then I realized, hey, I should waste some time by writing a review of the poem on Goodreads! So here we are.

Here's my thing about T.S. Eliot: the man is ungodly brilliant and I love almost everything he's written. Does this mean I understand a single goddamn word of it? Of course not. But (and this is the great part) that doesn't matter. Eliot has been quoted as saying he's perfectly aware that no one has any idea what his
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I read a lot of poems as an English major back in the day.* Not many have stuck with me over the years, but The Waste Land is one of them: T.S. Eliot's lamentation of the spiritual drought in our day, the waste land of our Western society, lightened by a few fleeting glimpses of hope. It's fragmented, haunting, laden with symbolism and allusions, and utterly brilliant.

A diverse cast of characters take turns narrating the poem, or having their conversations overheard by the narrator, including:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

The above mentioned lines mark one of the most profound onsets in the history of modernist literature; and perhaps with eruption of the highly dense, heart pounding effusion, a magical spell envelops the reader who would be kept shifting between time and space, embark and decay of civilization, prophecy and satire, philosophy and faith, life and death throughout the m
Apr 16, 2017 Pantelis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I often return here, and each time I find a different place and yet it is the same, maybe because I have heard and reheard the "Four Quartets" mantra... "Four Quartets" offer the solution because "The Waste Land" sets the problem... There is no Hope without Despair...
Bookdragon Sean
This is the hardest poem I’ve ever read. Certainly, the difficulty experienced when reading something is not enough reason to leave a bad review. I’m currently reading Ulysses, a notoriously difficult book, but I am enjoying it nonetheless. This, however, is an entirely different creature.

Despite being an English student I do find poetry difficult. It may be because of my background. I transferred from sciences into English, so I had very little experience beyond a few poems I read at school.
Hannah Eiseman-Renyard
This Pisses Me Off and Makes Me Feel Like a Moron

I've had to read this twice in the course of my education, and I don't like it one bit, though I thoroughly appreciate its status and importance. Sort of like my attitude to atomic weapons. You wouldn't dismiss atomic weapons as 'crap', but you could legitimately say 'I appreciate their significance but I don't like them at all.'

I don't think there has ever been more literary masturbation about any other piece of writing than The Wasteland, and
Mar 27, 2017 Håkon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must confess. I have no idea what I just read. But it was the most beautiful thing.
Feb 12, 2017 Foad rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
هر مؤلف فقط تا سه بار فرصت داره آدم رو تحت تأثیر قرار بده، تا وقتی که به کلی کنار گذاشته بشه.
تی اس الیوت تا حالا دو تا فرصتش رو سوخت کرده!!
Ahmed Ibrahim
" من هذه الدراسة يتضح لنا أن الثورة الشعرية التي أحدثها ت.س.إليوت بقصيدة "أرض الضياع" لم تكن ثورة في الشعر الإنجليزي أو الأمريكي فحسب بل كانت ثورة في فن الشعر بصفة عامة بحيث امتد تأثيرها ليشمل معظم شعراء العالم في مختلف اللغات، سواء هؤلاء الذين قرءوها في نصها الأصلي أو مترجمة. فقد تجاوز بها إليوت كل القضايا التقليدية التي أثارها النقاد والشعراء، خاصة في العالم العربي حيث الجدل المثار بين أنصار الفصحى أو أنصار العامية، بين مؤيدي الشعر العمودي المقفى وبين مؤيدي الشعر الحر والمرسل، بين من يعتمدون ع ...more
Rakhi Dalal
Nov 25, 2016 Rakhi Dalal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience.
Ken Moten
Sep 15, 2012 Ken Moten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ken by: Ralph Ellison (i.e. "Shadow and Act")

[From 2012, I think]:
One of my early Goodreads reviews was of the anthology of Eliot The Waste Land and Other Writings where I reviewed the structure of the book more than I did any of the poems. I have looked back since writing it and am unsatisfied. This is one of my favorite poems, if not my favorite and it deserves better, so I will review it by itself.

Now this is a *cue sudden dramatic music* modernist work (which is to say, no "roses are read/violets are blue" here). It was released in TH
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر،این دفترِ شعر از 10 شعرِ بلند و 5 شعرِ کوتاه تشکیل شده است و در پایان نیز مقاله ای از « الیوت» با نامِ « سنّت و استعدادِ فردی» چاپ شده است
به انتخاب ابیاتی از این کتاب را در زیر، برایِ شما بزرگواران مینویسم
من فكر مي كنم، ما در محاصرۀ موش هايي هستيم
آن جا، كه مردگان استخوا ن هايشان را
از دست داده اند
موج هايِ قهوه ايِ مه
چهره هاي كج
Chiara Pagliochini
“Ho i nervi a pezzi stasera. Sì, a pezzi. Resta con me.
Parlami. Perché non parli mai? Parla.
A che stai pensando? Pensando a cosa? A cosa?
Non lo so mai a cosa stai pensando. Pensa.”

Penso che siamo nel vicolo dei topi
Dove i morti hanno perso le ossa.

Mi sento sola stasera. Le lacrime premono sulla punta degli occhi. E c’è un piccolo nodo di nausea là in fondo, che non si vuol sfogare in nessun modo. Forse è la stanchezza, è tutto il giorno che sto sui libri con questo piccolo entusiasmo frenetico
Mar 12, 2017 Roula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ειχα πρωτοδιαβασει αυτο το ποιημα στα αγγλικα εκει στα 20 περιπου, στα πρωτα χρονια της σχολης και η αναμνηση που μου ειχε αφησει ηταν ενα μεγαλο ερωτηματικο και ενα απεραντο αγχος για το τι στην ευχη θα γραψω αν πεσει στην εξεταστική. .α! και κατι για τον απριλη που ειναι ο cruelest month ..ετσι ειχα απομνημονεύσει διαφορα κομματια του sparknotes (life saver!) και απλα ηλπιζα..τωρα 10 χρονια περιπου μετα το ξαναδιαβασα, σε μεταφραση Σεφερη με τις σημειωσουλες μου διπλα(αλλιως δεν βγαινει κατα τ ...more
Feb 16, 2008 Steph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, canon
i think this might make me an anti-intellectual, but i enjoyed this poem so much more when i read this outside of the classroom and infused it with my own tenuous understanding of what was going on in the poem. in class, explicating every single obscure reference effectively killed it. still such a powerful opening though. his poems have lines you want to taste in your mouth, and repeat over and over like magical intonations, or write down covertly in a secret book of quotes.
aPriL does feral sometimes
T. S. Eliot, who was a literary man who previously had faith in literary wisdom and social norms, I think discovered during World War I how useless lessons of wisdom and defined social mores were against processing the experience of massive wartime deaths and maiming. His personal tragedy of a very damaging marriage was also very difficult.

In 'The Waste Land', I think Eliot was ranting at literature, society, religion and culture for failing to stop the 'collapse' of civilization. Eliot also ra
Feb 19, 2014 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-poesia, n-usa, e5
"Abril é o mês mais cruel, gera
Lilases da terra morta, mistura
A memória e o desejo, agita
Raízes dormentes com chuva da Primavera.
O Inverno aconchegou-nos, cobriu
A terra com o esquecimento da neve, alimentou
Uma pequena vida com bolbos ressequidos.
Nas montanhas, aí sim sentimo-nos livres.
Leio, quase toda a noite, e vou para o sul no Inverno.

Que raízes se prendem, que ramos crescem
Neste entulho pedregoso? Filho do homem,
Não consegues dizer, nem adivinhar, pois conheces apenas
Um montão de image
Dec 12, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, poetry-poetic
In college I read an author I loved and can't find him. He wrote in the 20's in prose, and they called him the street poet. He didn't rhyme but made you feel his words. I thought Eliot might be that one. I'm not sure if I read him then but the poem amazed me. The more I read and write the more I understand and the deeper the pleasure. I read Eliot a couple years ago and hated it. I read him again this week and read in awe. His words branch off into hundreds of novels your mind creates. His image ...more
Emily  O
Apr 04, 2011 Emily O rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poetry lovers, English majors
Recommended to Emily by: ENG 252 (American Lit Post-1800s)
What can one say about The Waste Land that hasn't already been said? It's disjointed, difficult, long, and brilliant. Parts of it are confusing and grotesque (I'm looking at you, carbuncular young man) while other parts are strikingly painfully beautiful. It is laden with symbolism and references to everything under the sun. The only interpretation people can agree on is that something is terribly broken, though no-one can seem to agree on exactly what that thing is. If you like poetry, and are ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
سرزمین بی حاصل: نخستین چاپ این منظومه با عنوان «سرزمین ویران» با ترجمه ح. رازى، حمید عنایت و چنگیز مشیرى در اسفند ماه 1334، در جُنگ هنر و ادب امروز، دفتر اول چاپ شد. در زمستان 1343، «بهمن شعله ور» اقدام به ترجمه این اثر کرد، که با همین عنوان «سرزمین هرز»، در مجله آرش منتشر شد. انتشارات نیل در تهران نیز، در سال 1350، این شعرها را با عنوان «دشت سترون و اشعار دیگر» به چاپ رساند، که ترجمه ی آن را پرویز لشکرى انجام داده بود. در سال 1357 مترجم دیگرى نیز به سراغ شعرهاى الیوت رفت. این بار حسن شهباز، کتا ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Roya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
نکته ی بارز این کتاب اینه که ... "صفحه ی آخر نداره!" یا حداقل کتاب من، صفحه ی آخرش چاپ نشده و نمی دونم دیوانه کننده تر از این هم چیزی هست؟ حالا بالاخره درد هیزل و گاس رو وقت خوندن کتاب جناب پیتر فن هوتن درک می کنم، مسخره است
به غیر از این نکته ی "بارز"، باید بگم که ترجمه خوب بود، البته می تونست بهتر هم باشه (شاید یک ازرا پوند ایرانی لازم داشت)، ولی خب نفس ترجمه ی چنین کار شاقی "خوب" ه، و در ضمن نقدها و حاشیه ها هم خیلی عالی بودند
و شعر هم که البته، حرف نداشت. من تی اس الیوت رو یه جور غریبی دوست دا
Maria Thomarey
Nov 20, 2016 Maria Thomarey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4,5;. Μεγάλη η διαφωνία μου για τη μετάφραση του τιτλου.
Laurel Hicks
Ars Poetica

A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit

As old medallions to the thumb

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown -

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind -

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

A poem should be equal to:
Not true
Jason Gignac
Original Review

To be perfectly honest, I really expected not to like this poem. I was really kind of expecting to hate it, in fact. I've read a little bit of Ezra Pound, a jillion years ago, didn't like it, and I guess just figured this would be the same. Here's the thing - I didn't hate it. And I don't know why. It was obtuse, it made no sense at times, it deliberately obscured itself, it had all the things I hate in modern poetry.

Except for one little, tiny thing: It wasn't talking to itself,
Aug 24, 2011 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In summary: the poem is aptly titled if ‘waste’ is the colloquial ‘to poop on’, and ‘land’ means ‘my time’.

Okay, so this has been on my reading list for a while. It was supposed to be so good. Its legend preceded it, and it had a lot to live up to, judging from many literature buffs . Some have referred to this poem as an embodiment of the zeitgeist of the 20th century. Besides being a poet and writer, T.S. Eliot was a literary critic whom any author of his time would have begged on all fours to
Amir Mojiry
Jun 04, 2013 Amir Mojiry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amir by: Zahra Saedi
Shelves: poetry
سرزمین هرز از جمله کتاب هایی بود که باید می خواندم. به خاطر شهرتش و این که به نوعی کلاسیک محسوب می شد.
اما این که نتوانستم با این کتاب خوب ارتباط برقرار کنم می تواند چند دلیل داشته باشد:
1- کتاب در فرهنگ و بافت خود، کتاب بسیار خوبی است اما وقتی ترجمه می شود برای من که در آن فرهنگ و بافت زندگی نمی کنم، بی معنا می شود.
2- کتاب در زبان اصلی خود (فارغ از فرهنگ مرتبط با زبان) کتاب خوبی است اما وقتی ترجمه شده است، مترجم نتوانسته (یا اصلن نمی شده) حرف شعر را منتقل کند.
3- کتاب را روشنفکران بزرگ کرده اند!
L.A. Starks
Dec 21, 2016 L.A. Starks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This highly literary poem is recommended only for those who want to delve into its heavily allegorical word-by-word symbolism and who are willing to go outside the text to understand it.

While I don't recommend T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland for mystery, suspense, and thriller readers who are looking for straightforward plot and characters, those who like the setting of the early 1900s and the sheer rhythm of the lines will find this classic stays with them.

For a laymen's explanation:
Saeed tavakoli
Oct 20, 2015 Saeed tavakoli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: شعر
امتیاز دهی من بیشتر بر اساس لذتی است که از کتاب بردهام. از اون کتابهایی بود که باید میخوندم. دو ترجمهی بهمن شعلهور و جواد علافچی رو خوندم و باید بگم نه. شاید انتظارم زیاد بوده. شعر اشباع شده از اسطوره و کتابهایی که الیوت دوست داشته. افسانههای خدایان، مسیح، شکسپیر، کنراد، دانته و... اونقدر که بدون دانش به اون آثار خوندن این کتاب بیهوده است. نشانهاش هم حتا توضیحاتی که خود شاعر داده. مجبورم بگم خود شعر چیزی بالاتر از آثاری که ازشون وام گرفته عرضه نمیکنه. البته این نظر مطمئنا به مذاق خیلیا خوش نمیاد ...more
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  • The Bridge
  • The Collected Poems
  • Personæ: The Shorter Poems
  • Trilogy: The Walls Do Not Fall / Tribute to the Angels / The Flowering of the Rod
  • Selected Poems
  • Selected Poems
  • Songs of Innocence and of Experience
  • Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library)
  • In Memoriam
  • Selected Poems
  • The Prelude
  • North
  • Collected Poems, 1948-1984
  • Spring and All
  • The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats
  • North of Boston
  • Tender Buttons
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Other Poems
Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more
More about T.S. Eliot...

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“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”
“A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”
More quotes…