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The Waste Land, Prufrock and Other Poems

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  6,698 ratings  ·  182 reviews
"The Waste Land, Prufrock, and Other Poems" is a collection of T. S. Eliot's early poetry. This collection brings together "The Waste Land," arguably T. S. Eliot's most famous poem, with the poetry originally published in "Prufrock and Other Observations" and "Poems (1920)." This collection of 25 poems in all will provide even the most serious of poetry readers with ample ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by (first published 1922)
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I measured out my life with coffee spoons in the hours, weeks, indeed months between when I first picked this up and when I subsequently set it down unfinished. It gets two stars in deference to the world of literary critics and english PhD's who call Eliot a master.

I want to believe that good poetry has something to share with us. I even keep a copy of Garrison Keillor's anthology "Good Poem's For Hard Times" on my night stand, for Pete's sakes! It's there right now, see? (Ok maybe ther
T.S. Eliot takes a lot of work. I wouldn't recommend just plowing through The Wasteland on your own. It's the type of poem you only really understand when you discuss it in a group. If I hadn't studied it in a class in college, I'm sure I never would've understood it.

I would give 5 stars to Prufrock alone, and probably 3 or 4 to the rest. I especially loved Prufrock when I was single, b/c I think it captures the essence of male timidity. The language is oblique, but has some powerful contrasting
How many dozens of times I've been through this book I don't know. Read Eliot, that's all I can say.
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This volume contains Eliot's first two books of Poetry and his magnum opus, "The Waste Land," with its much needed (and thankfully) introductions, foot notes and critical commentary. Without the afterword analysis, I don't think I would appreciate some of the earlier poems as much as I eventually was able to do. I particularily enjoyed several where I did not feel as lost as to the poet's thematic meaning or narrative. Mr. Eliot's literary aspirations and ideals for great poetry are that they ma ...more
If you asked me a few years ago to make a list of who I thought would be on the list of poets most influential to my own voice, I would never have selected Eliot. I have always been a little intimidated by his intelligence. For me, the key to gaining a deeper appreciation for Eliot was a deeper study of Anglo-Saxon poetry. Modernists like Eliot and Auden and Pound most remind me, for all their experimentation, of those old tellers of epic tales: the attention to language and rhythm, the idea of ...more
Eliot is one of my favorite poets to read. He utterly confuses me at times, but his poetry always has me looking for the deeper meaning in things. It stretches my brain almost to the point of pain at times to read Eliot (cough...the Wasteland), but I enjoy this kind of pain.
George Tyson
Right - like I'm really going to critique the works of T.S. Eliot. However, I will say this: because some of his poetry contains bits and pieces from other works of literature that span Western and Eastern poetry, fiction, philosophy and theology, it's great fun to deconstruct those poems to see how they were "put together." (For example, see However, to really appreciate what Elliot was getting at, you need to reassemble these fragments. That's because the ma ...more
"Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table..."

This collection contains two of Eliot's most famous works, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land, but it also includes all the other poems he published betwen 1917 and 1922. I love Eliot and his use of allusion and symbolism in poetry. Because this volume is annotated there was a constant string of footnotes translating text and explaining references in the poems,
there is a very small quantity of poetry volumes, and books in general that could compare to the quality of this book.
it has achieved such a collection of achievements that are so very difficult, and as a collaboration has never been seen.
first: any holder of a respectable degree in English literature, or student, or even your average avid reader would tell you; the waste land is mother of all avant gard.
and that alone is a tremendous achievement, but to achieve it while still holding the love a
Good, yes, but incredibly inaccessible for anyone without an English degree. This is probably best read as part of a course so there is someone to guide you through the language and all the literary references, and it would help if you have a good command of French (and it would be even better if you also understood at least some Greek and Latin).

This isn't to say that all of the poems in this collection are as inaccessible as "The Wasteland" and some of the others. Once you've translated the Fr
Please read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." It is my favorite poem and it quite possibly changed my life. Never have I experienced a piece of literature that I have heard interpreted in so many different manners--this, in addition to my personal reading of Prufrock, has led me to believe that everyone can find themself in it on some level. Moreover, everytime I read it, I pick up a new piece of something...a glimmering something that had slipped past me times before. I am in love with thi ...more
Re-read this again because I am reading "Constellation of Genuis" and that centers around Joyce and Eliot. Prufrock is one of my favorites but I didn't remember Wasteland or his other poems very clearly.

Great stuff. My favorite is still Prufrock.
Beau Revlett
The bookends of this collection - "Prufrock" and *The Wasteland* - earn the five stars by themselves. There are gems in between ("Aunt Helen," "The *Boston Evening Transcript*," "Lune de Miel"), but they seem to me as, at best, supplements to, or, at worst, mere shades of Eliot's two most famous early works

Unmistakable in these early works are the themes of the decline of culture, the futility of the individual, and mass superficiality. The fact that these themes are unmistakable is a testament
I suspect that I am missing something, but I simply didn't get it. I spent the huge bulk of the time confused and wanting the damn thing to just be over with already. Maybe someday I'll go back and try again with fresh eyes.
Heather Fryling
I've now read Eliot's the Wasteland, and I learned that I don't know enough primary texts (even though I've read a lot of classics) to get all the allusions. There's a reason he's been described as "willfully difficult." His work can't be understood unless you get his sometimes obscure, always far ranging, often foreign language allusions. I'm sure I could spend hours googling it all, but even at that, I never find a summary of a source work as satisfying as an allusion that hits something I've ...more
William Redd
I've always loved Eliot's style. His poems have this magnificent lyrical quality to them. Favorites from this collection include "The Hollow Men" and "Ash-Wednesday," and of course "The Waste Land."

I like that the editor included T.S. Eliot's original notes on "The Waste Land." It was nice to see. Also gave me some more books to add to my list, because if a master like Eliot finds inspiration in them...

The only thing I didn't like about this collection is the fact that it was not put together by
Emma Mccourt
Tricky to read but beautiful once understood. I highly recommend getting an annotated version to fully understand the meanings. The Hollowmen is my favourite.
Heavy reading, T.S. Eliot's poems really showcased his anxiety and negativity towards male/female relationships. The Wasteland is particularly hard to get through without all the footnotes. Multiple languages from Greek to Latin and even German. There are many reference to older art works and literature. If you are not familiar with these references it can leave you lost and confused. I did enjoy J. Alfred Prufrock more so than the books of The Wasteland. I believe that the poems published in th ...more
Well then, this was like Russian Roulette for my memory of the French language.
Zoe Tribley
The collection of these poems, I enjoyed the majority of them. But just because I like poetry doesn't mean I have to like ALL FREAKING poetry. In the same way that just because I love art doesn't mean I have to like all art.

There are different genres within genres and joy cannot be forced where there is none.

Some of these poems I just skimmed through- making small "hmmms" before moving on because tey just didn't grasp my attention and I was eager for the next poem that I did not yet know about.
J.B. Shearman
Been reading this for a while and finally finished. It contained Prufrock and Other Observations, Poems 1920, and The Waste Land.

Prufrock and other Obersvations contained some incredibly brilliant moments. The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock might be my favorite poem from him and bits and pieces of other poems were fantastic. Overall though the collection was inconsistent with great highs and some definite lulls.

Poems 1920 seemed to be more consistent overall and but it didn't have the same ty
It is difficult to say quite how profoundly this book has affected my thought since I read it. I spent approximately a week straight immersing myself in every word of this collection, the margins are full of my scribbles.
"Love Song" is the best example I have found of an author using poetry to make an abstraction concrete. His carefully chosen imagery and masterful composing of fragments, an irony not only that eliot is aware of but that is central to the poem.
"Whispers of Immortality" produce
I had finished reading Four Quartets prior to reading this work. I would say that while I found this work entertaining, his skills had definitely evolved by the time of the publication Four Quartets had been issued, though it is the less popular of the two. I respect the fact that he is a well-read man & that this work marks a momentus change in the style of writing but I find that he borrows far too much for it to be considered one of better works. I know this is a common knock on this writ ...more
Katie Farris
Not my first time to this particular rodeo, and am struck, as always, by the fact that the poetry (and particular the titular poem) serves one at so many different stages of life. At first it seemed impossibly romantic, in my sort of On The Road stage, in love with Reality and Grit and Smoking and Cities way. I knew about many of the references then from half-assed research, but reading it now again many of those allusions feel more natural and much more illuminating. Part 3 particularly, with T ...more
This is definitely one of the most difficult pieces of literature that I've ever read. I had to read this for a British literature class and I'm thankful for that because I don't think there's any way I could have hoped to make much sense of it on my own.

I only read the two titular poems but I was really impressed by them. It's not easy to unpack all the allusions and make sense of his heavy fragmentation but as I read them a few times over they gradually started to make sense. Eliot has an acu
Being made to read Eliot in college, I found myself often wallowing in his dense, polyglot world of allusions. Revisiting a lot of these now, I was actually struck by just how good of a poet he is, not by his erudition, not his ability to fold dozens of obscure classical references into stanzas, not by his intellectual gamesmanship, but just by how suavely ominous his poems are. He's got this fantastic sense of rhythm and he's able to really pull you into a lot of dark, claustrophobic spaces wit ...more
Ashley Granger
I don't know which verse is more awesome/creepier: "OnlyThere 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." OR "I think we are in rats alley/where the dead men lost their bones."
I did not actually read this edition, but simply read J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land online.

They are important Modernist texts, obviously, and so I wanted to read them before continuing on with the Pisan Cantos.

I didn't much like either one of them, though I know next to nothing (admittedly) about poetry (of any sort). And so there is little point in giving a rating.
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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...
The Waste Land and Other Poems The Waste Land Collected Poems, 1909-1962 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

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