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The Waste Land (Norton Critical Edition)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  28,577 Ratings  ·  628 Reviews
The text of Eliot's 1922 masterpiece is accompanied by thorough explanatory annotations as well as by Eliot's own knotty notes, some of which require annotation themselves.

For ease of reading, this Norton Critical Edition presents The Waste Land as it first appeared in the American edition (Boni & Liveright), with Eliot's notes at the end. "Contexts" provides readers w
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by W.W. Norton & Company (first published 1922)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Dec 28, 2015 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
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
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
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
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
Ken Moten
Sep 20, 2016 Ken Moten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ken by: Ralph Ellison (i.e. "Shadow and Act")
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 THE year for literature
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
Feb 16, 2008 Steph rated it liked it
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.
Dec 20, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 29, 2011 Emily O rated it it was amazing
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 17, 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
Jason Gignac
Aug 21, 2009 Jason Gignac rated it liked it
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,
Sep 14, 2011 Chris rated it did not like it
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
Feb 24, 2016 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.
E vou mostrar-te uma coisa ao mesmo tempo diferente
Da tua sombra quando ao amanhecer te segue
E da tua sombra quando ao entardecer te enfrenta;
Vou mostrar-te o medo num punhado de poeira."

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!
aPriL does feral sometimes
May 12, 2012 aPriL does feral sometimes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary, poetry
I read that hundreds of thousands of young male aristocrats, many who were officers, who would have been the next generation of governing leaders, died in WWI along with millions of 'ordinary' people, which I guess hastened the end of leftover centuries-old medieval-class relationships which probably had given comfort, continuity and stability to most European people of the early 20th century. But Leadership didn't die, just the generation educated to rule by maintaining class divisions benefici ...more
Aug 23, 2016 Leola rated it it was amazing
What the Thunder Said

If there were water

And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water
Saeed tavakoli
Oct 23, 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
Oct 21, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I read this about 30 years ago, but have since revisted it because of my son's school project on Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." For an Eliot fan, it's a must-have. Like most here, I agree with Pound's edits. Still, I've always liked the first major "cut" from the poem: "He Do the Police in Different Voices, Part I." But more importantly, I've always wanted to know the backstory behind Eliot's interest in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." I'm fascinated by the fact that Eliot originally intended to ha ...more
Oct 17, 2015 Astika rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Ahh, I'm in love. I mean, I haven't even read a lot of poetry, but this guy really is my favourite now.
Stephanie Sun
Apr 09, 2014 Stephanie Sun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among many other firsts during my first month at Worldreader, David Risher is the first boss I've had bold enough to rewrite T.S. Eliot. Donate to Worldreader's annual fund this April and win a chance to appear in a novel by James Patterson, Ayelet Waldman, Chris Bohjalian, or Pat Conroy.

April is the Cruelest Kindest Month:



This poem brings more questions than it answers. Written in a time of disruptive change similar to our own, The Waste Land spea
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
Jun 05, 2015 Melora rated it really liked it
Wow. Well, I can't say I "understood" this, but the theme seems to be something about the decay of modern society. In a series of visions, we see an assortment of men and women being isolated and resignedly despairing. Sounds a bit gloomy, which it Is, but there are marvelous phrases ("I will show you fear in a handful of dust") and scenes.
I have the Norton Critical Edition, which I recommend, as the footnotes are excellent -- complete, but not Too complete -- and the extra material is helpful.
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
I read this a decade ago. It didn't do much for me. I think I enjoyed Four Quartets more, but I'm not much of an Eliot fan on the whole.

Oh, and an annotated version can be read here:
Macoco G.M.
Sep 10, 2015 Macoco G.M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jan 31, 2015 Finn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Unreal City, 60
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. 65
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!
You who were with me in the ships at Mylae! 70
That corpse you planted l
Dec 31, 2013 Shaun rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Paul Muldoon, poetry editor of The New Yorker and professor of Humanities at Princeton, tells a story of how Horace Liveright, a thirty-year old American publisher with the then new publishing house of Boni & Liveright, was on an acquisition tour of Europe when, on January 3, 1922, he (Liveright) had dinner in Paris with Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and T.S. Eliot. "In the course of one evening," Muldoon writes, "he managed to offer Pound a translation contract, Joyce a contract for 'Ulysses,' a ...more
Dec 21, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
I surprised myself by liking this. Sure, Eliot is elitist and supercultured [french italian latin german, quoting many works by other authors] and I understand that someone cought is just a little obsessed so that perhaps influenced my own opinion but I liked it!
The language, the style, is poetic prose in poetry - that makes no sense - hey but neither did this poem without footnotes and reading other sources - but the language flowed. and I liked how it was a mix of different works combined with
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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...

Share This Book

“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…