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The Wasteland, Prufrock and Other Poems

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  10,251 ratings  ·  317 reviews
This volume brings together three of T. S. Eliot's powerful collections into one. It includes such classic poems as "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "Portrait of a Lady," "Preludes," "Gerontion," "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," and "The Waste Land."
paper, 88 pages
Published July 30th 2008 by Waking Lion Press (first published 1922)
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Manuel Antão
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1981
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Kublai Khan: "The Wasteland, Prufrock and Other Poems" by T. S. Eliot

(Original review, 1981-05-10)

It seems to me that the author of 'Prufrock' and that of the Wasteland are so different as to be un-recognisable. A look at the Wasteland reveals a lot of, to me, gratuitous classical referencing for which we might like to blame Pound and while I value its novelty (whereas Prufrock reads like Kublai Khan) the Wasteland reads like
Aug 28, 2008 rated it it was ok

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
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am always on the quest to find more good poetry because I believe poetry to be extremely underrated. However, this was not the read that I hoped it would be for me...

I didn't really take anything from this poetry. I like to believe poetry gives us something. Although I did look into the historical context and could see how it was compatible, it failed to make me feel any emotion or hold a connect. There some pretty language, but really, that was it for me.

Not my kind of poetry? Mm.

This was
Abeer Abdullah
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I dont know how to review this because it always feels like I am still in the process of reading it and untangling it and pealing away it's layers.
at times i find my self reciting the parts that i know of some of these poems.
when I am really done with it. if I am ever, I might give a proper review.
Not my cup of tea.

Not only did I not get the "beauty" of most poems, or their "brilliance" for that matter, but the provided interpretations seemed rather bold. How does a person come up with such ideas? Why are they accepted? E.g. I interpreted Prufrock completely different and I admit it, I like my interpretation much better!

I don't understand Eliot's poetry. But at least I tried.
Apr 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How many dozens of times I've been through this book I don't know. Read Eliot, that's all I can say.
Jill Mackin
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poet, poetry
Never tire of reading The Wasteland. So many two star ratings and reviews. I find that abit odd.
Feb 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modernism
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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
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
Jun 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
I studied this during my A Level English Literature class. I had absolutely no idea what it was about back then, and having picked up and perused this book recently, I am still totally and completely baffled. I remember the long, long, drawn out agony of the endless reading aloud of this poetry in my English Literature classes, and the feelings of utter and total crazed despair, frustration and boredom that made me want to stand up and scream "no more!!!!" I'm know this poetry is an accomplished ...more
I read this for a challenge (shortest book on my shelf) and I'm not rating this because I'm not smart enough to read poetry, clearly. (To be clear, I didn't enjoy it, but I doubt it was the fault of the collection.)
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So embarrassed to be giving TS Eliot 3 stars, but now that I've read it, I probably won't do a re-read. I liked Prufrock more than The Wasteland. I could spend days reading the commentaries and then the literary allusions from the poems. I felt Prufrock was delightful and read it several times. I felt I read The Wasteland multiple times (with commentary) because it was imperative to a decent poetic education. It seemed like a lot of World War I angst and soldiers returning with PTSD - a sad ...more
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection gathers the most popular of Eliot's poetry together in one slim volume and the reader, depending on the quality of their high English school teachers, is sure to remember many of them. Whether it's Journey of the Magi, The Hollow Men, The Waste Land, or the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock these poems demonstrate why T.S. Eliot was one of the most important poets of the modern period. Eliot as a writer established a unique voice arranging the words in every poem in such a way that ...more
Jun 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, e-read-book
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 ...more
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Need to read it 5 more times to understand.
Nikita Nautiyal
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Classic ! Loved re reading it after ages and still finding layers of meaning hidden in the poem . Its dystopian in feel ,part philosophical and replete with biblical allusions. ...more
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a man with an English degree, I knew I would love this collection of poems. To be honest, this is actually my first time sitting down and reading the poems of T.S. Eliot. Keeping that in mind, a lot of the works in this collection focus on the "human condition" which is a primary aspect of modernism. Along with Beckett, writers such as Eliot in the 1920s and 1930s became a large influence for writers like Isaac Asimov, who is known for writing the first science fiction novella in, 1947, I ...more
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.

I honestly don't know what to think about this book. It was so beautifully written, but so confusing at the same time. The thing I loved about it the most was that, through his writing, I got to see how the war effected both him and the people living at that time.
Tom Walsh
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
I listened to this as an audiobook. Hearing Jeremy Irons reading Eliot is one of the most relaxing activities imaginable. These poems read in his voice are perfect for a rainy day. The melancholy Prufrock, painful Wasteland and Quartets finished by the whimsical Old Possums Cats combine to display the incredible range of T S Eliots mastery of mood and language. Thoroughly enjoyable. ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
T.S. Eliot is my all-time favorite poet - I'm not sure if I've read this addition of his poems, but I've read enough to give his poetry 5 starts.

The Wasteland and The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock are the best, and everyone should read them. His use of language, ryme, and flow are incredible.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I'm still working on my comprehension of poetry. But I must say that this was pretty good, or at least, I took some from it.
Sabita Bhattarai
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed it.
Andrew Barger
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
The routine and regimented ways in which to write a T. S. Eliot poem in 10 easy steps are as follows, ahem:

1. Come upon a cute turn of phrase,
2. Pen a rambunctious title loosely related to said turn of phrase,
3. Thumb the pages of Dante and pluck out an epigraph (preferably in the original Italian),
4. Insert said epigraph beneath said title,
5. Write slapdash quatrains,
6. Insert said turn of phrase at a random place in said quatrains,
7. Run the occasional line of said quatrains onto the next
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poesía
At the violet hour, when the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits

Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,

Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at tea-time, clears her breakfast, lights

Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the suns
George Tyson
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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 ...more
Lisa Litberg
Dec 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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,
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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 ...more

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