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The Waste Land and Other Poems Paperback – December 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

After sitting through T.S. Eliot's reading of "The Waste Land," listeners may be inclined to hang up the earphones for a spell. There are no flaws to Eliot's steady-toned interpretation; in fact, his delivery is quite remarkable in its ability to match the poem's constant, somber mood. It's just that 25-plus minutes of Eliot's desolate landscapes--rendered even more real by the author's incessant tones--can wear on the emotions.

In addition to the full-length version of "The Waste Land," this recording includes Eliot's stirring narration of "The Hollow Men," "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," and "Macavity the Mystery Cat." Listen to Eliot read from "The Waste Land." Visit our audio help page for more information. (Running time: 47 minutes, 1 cassette) --Rob McDonald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Along with the two title pieces, this collection includes "Portrait of a Lady," "Rhapsody on a Windy Night," "Gerontion," and numerous other Eliot greats. To have these poems in a single volume that costs roughly the price of a candy bar is nothing less than a miracle. (Classic Returns, LJ 12/98)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Broadview Press (December 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551119684
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551119687
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Enlightenment Man on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I found this edition by Penguin to be very useful for a casual reading. The notes on the poems, in particular "the Waste Land," are detailed enough to give the reader a perception of Eliot's vast literary knowledge and its effect on his poems. However, the notes are inadequate if your purpose is to deeply understand the background of Eliot's complex and difficult poetry. So if you are looking for deep insights, I would recommend the Norton Critical Edition. For the normal reader, this is satisfying and straightforward.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "cailleachx" on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
T.S. Eliot wrote "The Waste Land" against the backdrop of a world gone mad-- searching for reason inside chaos, and striving to build an ark of words by which future generations could learn what had gone before, T.S. Eliot explores that greatest of human melancholy-- disillusionment. This is a difficult poem, but one well-worth exploring to its fullest. The inherent rhythms of Eliot's speech, the delightful, though sometimes obscure, allusions, and intricate word-craft, create an atmosphere of civilization on the edge-- in danger of forgetting its past, and therefore repeating it. In the end, only the poet is left, to admonish the world to peace, to preserve the ruins of the old life, and to ensure that future generations benefit from the disillusions of the past.
"Prufrock" is perhaps the best "mid-life crisis" poem ever written. In witty, though self-deprecating and often downright bitter, tones, Eliot goes on a madcap but infinitely somber romp through the human mind. This is a poem of contradictions, of repression, of human fear, and human self-defeat. Technically, "Prufrock" is brilliant, with a varied and intricate style suited to the themes of madness, love, and self-doubt.
Buy this. You won't regret it. If you're an Eliot fan, you probably have it anyway. If you're not, you will be when you put it down.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Katherine M. Murrell on January 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Why oh why are the lines of this poem arranged so they run one after another like prose? It is not set like it should be, with lines on their own and arranged in proper stanzas; it's all mushed together in a series of run-on paragraphs. Absolutely horrible.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Paul Stilwell on May 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
I remember when I first read through some parts of 'The Wasteland' when I was a teenager. I basically didn't get any of it, yet there was something that vividly burned itself in my mind. All that I could remember from the first reading was the departure of some nymphs and wind crossing brown land, a slimy rat's belly dragging across a bank, and some sailor on the bed of the sea being picked apart by a deep sea current. But it wasn't just the images that stuck; there was something else. What stuck, I think, is the 'visionary' quality some people refer to as being 'cinematic'. The writing in the poem has a way of getting you to view a whole assortment of apparently disconnected events as though you were a disembodied spirit -unnoticed, but there, listening in. I've read the poem quite a few more times since then, and you begin to notice the overall structure. When the poem gets to the last part, 'What the Thunder said', there is this transition that is at once magnificent, sobering, yet somewhat hallucinatory and disturbing. This part always gets me:

"Who is the third who walks always beside you?

When I count, there are only you and I together

But when I look ahead up the white road

There is always another walking beside you

Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded

I do not know whether a man or a woman

-But who is that on the other side of you?"

'The Wasteland' is perhaps the least 'telly' of Eliot's work.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "Disappointed" on November 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Waste Land

From the listing this item appears to be a recording of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, read by the poet himself; but it's not, it's a performance by another reader, and therefore it had (to me) no interest; it was not what I wanted or needed. I suggest that the product description should be made clearer, so that other customers do not make the same mistake.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With April only a couple of days away, thought it might be beneficial to read the poem that commences with the subject line, "The Wasteland." Recently I've been undertaking an effort to re-read many of those works of literature that I was required to read in school, `lo those many years ago. The grim lesson from that effort is how many important works I was NOT required to read, particularly given the skimpy nature of the liberal arts part of my curriculum. Eliot's works were not required, and thus this is a first-time read.

"Wasteland" was written in 1922, and purportedly represented the disillusionment in the popular culture following the blood-letting that was "The Great War," and would become known as the First World War after humanity experienced a second blood-letting. I found the poem both eclectic and obscure, with far too many references to other works I have not read, and other languages that I have not mastered. For example, it starts with Latin, with a bit of ancient Greek. I did a quick internet search, and it seems that less than 2% of high school students now take Latin (I had two years, way back when) and the lines at the beginning of Eliot's poem were incomprehensible. In the poem he will throw in a line of German, which I do not understand, and then a line of French, which I do. His references are wide-ranging, and one would need to have a most extensive education to understand them, unaided by the footnotes. For example, lines from the Bible, like from "Ezekiel." The notes include references to Baudelaire (in French only) and Dante's the Inferno (in Italian only). There are also Shakespearean references, and ones to the "Aeneid," (in Latin only), Milton's "Paradise Lost," and Ovid's "Metamorphoses." Eliot also throws in St. Augustine's "Confessions," and much else.
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