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The Waste Land, Prufrock and Other Poems (Dover Thrift Editions) 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0486400617
ISBN-10: 0486400611
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Editorial Reviews

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.

From the Back Cover

In the masterly cadences of T. S. Eliot's verse, the 20th century found its definitive poetic voice, an incredible "image of its accelerated grimace," in the words of Eliot's friend and mentor, Erza Pound. This volume is a rich collection of much of Eliot's greatest work.
The title poem, The Waste Land (1922), ranks among the most influential poetic works of the century. An exploration of the psychic stages of a despairing soul caught in a struggle for redemption, the poem contrasts the spiritual stagnation of the modern world with the ennobling myths of the past. Other selections include the complete contents of Prufrock (1971), including "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "Portrait of a Lady," "Rhapsody on a Windy Night," "Mr. Apollinax," and "Morning at the Window." From Poems (1920) there are "Gerontion," "The Hippopotamus," "Mr. Eliot's Sunday Morning Service," "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," and more.
An indispensable resource for all poetry lovers, this modestly priced edition is also an ideal text for English literature courses from high school to college. Includes "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" from the Common Core.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (January 26, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486400611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486400617
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer 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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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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This is one of the classics, as they put it. Also, its not very long. Usually you have to invest a lot of time to read a "classic." Not so much with this one. So, come see what all the fuss is about among your schools literary community. All those young people wearing old clothes must be seeming so smug for some reason. Just make sure you can make some in depth analysis, or at least sound like you can make up in depth anaylsis so you don't get left out of the discussion.
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I've always loved Eliot, since discovering him in junior high. This collection is a perfect piece of some of his greatest works. Easily something anyone could enjoy.

I could very easily recommend this to everyone.
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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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