Sunday, December 31, 2006

No One Will Comment on This Post

My wife and I went to a mini poetry salon tonight. That is, we got together with a few friends, drank some wine, dipped some crunchy edibles in dip and after we were suitably mellow read a few poems. The mellowness was such that only a few poems were read. I had planned to do a couple sections of T.S. Eliot's "Waste Land," and in my preparation I realized I have forgotten why this poem is a landmark, a watershed, a harbinger, just so damn important in 20th Century -- and thus modern -- poetry.

I'm ginning up a performance, but the poem is just so much diverting obscurity. It has some great lines: "April is the cruellest month," and it juxtaposes images (elaborate and mysterious) and dialogue (common and conversational) in a way that we have grown oh so familar with. But why is it wonderful? Was it that different, that striking, in its moment?

I suppose that 40 years ago in graduate school I was told why, but I never *knew* why, if you know what I mean. I could look it up on Wikipedia. That would be wrong for so many reasons.

No one who reads this blog will have anything to say on this topic. The wench is dead.


Anonymous said...

that poem introduced me to trouble down in Bolivia a few years back. good trouble, but trouble nonetheless.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Tell us more, please.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

In private correspondence George confirmed that the incident in question involved a woman. We had guessed as much. Though how T.S. Eliot brokered the deal George does not say. And I cannot imagine.