Poem Analysis

The Waste Land By T S Eliot

The Waste Land By T. S. Eliot | The Waste Land Poem Analysis

The Waste Land By T S Eliot
The Waste Land By T S Eliot

Introduction

            T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land has a special position in the history of English Poetry. It is one of the most famous poems of the 20th century. The poem is written in five parts and is often called, a poem in five fragments, but all the parts are connected with the theme of the disillusionment of a Generation and the Futility of Moden life. The poem became famous due to the techniques that Eliot used to convey his message. The poem was published in 1922. It was the time of Modernism. Modernism was a movement in which artists and writers tried to find novel methods of observation, new methods of getting knowledge, and leaving behind every established rule. The Poem The Waste Land is written in the full spirit of Modernism.

The poem “The Waste Land” is divided into five parts:

  • The Burial of the Dead
  • A Game of Chess
  • The Fire Sermon
  • Death by Water
  • What the Thunder Said

. It opens with an intriguing epigraph dedicated to Ezra Pound It consists of 434 lines and it’s regarded as one of the longest poems, if not the longest, in English literature. It is a highly complex poem

About T. S. Eliot

T. S. Eliot, full name Thomas Strean Eliot was one of the significant poets of the 20th Century. There are descriptions of modern society in his poems. He received the Nobel Prize in 1948. He was a keen student of philosophy and took an exceptional interest in Indian and Hindu philosophy. In 1911 he wrote his first major poem The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. Among his world-famous poem included – The Waste Land, Ash Wednesday, Four Quartets, The Journey of the Magi, The Hollow Men, Morning at the Window, Little Gidding, and The Hippopotamus.

Themes Of the Poem

The Waste Land had five main themes:

  1. Death, that is not only physical but also Spiritual and Moral.
  2. “Loss of High Culture” because modern man does not have faith in the culture and traditions of his past.
  3. Rebirth, the image of barren and dry land brings hopelessness to the poem but is countered by the hopeful image of “Rebirth”.
  4. Physical Love, there is a lot of love relations shown in the poem.
  5. Spiritual Dryness, the modern man is breathing and walking but does not have the spiritual element intact. He is Spiritual Dry.

Analysis Of The Waste Land

            At the first of the poem an aristocratic lady, she talks about her happy past days. After the speaker talks about the image of love in modern times, which is fixed upon lust and physical needs only. It is no spirituality left in it. The next speaker talks about a woman who is a card reader named Madame Sosostris. She foreshadows that water will bring death and that men should fear it. She also talks about how she is forced to carry out her business in secret.

            The scene changes again, and the speaker describes the condition of ordinary men in modern times. He says that a lot of people are walking in the streets of London, but they have lost their vitality. They seem alive but are dead inside. The speaker then recollects a meeting with a soldier during a war. One soldier asks the other whether the corpse he buried in his garden has sprouted or not.

            The next section, A Game of Chess opens with a description of a well do lady and the room she is sitting in. The room is laden with a lot of beauty products and perfumes. She is sitting on a burnished chair waiting for someone scattered among the artificial objects of ornamentation, there are a few glimpses of the past. When the person whom she is waiting for arrives, they indulge in meaningless dialogue.

            In the next section, the speaker discussed a meeting of two underprivileged ladies sitting in a bar. They are talking about a woman name Lil. She says that her husband is returning after a long time serving in the army. They show their concern about their appearance of Lil as she has not treated her teeth and has lost her charm.

            Therefore, they think that her husband will try to find recompense in other women. While these women are talking, the keeper of the bar repeatedly tells them to hurry up because the time is over. Towards, the end, the two women depart.

            The third section named “The Fire Sermon” opens with the description of a dirty place by a riverside. The river is filled with garbage and rats are pushing themselves here and there. The speaker tries to catch fish in this river and thinks about his father and brother. He recalls how both of them died in the same manner. In the next setting, the speaker narrates an event when he was invited to homosexuality. He says that a merchant gave him the offer to have dinner with him and spend the weekend with him.

            The next speaker narrates about a hectic day for a female typist. She is a young lady and works till late. She comes home after work and the dirty dishes from breakfast wait for her in her room. She cleans the mess and waits for her lover. The lover comes, and they indulge in sexual activities. The typist shows no emotion when the deed is being done.

            At the end of this section, there is the happier image of a church, a bar, and the river Thames. The speaker recalls the love affair between “The Earl of Leicester and Queen Elizabeth”. Then, there is a confession of the lady of modern times who talks about her affairs with many men.

            The fourth Section is named Death By Water. The speaker says that Phlebas the Phoenician has died by drowning in water and that his body has lost connection with the outside world. In the same manner, the speaker warns, the reader’s bodies will lose connection with the world and they will die. Therefore they should remember their own deaths.

            In the Last Section named What The Thunder Said the speaker talks about the condition of modern man. He says that modern men move around in cities but have lost their human vitality. They are unreal human beings. They might walk and work like living humans but they are dead from the inside. Therefore, cities like London, Vienna, Athens, Jerusalem, and Alexandria, where these unreal humans live, have also become unreal.

            Suddenly the speaker describes the condition of the east. He says that it is going to rain near the Ganges. Here the three aspects of thunder according to Hindu mythology are introduced. The first means “Give”, the second means “Sympathize” and the third means “Control”. The poem ends with the repetition of the word “Shantih”.

“Datta, Dayadhvam and Damyanta
Shantih, Shantih, Shantih”.

Conclusion

So, The Waste Land is still the most influential poem of our age: “nothing else so truly reflects the age and redeems it.” F.R. Leavis, Matthiessen, and Cleanth Brooks, the distinguished critics of the present age, have penetrated into The Waste Land and have of the opinion that The Waste Land is a highly condensed epic of the modern age. Cleanth Brooks remarks that the poem is:

“a sigh for the vanished glory of the past;
the living death of the modern waste landers”.

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized English Literature Notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

– Varsha Singh

The Waste Land By T. S. Eliot | The Waste Land Poem Analysis Read More »

Paradise Lost Book 1 Summary

Paradise Lost Summary Book 1 | Paradise Lost By John Milton Summary

Paradise Lost Book 1 Summary
Paradise Lost Book 1 Summary

Introduction

          “Paradise Lost” is an epic poem written by the great English poet “John Milton” and first published in 1667. The book Paradise Lost is considered by many scholars to be Milton’s best work and solidifies his place as one of the greatest English poets of all time. The poem consists of 12 books and more than 10,000 ‘Blank Verses’. It is a tale of the Fall Of Mankind – the moment when Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan to eat the forbidden fruit from the ‘Tree Of Knowledge’ and God Punished them from the Garden of Eden forever. The paradise lost is similar to the book from which Milton takes much of his story the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible.

About the Poet

            John Milton was an English poet and man of letters, commonly considered “One of the preeminent writers in the English Language”. One of the most knowledgeable men of his time, he was fluent in English, Latin, Greek, and Italian, writing his works in all of these languages. Among his world-famous works include – Paradise Lost, Aeropagitica, and Lycidas. He is described as the Great English Author by biographer Willam Hayley. Poets such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Thomas Hardy were much influenced by John Milton.

The setting of the Poem

            The action of the poem is set in four main stages – Hell, Heaven, Paradise before the fall, and earth in its fallen state.

The theme of Paradise Lost

  • Hierarchy and Order
  • Disobedience and Revolt
  • Sin and Innocence
  • Free Will and Predestination
  • Love and Marriage

Summary Of Paradise Lost Book 1

            Just like the Iliad and The Odyssey, Paradise Lost begins with an invocation and the poet explains the theme of his act of disobedience towards God and then its Consequences,

“Of Man’s first disobedience and the fruit
 of that forbidden tree whose moral taste
 Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
 With loss of Eden, till one greater Man…

            Then Milton invokes the Muse to assist him divinely in giving to his purpose of writing. Milton’s muse is Holy Spirit which, in his view, makes his poem superior to the others. According to Milton, his purpose in writing is to

“Assert eternal providence and justify the wages of God to men.”

            Milton moves from prayer to the disobedience of Adam and Eve that occurred because of Satan. Satan, who was Lucifer, an angel. A war started between God and Satan in which Satan was defeated and thrown out of Heaven into Hell along with Beelzebub and his companions who are now demons. All of the demons including Satan lie stunned, in a lake of fire. Breaking the awful silence, Satan bemoans their terrible position but does not repent of his rebellion against God, suggesting that they might gather their forces for another attack. Beelzebub is doubtful; he now believes that God cannot be overpowered. Satan does not fully contradict this assessment but suggests that they could at least pervert God’s good works to evil purposes. Satan says to all the devils, who were formerly angels who choose to follow Satan in rebellion,

“Better to reign in hell than serve in Heaven”

            Satan calls the rest of the fallen angels named – Moloch, Belial, Dagon, Baal, Orus, Isis, Osiris, etc. He again commands “Awake arise or be forever fall in”. As an army of devils gathers around Satan, he praises them by calling them O Myraids of Immortal Spirits and O Powers Matchless. The army of demons under the command of the materialistic Mammon starts digging the ground and bringing out Gold and other costly minerals (except oil) with their superpower, they construct a great chamber called Pandemonium. Thousands of demons shrink to fit inside it. Now all of them make a plan to fight with God and how take revenge on them. Book I is end with the debate of demons.

Conclusion

            Throughout the first book of Paradise Lost, Satan seems as if he is the hero of the poem. Because the focus of the poem is all on him.

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized English Literature Notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

– Varsha Singh

Paradise Lost Summary Book 1 | Paradise Lost By John Milton Summary Read More »

Every Day You Play By Pablo Neruda

Every day You Play By Pablo Neruda | Every Day You Play Summary

Every Day You Play By Pablo Neruda
Every Day You Play By Pablo Neruda

Introduction

            “Every day You Play” is a beautiful and one of the most famous poems by ‘Pablo Neruda’, who is considered one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. It describes the overwhelming love a speaker has for the lover. The poet praises his lover for accepting him with all his faults. The poet himself is so aware of his negative traits. This person is a part of every element of the world and empowers him to face the struggles of everyday life. There have been times in their relationship, especially at the beginning, in which things were not perfect.

About ‘Pablo Neruda’

            Pablo Neruda the poet of ‘Every day you play’ belonged to a group of Spanish poets. He won lots of hearts by virtue of his poetry. He is known as a poet when he was 13 years old. He wrote in a variety of styles, including – surrealist poems, historical epics, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems. Neruda was known for his great love affairs in addition he had three wives.

            Neruda is considered the national poet of Chile and his works have been popular and influential worldwide. For poetry, he has awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971. Among his world-famous poem included – Don’t Be Far Off, When I Die, Die Slowly, Here I Love You, and Walking Around.

Structure Of The Poem

            The poem is composed of eight stanzas that are divided into six sets of four lines, one set of five lines, and one set of six lines. It does not follow any specific rhyme or scheme. There are many images in the poem. The pictures that the poet uses to describe an intense love affair.

Themes of the poem “Every day You Play”

            Love, Sexuality, and the Loss of Love ones are the Key themes of this poem.

Analysis Of The Poem “Every Day You Play”

            The poet begins the poem by detailing the good qualities of love and more specifically of his lover. Each day, the poet holds the head of his lover between his hands like a bunch of flowers. Apparently, he took at the face of the woman he loves and hold her close to him. The speaker declares that he does in fact Love this person. There is nobody he states like this person. He wants to take his lover and lay her among yellow flowers that are strung like clusters. The poet sees her name written in smoke among the southern stars at night.

 In the third stanza, a major transition occurs. A sudden storm comes up with the wind beating and banging against his window. The sky is compared with a net full of fish that are difficult to see. The image of the rain taking off the clothes of the woman probably implies that the wet clothing reveals the body almost as much as taking off clothes and probably is more sensual.

 Neither the birds nor the poet can fight the wind. When the storm blows, the dark leaves spin; and the wind breaks the boats free that were moored. The storm can throw everything it doesn’t matter. He can stand up against it for the person he loves.

            The speaker asks the lover to hold tight to him. He enjoys being with this someone and wants would not run away. He wishes that she depends on him when she is frightened and curled around him when she needs to. At one time, the speaker saw a strange shadow that once ran through his lover’s eyes, everything is not been perfect between the two. In the past, there might have been something that came between them. The wind sadly kills the butterflies by tearing their wings off. He tells her that he loves her, because of his strong emotional tie to the lover. He compares her mouth to a plum that he would like to eat into.

            The speaker recalls a moment when they were not as content as they are now. Many times, the two of them have awakened to the morning sun shining on their eyes. Over their heads, the ceiling fans give a light breeze. Speaker compares his lover with the mother of pearls means he says he protects his lover always as the shells protect the pearls. He describes how he will bring happy flowers for his lover, such as bluebells, and dark hazels, and will be accompanied by a basket of kisses means a lot of kisses are care. The final line of the poem is one of the best-known of Neruda’s Oeuvre.

“I want to do with you
 what spring does with
 the cherry trees.”

            The Cherry trees bloom in the spring for about a week or two, then the blossoms are gone and give way to the buds that will become the luscious cherries, like that the poet will plant a seed in spring then she will (which means his lover) blossom with the baby.

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized English Literature Notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

– Varsha Singh

Every day You Play By Pablo Neruda | Every Day You Play Summary Read More »

The Garden By Andrew Marvell

The Garden Summary By Andrew Marvell | The Garden By Andrew Marvell | Thought In The Garden

The Garden By Andrew Marvell
The Garden By Andrew Marvell

Introduction

            ”Thought in the Garden” is one of the most famous metaphysical poems, which is also romantic in its subject. It was written by a great Metaphysical Poet ‘Andrew Marvell’. The other title of the poem is ‘The Garden’ and the poem is ‘The Garden’ the poem is romantic because it is about nature. It is the expression of the poet’s personal and emotional feelings about life in nature and society. It is a classical poem in its form because the stanzas, rhythm, rhyme, and word choice are like in classical poetry. The Poet claims that nature is the only true place for complete luxury. The poet begins this poem by comparing nature with society and social life.

About the poet

            Andrew Marvel was an English Metaphysical poet, Satirist, and Politician. He was a close friend of “John Milton”. He wrote on a wide range of topics about many social matters. For example, he composed works based on personal and political satires, there is a place for the emotion of love in his writing. He also recounts political events in his poems. Among his world-famous poem included – To His Coy Mistress, The Thought in the Garden, Horatian Ode, and The Definition of Love. Marvell achieved a recognizable position in literary history after his death.

Structure of The Poem

            The poem “Thought In the Garden” has divided into nine stanzas each stanza has 8 lines. So the poem has a total of 72 lines. The Rhyme Scheme for each Octave is AABBCCDD.

The setting of The Poem

            The poem is set in a Garden which becomes the poet’s place of relaxation and lax, undisturbed by the hassles of society. It may be referred to as the “Garden Of Eden” as there are many bibliographical references throughout the poem.

The Theme Of The Poem

            The theme of the Poem is Natural Beauty, Poetic Imagination, and Spirituality. In the poem, Marvell seems to be a priest of Nature.

Explanation Of the Poem

            In the first stanza, the speaker criticizes men who Vainly amaze themselves by putting a garland of a few leaves and believing they have achieved victory, prestige, and reward for all their endless labour. But in fact, the true and complete pleasure lies in the complete Garland of Response in Nature. In the second stanza, he personifies the quietness and innocence in nature and speaks to them saying that he has, at last, found them after losing his time in men’s company. Then, he calls the trees “amorous” which means sexually playful or powerful.

            Expressing such an odd emotion and attachment to trees, he criticizes his lover for cutting trees to write their beloved’s name. In the fourth stanza, he claims that when men’s love and youth finish, they turn to nature. According to the speaker, even God did this, for example, Apollo and Pan changed their lover into trees. In the fifth stanza, he gives a very sensuous description of his physical pleasure. In the sixth, he argues that his pleasure is moreover mental. In the seventh stanza, he further claims that this pleasure has a spiritual aspect. He romanticizes how he feels, he feels as if his soul is singing and gliding from tree to tree as a bird.

            In the 8th or 9th stanza, the speaker compares himself with the lonely Adam in Eden, he also argues that being lonely was a second paradise for Adam, one the paradise which was the Garden of Eden and the second the paradise of being alone. In the 9th stanza, the speaker thanks God for creating a unique world of its own which is the garden. The garden or nature, in general, has its own time, the rush and hurry of society don’t apply here. Even the Sun seems to have its own sweet course. The Garden is therefore the only source of true physical, mental as well as spiritual satisfaction and ‘response’.

            As a metaphysical poem, Thought In The Garden uses conceit, wit, far-fetched images and allusions, and a dramatic situation. The balance of emotion and intellect is also another metaphysical feature. The argument about physical pleasure is twisted into the argument about mental pleasure. He argues, according to a medical philosophy, that his mind is an ocean of all the things and images of the real world. The poem is also a dramatic and emotional expression of personal feelings, which is at the same time balanced with witty and intellectual ideas and allusions. This Unified Sensibility also gives the poem another feature of Metaphysical poetry.

Conclusion

            Thus now we can say that the main theme of the poem Thought in The Garden is that peaceful life in nature is more satisfying than social life and human company. The poem is about someone who thinks that hanging out in nature is the coolest thing a person can do. So Thought In the Garden is one of the best poems by Andrew Marvell with the features of Metaphysical poems.

Are you struggling to keep up with your English Literature Coursework? Do you need detailed, customized English Literature Notes to help you better understand the texts you’re studying? “Look no further! Our customized paid notes will help you achieve your study goals quickly.

– Varsha Singh

The Garden Summary By Andrew Marvell | The Garden By Andrew Marvell | Thought In The Garden Read More »