T.S. Eliot Page

The Waste Land
The text of the poem with T. S. Eliot reading (and pronouncing) the foreign language passages.

The first page of The Waste Land manuscript, when the poem was titled "He Do the Police in Different Voices." (The Waste Land: A Facsimile and Transcript of the Original Drafts, ed. Valerie Eliot [New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971])

[comment to his brother, Henry Ware Eliot, Jr.]
"Various critics have done me the honour to interpret the poem in terms of criticism of the contemporary world, have considered it, indeed, as an important bit of social criticism. To me it was only the relief of a personal and wholly insignificant grouse against life; it is just a piece of rhythmical grumbling."

[from "Ulysses, Order and Myth," 1922 book review]
"In using the myth, in manipulating a continuous parallel between contemporaneity and antiquity, Mr. Joyce is pursuing a method which others must pursue after him. . . . They will not be imitators, any more than the scientist who uses the discoveries of an Einstein in pursuing his own, independent, further investigations. It is simply a way of controlling, of ordering, of giving a shape and a signficance to the immense panoroma of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history. . . . Instead of narrative method, we may now use the mythical method. It is, I seriously believe, a step toward making the modern world possible in art."


  • Eliot Reading The Waste Land
    You can hear him read the whole poem, in sections. From Harper Collins.

  • T.S. Eliot Poetry & Prose, 1917-1920
    (includes e-texts of "Prufrock" & The Waste Land

  • OnLine Concordence of Eliot's Poetry
    Searchable database. From University of Missouri.

  • Back to Syllabus