The Waste Land

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"The Waste Land" is a poem by T.S. Eliot. It was first published in 1922. After it had been printed in London in The Criterion, it was reprinted in New York in The Dial. Then it was published in the form of a book. The poem is dedicated to Ezra Pound, whom T.S. Eliot regarded as his friend and teacher of poetry. Ezra Pound was the first reader of the poem. He helped Eliot to make it shorter and better.

The poem is divided into five parts. They are: The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by Water and What the Thunder Said. It is composed of 433 lines.[1] The work is written in free verse[2] and blank verse.[3]

The poem is full of quotations from classic works of world literature. Eliot makes allusions to Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Oliver Goldsmith, Ovid, Charles Baudelaire, Gerard de Nerval and Thomas Kyd.[4] He uses different sources of inspiration, including both Christianity and Buddhism. The story is based on the Christian legend of the search for the Holy Grail.[5] The poem ends with the Sanskrit words Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata. / Shantih shantih shantih.[6]

"The Waste Land" is commonly considered to be one of the most important literary works of the 20th century. It has been translated into many languages. Czesław Miłosz, a Nobel Prize winner, translated it into Polish.[7]

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