In search of The Waste Land

Reblogging this to celebrate the ‘cruelest month’!

Dark Age Voices

April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land…

So begins T S Eliot’s masterpiece, the Waste Land – that poem that was used to torture me during A level English and that I appreciate so much more as an adult! Eliot’s waste land is not just a physical one, but also a spiritual one – the waste land of civilisation, struggling to recover after World War One.

There are a number of influences in this poem, but perhaps the most obvious one and the one that most interests me is the Arthurian legend. King Arthur – Britain’s hero, the once and future king. Definitely a mythological character, but possibly also a historical one. His story has been told and retold down the generations with many associated legends. One of the most famous is the Grail Quest and the Fisher King, both of which feature in Eliot’s…

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