T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)
- Explain: "The poet must become more and more
comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to
force, to dislocate if necessary, language into his meaning"
"The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1910-11)
- What, for Eliot, is the "Waste Land"? In other
words, to what does the title of the poem refer?
- What did Eliot learn from the
- Explain the significance of the title.
- To whom is the speaker speaking?
- What women are being discussed in line 13?
- What literary technique is being employed in lines 15-22?
- Explain the question in lines 45-46.
- What shift has occurred between lines 86 and 87?
- Explain the final three lines.
Other Discussion Questions:
"The Love Song of J.
- Describe Eliot's "real
- Explain lines 31-34.
- How does one measure out one's life in coffee spoons?
- Explain the image in lines 57-58.
- What is the significance of the brown hair in line 64?
- Explain the image of the ragged claws.
- Explain the reference to John the Baptist.
- Explain the reference to Lazarus.
- Explain the reference to Prince Hamlet.
Another Poem to Consider:
"Journey of the Magi" (1927)
- Who are the magi?
- Is this a religious poem? Explain.
- How does this poem compare with Yeats's "Second Coming"?
- What is the significance of the old white horse (25)?
- Explain the speaker's question in lines 35-36.
- Explain: "this Birth was / Hard and bitter agony
for us, like Death, our death" (38-39)
- Explain the final four lines.