The Waste Land will never leave the small circle of literature. By narrow circle I mean those literary pieces that have caught the attention of readers from the beginning. Almost a hundred years have passed since the publication of the 20th century masterpiece. Then it was cool; it’s cool now; it will stay fresh forever. The chants that begin in the cruellest month of April and continue until the dry rainy season are still related to today’s human society. Eliot, of course, knew how to create a masterpiece forever!
The Waste Land follows the course of negative preaching. From the beginning, the poem takes you to the darkest side of the world. The darkness of the world is the creation of human society, nothing more. The darkness was visible around the time Eliot wrote the poem. The darkness has deepened today, amidst industrial and material developments. Keeping pace with our world moving forward, darkness will overtake sunlight … when will it happen?
Eliot wept over the degeneration of human society, the loss of human emotions, the futility of war, and the collapse of faith. You must have expected an improvement in the near future. However, the Hiroshima disaster in World War II dashed their hopes! What do modern war and terrorism cases prove? People don’t want to irrigate the wastelands. Human society has developed a mechanism to enjoy cactus flowers and despise the freshness of the rose.
What is a poet to do? Poetry had to serve both delight and wisdom. However, it seems that people have forgotten to draw the lessons from poetry. They take it just for pleasure. In this context, the wasteland must have served the world like the howl of a wounded poet! Human society could not understand Eliot’s prudence. Intelligent social animals failed to adapt Shantih Shantih Shantih’s message. They could not understand the wisdom of Eliot, who prescribed to the world the panacea in the form of da, datta, and dayadhvam.
I am in a quandary with the poem The Waste Land. Was Eliot really capable of creating the masterpiece? Or he simply understood that this world has gone mad and would never get back on track and beat the drum of degenerating humanity. Either way, we should accept our defeat at the hands of Eliot. Will the world ever change?