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The waste Land, Eliot’s memorable poem, is found to have considerably affected the post war (the First World War) generation and influenced modern poets. The poem, first published in 1922, consists of five section - The Burial of the Dead, A Game of Chess, The Fire Sermon, Death by water and what the Thunder Said. As the poem appears to be extremely difficult, Eliot has provided his own Notes to it to explain many allusions, quotations and half quotations, used by him. 

As already indicated, the poem is difficult. But its general objective and criticism of life are quite perspicuous. Based on the legend of the Fisher King in the Arthurian cycle, who ruled over a land, laid waste by a drought, the poem presents modern London as an arid, waste land. The Waste Land itself is the land scape if barrenness and death, and brings out sharply, by symbolic methods, sterility and disruption in contemporary urban society. 

The Waste Land is a quite complex poem. It is a highly symbiotic work. Eliot has recourse to the extensive use of symbols to indicate degeneration and emphasise the the need for regeneration. The theme of the poem centres round perversity and sterility in modern urban life, the deadness and hollowness of Metropolitan life, particularity life in London. The poem reflects on the disillusionment of the post-war generation, and expresses, perhaps, much better then any other poem of the present time, the sense of depression and despondency that afflicted the whole generation after the First Would war. 

The Waste Land is a thoroughly complex poem. In its obscurity, erudition, abruptness, sarcasm and prosaic language, the poem attains one of the most recognisable landmarks of modernism in English poetry. In his use of poetic imagery and diction, Eliot has demonstrated a rare range and scope, and here his modernity is an established inspiration for subsequent generations. 

‘‘The Waste Land remains a great,  positive achievement and one of the first importance for English poetry. ’’ (F. R. Leavis). It has provided to be of immense significance in the English poetic tradition and its influence on subsequent English poetry is found enormous. Eliot’s range of technical intentions is mostly the cause of the tremendous influence of the poem. Moreover, Eliot’s prosaic images and rhythmical Language have also highly influenced the definite mark of modernity in Eliot, a master craftsmen, who remains a living inspiration in modern English poetry. 


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