retyping the Wasteland and other Eliot thoughts


I typed the whole poem “The Wasteland” just to try to get nearer to the imagery. I did not want to understand exactly what it meant, moreso I wanted to recreate the beauty of the words on my computer, and see it again, and commit it to my finger’s memory, if nothing else.


One image, of many, that really stays with me is from p. 193, Collected Poems, 1909-1962:



“The Dry Salvages”


“Where is the end of them, the fishermen sailing

Into the wind’s tail, where the fog cowers?

We cannot think of a time that is oceanless

Or of an ocean not littered with wastage

Or of a future that is not liable

Like the past, to have no destination.


We have to think of them as forever bailing.”


My take:::


The fishermen. They seem like superpowers. They can tame the sea and cull her goods. Daily. The image of the boats and the men is so strong in my mind. I can see many boats in the sea, all working tossing and turning and somehow, living in a better way than anyone else in the world. They have the secret answer, in my mind, and I cannot rend the image apart any further to understand why they know all.


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