The Wasteland by T.S. Ellitot

1833 Words7 Pages
One of an author’s greatest tasks is to strike a balance between showing, and telling certain details of a story. Telling too little often leaves the reader lost and isolated, where revealing too much forces ideas into the reader head, leaving them feeling unsatisfied and uninspired. T.S Eliot’s modernist work, The Wasteland, is one of the most decorated pieces of modernist poetry that is skillfully constructed into shards of fragmented scenes that depict the decay of western culture. Before revision, the poem was more than twice the length it was by the time it reached publication. With the help of a dear friend and exceptionally talented editor Ezra Pound, Eliot was able to slim the poem down to a mere 434 lines. Where in the draft Eliot seems weary, and coats his poem in a security blanket of excessive descriptive detailed form, the revised version allows the reader to focus on the content of the piece with little distraction.
One of the more obvious changes that Eliot makes from the draft to his final publication has to do with structure. Structure can guide the reader in the direction that the writer intended; however it can also distract the reader and veer them away from the content of the piece. The section of the poem I am looking at was originally written as ten four lined stanzas following a near perfect ABAB rhyme scheme. The breaks in-between each stanza create harsh, disorientating pauses that are almost distracting to the reader. Eliot chooses to remove the

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