Exploring The Waste Land
An allusion page linked from The Waste Land, Part I, line 2


Walt Whitman's poem When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd was written in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. president who was assassinated in mid-April 1865 at the time when lilacs were coming into bloom. Whitman's poem has the blooming of the lilacs each spring reminding him of his loss. While mentions of the lilac's flowers and its heart-shaped leaves are scattered throughout the poem, the opening stanza itself shows the allusion (the "great star" represents Lincoln).

Stanza 1:

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

You may wish to read When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd at this time as there are other allusions to this work noted on other allusion pages at this site.

See other Whitman allusions.

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T 136 - Whitman, Walt


L 42 - Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass
E-text at Bartleby.com
L 176 - Voices and Visions - a video series from The Annenberg/CPB Multimedia Collection
Voices and Visions, a video series from The Annenberg/CPB Multimedia Collection, explores the lives and works of 13 of America's most famous modern poets. This is the page for Eliot (links to Pound and Whitman are here too.)

Exploring The Waste Land
File name: aq002.html
File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002
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