Exploring The Waste Land
An allusion page linked from The Waste Land, Part V, line 363


Here we will not discuss an allusion but a possible source for some lines in The Waste Land. Elsewhere we have seen possible allusions to Walt Whitman's poem When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd. In that poem (stanza 14) Whitman walks with two unseen companions and death comes "gliding near with soft feet."

Then with the knowledge of death as walking one side of me,
And the thought of death close-walking the other side of me,
And I in the middle as with companions, and as holding the hands of companions,
I fled forth to the hiding receiving night that talks not,
Down to the shores of the water, the path by the swamp in the dimness,
To the solemn shadowy cedars and ghostly pines so still.


Come lovely and soothing death,
Undulate round the world, serenely arriving, arriving,
In the day, in the night, to all, to each,
Sooner or later delicate death.

Prais'd be the fathomless universe,
For life and joy, and for objects and knowledge curious,
And for love, sweet love--but praise! praise! praise!
For the sure-enwinding arms of cool-enfolding death.

Dark mother always gliding near with soft feet,
Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome?
Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all,
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come unfalteringly.

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: aq363.html
File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002
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