Exploring The Waste Land
A note page linked from The Waste Land, Part II, line 99

Eliot's note for line 99

V. Ovid, Metamorphoses , VI, Philomela.

Commentator's note

Eliot refers us to Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book VI, the story about Philomela.

The Exploring The Waste Land site has a poetic translation of Ovid's The Story of Tereus, Procne, and Philomela from Metamorphoses, Book VI. It was

Translated into English verse under the direction of Sir Samuel Garth by John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, William Congreve and other eminent hands.

A synopsis of the story of Philomela from Greek mythology: Philomela and Procne were sisters. Procne married King Tereus. Tereus raped Philomela and cut out her tongue to silence her. Philomela weaved her story into some cloth to tell her sister what happened. Procne fed their son to Tereus as punishment. The sisters fled, with Tereus in pursuit. The gods intervened, changing Philomela into a nightingale, Procne into a swallow, and Tereus into a hawk (some versions of the myth vary this.) Philomela's name is also given as Philomel.

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T 92 - Ovid
T 121 - Tereus
T 84 - Nightingale - Old World

Exploring The Waste Land
File name: nq099.html
File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002
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