Exploring The Waste Land
A comparison page linked from The Waste Land, Part III, line 264

Choruses from 'The Rock'
Lines 264-265

Eliot, although brought up as a Unitarian, really did not become religious until he became a member of the Church of England in 1927. In an effort to raise money for forty-five London churches Eliot was asked to write the verse chorus for The Rock, a pagent play. He may have been remembering The Proposed Demolition of Nineteen City Churches when he wrote these lines, part of his Choruses from 'The Rock' (1934):

I journeyed to London, to the timekept City,
Where the River flows, with foreign flotations.
There I was told: we have too many churches,
And too few chop-houses. There I was told:
Let the vicars retire. Men do not need the Church
In the place where they work, but where they spend their Sundays.
In the City, we need no bells:
Let them waken the suburbs.

Exploring The Waste Land
File name: uq264.html
File date: Sunday, September 29, 2002
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