Continuing The Waste Land

Dear class,

 

Thank you for your thoughtful responses to the first three sections of The Waste Land. I’ve posted my notes about the entire poem on Blackboard. BE SURE to listen to my Mini-Lecture 2 and read my linked notes on The Waste Land, before you do your blog Response this week.

 

I am heartened to hear that listening to Eliot read his poem, and reading the Sounding Out! piece, helped you understand the poem better and appreciate the importance of intonation and performance in the experience of reading and interpreting poetry. If you enjoy live poetry readings, consider attending one on Thursday, February 16th, at 7 p.m. at the Levan Humanities Center at Bakersfield College. Local poets will be presenting the work of seven great poets born in the Central Valley, including Robert Duncan, Gary Soto, Juan Felipe Herrera, Frank Bidart. I will be there. Also, another poetry reading is coming up April 7th, with Brandon Constantine. He will be reading at 7 p.m. in Walter Stiern Library’s Dezember Reading Room, as part of the PG&E Writer-in-Residence and the California Writers Series.

 
This Friday by 10 p.m., you will post your first recording on our class site on Blackboard. You will do this on the Discussion board, under the “Recordings” tab. (See the guidelines on the Course Calendar on the Syllabus.) Just about any file format is fine; WAV files and MP3 files are common. Try using Audacity (a free open-source program you can download and install) or Clear Record, an iPhone app that costs $1.99, or any other program you are familiar with. If you have trouble recording and/or uploading the file, just let me know.

 

Thus far, I have not mentioned Eliot’s biography much. Though it is quite possible to offer a personal, biographical interpretation of the poem, as Eliot himself sometimes did—“a personal grouse against life”—it is very significant for literary history that, in “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” he set forth an influential argument that art is impersonal, “an escape from emotion.” Here he was arguing, implicitly, with the Romantic poet William Wordsworth, who said that, in “Preface to the Lyrical Ballads,” “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility[.]” Eliot’s seeming opposition to personal emotion in poetry led many poets after him to avoid the explicitly personal in their work, until Confessional poetry emerged, partly as an open rebellion against Eliotic impersonality.

 

As you conclude The Waste Land this week, and read William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, here are the questions I’d like you to respond to.

 

1) In Section V, “What the Thunder Said,” where are we, geographically and temporally? What seems to be happening in this section, and how does it relate to at least one earlier section of the poem? Cite and analyze evidence to support your answer.

 

2) How can Williams’ “Spring and All” be read as a response to The Waste Land, formally and thematically? Cite and analyze evidence from “Spring and All” to support your answer.

 

3) Note that while “Sunday Morning” was written before The Waste Land, it shares some of its Modernist concerns about a crisis of faith. Try to write a one-sentence summary of each stanza. How do the questions in “Sunday Morning” set forth an argument between the speaker and the woman he describes? What are her concerns, and how does he respond? Analyze a few of your favorite lines to illustrate your answer.

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77 Comments

  1. In part five of The Waste Land seems to take place in the Ganga where the thunder is happening. Other places are mentioned briefly “Jerusalem Athens Alexandria / Vienna London” (l. 374-375) but it does not seem to be the main places of the stanza. This part of The Waste Land seems to be about the end of the world. Christ is also mentioned in this stanza but there is not a resurrection “He who was living is now dead” (l. 329). Then Elliot describes thunder. I think the fifth part relates to part one and three because they both talk about the “Unreal City”. In the first and third part it just says the “Unreal city” but in the fifth part it mentions cities (quoted earlier) and then says “Unreal” which I thought was really interesting.

    I think “Spring and All” can be seen as a response because of how The Waste Land is about the end of the world and barren land while “Spring and All” seems to pick up after that. Its still not totally full of life but slowly life is starting to grow again, “The profound change / has come upon them: rooted, they / grip down and begin to awaken.”

    This is my attempt at summarizing “Sunday Morning”:
    Stanza 1: It is Sunday morning and a woman is thinking about the sacrifice of Christ.
    Stanza 2: She then begins to question her faith.
    Stanza 3: This stanza seems to be comparing Christ to Jove.
    Stanza 4: The woman thinks of birds and seems to be satisfied with nature.
    Stanza 5: She then describes death as being beautiful and a part of life.
    Stanza 6: Death is then talked about being a form of change but still beautiful.
    Stanza 7: Then death is looked at how it would be with change, and Earth is described.
    Stanza 8: The world would be chaotic without religion.
    The woman is thinking about Christ and is questioning her faith. She questions her faith in the poem, which she is given answers to at the end. The answer is that without faith the world would be full of chaos. She is concerned about the afterlife and death. The speaker responds to her fears by telling her that there are no spirits around Christ’s tomb and that, again, the world would be chaotic without religion. I think the speakers answer is in the last stanza, A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine / Is not the porch of spirits lingering. / It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay. / We live in an old chaos of the sun, / Or old dependency of day and night, / Or island solitude, unsponsored, free, / Of that wide water, inescapable.”

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    1. Hello Marisole, I really enjoyed your sentence comprehensions of the stanzas. They were kind of spot on in my eyes, and made me open my eyes a bit to see where you may have saw that. I really did like your reply, and thought you did very good. I also got the feeling that in the poem it was making us feel as if there is no religion that there is only chaos.

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    2. I really enjoy reading your response about these poems. You did a great job in comparing both of the poems. I agreee that Waste Land and Spring and All are a comparison about the cycle of growth in the land. I understood what you were explaining.

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  2. Temporally is the easiest to explain since we seem to be in a dystopian wasteland without water, but, globally, it appears the speaker is everywhere at once: “Falling towers/ Jerusalem Athens Alexandria/ Vienna London” (373-375). In the beginning of “What the Thunder Said,” the speaker is clearly describing a specific place, which might be all of Earth. This person may be omniscient or have enough information from many places to assume this is what life has now come to: “Who are those hooded hordes swarming/ Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth” (368-369). The overall feeling of this part is isolation, which can be connected to most other parts of the poem; however, I will be referencing Part Three with Tiresias and the nameless woman (215-256). Though Tiresias feels a connection with the woman, the woman relishes her isolation since she is unaware of Tiresias’s existence. The speaker in Part Five does not relish their isolation, but the overall feeling is present in both parts.
    “Spring and All,” written by William Carlos Williams, is the aftermath of “What the Thunder Said.” Williams is describing the end of Winter and beginning of Spring, which can seem like a wasteland if the person looking doesn’t know what to look for: “Lifeless in appearance, sluggish/ dazed spring approaches/ They enter the new world naked.” Overall, the speaker seems to be trying to calm an unknown person down by pointing out life is resilient and will come back consistently, even after experiencing a complete disaster.
    “Sunday and All” summary:
    I. On a Sunday, a woman thinks on Jesus’s sacrifice
    II. The woman continues to think about her religion and how it affects her.
    III. The speaker is wondering whether her religion shall be enough to honor her God and save Earth’s people.
    IV. The speaker seems to be thinking on whether there is a heaven and if it will compare to Earth.
    V. She decides that religion lies within herself.
    VI. This stanza seems to be lamenting the perfection of heaven and how perhaps it is not a great thing.
    VII. There is a brotherhood in heaven, unlike on Earth.
    VIII. There is a feeling of admiration of the chaos on Earth that might not be in heaven.
    The speaker is at odds with the woman because she is questioning her faith, which seems to lead to the speaker questioning their faith. She is primarily concerned with her death and what heaven is like, questions that are left mostly unanswered by the speaker as they respond with “Death is the mother of beauty.” The speaker tries to shut the woman’s questions down but ends up questioning themselves. Towards the end, especially within the last stanza, the speaker is admiring the beauty on Earth as though they might miss it when they are in heaven: “Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail/ Whistle about us their spontaneous cries.”

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    1. I agree that the speaker is admiring Earth and how beautiful it is. I did not think of the speaker missing the beauty of Earth when in Heaven but that is really interesting and I can see how you came to that conclusion. I did not think of it that way but it is a really great point.

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    2. I really love your analysis of both “Spring and All” and section 5 of “The Wasteland”, mostly because I completely agree with your assumptions but even more for the capability to relate these assumptions so simply and concisely. I have a terrible tendency to ramble so it was weird seeing similar thoughts being relayed so eloquently. but beyond all my admiration for a simplicity that seems to escape my own posts, I also really enjoyed your recognizing of the Woman speaker’s power in “Sunday Morning”; again, in my own but plenty other of posts in this blog is a trend of glossing over her as a poser of questions, a prop for the narrator to impose his own long decided wisdom. This is the first post proposing the idea of her as catalyst for change and action, with her ability to maybe get the seemingly stern and set speaker to ask questions of his own, something I had never actually considered. Because his references to ancient gods and ease in answering all of her questions, the idea of having such a knowledgeable character actually question himself seems improbable(especially when propped next to another character full of question and indecision). However, it seems that can be chalked up mostly to his spoken confidence making it easy and rather silly now that I think of it, to try and set him aside as something without dimension or the ability to have fault(doubt, in this case) of his own.

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    3. I agree that the location of What the thunder said is a dystopian world without water, but it also serves as a new beginning as Spring and All would suggest. About you stanza summaries, I felt you really spot on with that they were trying to say, and how the speaker was trying to help the woman with her questions but ends up doing so as well. Great response.

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    4. Reading your respond it was really well detailed. I agree that Spring and All does talk about the beginning of Spring. It really had me thinking when you describe that Spring and All was the after math of what the Thunder said. Your description of it was really agreeable.

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    5. I needed to read “Sunday and All” multiple times and I still feel that Stevens could be arguing for or against formal religion. I felt he was going back and forth until around stanza five. When he says, “Is there no change of death in paradise?” I immediately thought he was arguing that heaven can’t exist without some form of pain. How are we supposed to appreciate paradise without knowing Hell? In the entire poem it feels that he attaches Earth to heaven and basically tells people that your salvation is up to you and your actions here. You can make your own life a paradise if you choose to. I enjoyed your mention of the speaker questioning themselves, too. This wasn’t something I had considered and it solidifies my belief that he’s going back and forth with his own ideals throughout the poem.

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    6. Your comment about the speaker being everywhere at once in The Wasteland was quite insightful and really helped me reconsider what is occurring in that section. Eliot can be so obscure with his wording that sometimes it’s easy to get lost in literal and figurative location. I suppose this sort of thing can happen in all kinds of postmodern literature.

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  3. 1. In Section V of The Waste Land, it seems to take place in India around the river Ganga, according to the footnote on page 18 of the text. While it does mention other cities like, “Jerusalem Athens Alexandria / Vienna London,” it only mentions the thunder happening around Ganga. The way Section V plays out, makes it seem like the end of the world or possibly a result of the apocalypse happening. I think Section V connects to the rest of The Waste Land through the use of the word “Unreal.” In both Section I and Section III, they both use the word “Unreal City.”

    2. “Spring and All” seems to pick up where The Waste Land left. It does mention, “stuff of bushes and small trees / with dead, brown leaves under them / leafless vines-,” but it also mentions Spring and roots being awakened that suggests hope in a brave new world that comes from the end of The Waste Land.

    3. Summarizing each stanza from “Sunday Morning”:
    Stanza 1: It’s Sunday morning and a woman is thinking about Christ at her home, instead of being at church.
    Stanza 2: She then questions her faith and wonders why she can’t think of other things.
    Stanza 3: This stanza seems to compare Christ to Jove, or Zeus for those of us who know the mythology.
    Stanza 4: The woman then looks to see birds flying and enjoying nature and thinks about how happy she is to that.
    Stanza 5: She then says about how change is death and it brings something new and beautiful.
    Stanza 6: The it appears the poet is speaking and remarks about how if there were no death or change then life would be uninteresting.
    Stanza 7: This stanza mentions a group of men dancing in circle who live in the present and don’t worry about the future.
    Stanza 8: Without religion the world would be a chaotic mess.
    The woman’s concerns seem to be faith and why should she care if she thinks of other things on Sunday. The speaker believes that religion, any type of religion, is necessary because without it the world would go mad. The woman also seems to be concerned with death but the speaker responds with, “Death is the mother of beauty, mystical, / Within whose burning bosom we devise / Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.” I believe it means that death is not something we should, but rather welcome it like an old friend when the time comes.

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    1. I agree that Spring and All seemed to pick up where The Waste Land Left off. The Waste Land ended with the impending storm and Spring and All reveal the results. This revealed that new life and beauty can come after a harsh storm. I also agree that the woman in Sunday Morning is having a crisis of faith which is a common theme in many of the works we have looked at so far.

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    2. I completely agree with you on that the “Spring and All” seems to pick up right where “The Waste Land” ends.Both stories are contrasting the end of the world, with the beggining of new life. In the “Sunday Morning” analysis I like how you supported your claim with a great quote to completely sum up what you were discussing. Great Job!

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    3. I came to the same conclusion in “Sunday Morning,” that the world would be a chaotic mess without religion. I like the idea that the speaker is saying that we should welcome death and not fear it. That is a really good point that I did not exactly get when reading the poem but I can see it that way now.

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    4. I agree with you. I think that the poem “Spring and All” seems to be the continuation of The Waste Land. “Spring and All” mentions the creation of the new world which was destroyed in The Waste Land. I also concluded that the speaker thought religion was necessary in order for the world to not live in chaos. I liked your interpretation of the quote from “Sunday Morning.”

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    5. I really enjoyed reading your interpretation of “Sunday Morning.” I didn’t make the connection of religion in relation to the entire world and how it is needed for sanity. I do agree with your final conclusion, that death is something that should be welcomed.

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  4. 1) In the beginning of section V, “What the Thunder Said,” the setting is Europe, in its current state. It is desolate and projects a spiritual darkness that emphasizes the crisis of faith theme of modernism. The lines “here is no water but only rock/ Rock and no water and the sandy road…” are an illusion to the concept of a wasteland which Eliot is using as a representation of spiritual regression and lack of faith. The scene then shifts to the Ganges in India, and the illusion of high spirituality is expressed through the Hindu fable that Eliot is referencing. This section is similar to others in that it represents the crisis of faith that Eliot is depicting. The theme is prevalent throughout the poem, but by altering the setting mid-section it appears that Eliot is trying to insinuate that positive spirituality is out there and to be patient for it to return to Europe.
    2) Williams’ poem “Spring and All,” can be read as a response to Eliot’s “The Waste Land” because it represents a birth, or renewal of something. While Williams is using the theme of new spring and nature’s rebirth, it concept of rebirth can be applied to the renewal of faith. While Eliot’s poem describes a desolate image of crisis of faith, “Spring and All” describes the glorious bloom of new life. Williams is stating that this rebirth of faith is possible as it is derived from the crisis of faith that is described by Eliot. “They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all save that they enter. All about them the cold, familiar wind-…” This line reinforces the idea that while there has been a crisis of faith felt during this time in Europe, it can from itself grow into a rebirth of faith. Through the knowledge of the crisis of faith the rebirth of faith may come.
    3) Summary of the individual stanzas as follows:
    I. A woman in her dressing gown is contemplating her faith during the later hours of a Sunday morning over coffee.
    II. The woman is conceptually confronting aspects of her faith, “why should she give her bounty to the dead.” “Divinity must live within herself.”
    III. The stanza is responding to the core concepts of sacrifice for faith, asking if it is worth giving up.
    IV. The speaker is expressing that nothing endures more than having faith.
    V. Event with faith there are still questions that will attempt to strain one’s faith.
    VI. The stanza is asking why one would not believe in the possibility of a paradise.
    VII. Those who forsake faith in pursuit of personal delights will suffer for it.
    VIII. The last stanza expresses an idea that there is freedom in reinforcing ones faith, rather than succumbing to a crisis of faith.
    The woman in the poem is clearly questioning her faith, wondering if a heaven does truly exist. She is met with the response that it is essential to endure test of faith and stay strong in that faith by the second speaker. While she is questioning her faith and beliefs the responses she receives question her for her crisis of faith.

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    1. I got the impression that part five of The Waste Land took place in Ganga because it is the only place that they talk about the thunderstorm.

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    2. I think it’s most likely true that “Spring and All” is similar to section 5 of Eliot’s poem because both settings are described as desolate, dangerous, and sparsely habited places. They both make allusions to new life and the necessity to adapt to it.

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    3. I really like your reading of “What the Thunder Said” because that’s the impression I got of the whole poem, that Eliot was worried people were moving away from the greatness of their predecessors. This part seems to echo that idea, particularly the religious desolation, because of the third figure seen walking with the two people out of the corner of his eye, unseen when he turns to look fully. That person can be read as a Jesus Christ figure.This idea would also connect to “Sunday Morning” with the woman questioning her faith.

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    4. I like your mentioning of Eliots theme of “spiritual darkness” being one of the common modernist writer. I agree with “Spring and All” being seen as a reply to the Wasteland as a happier continuation of section five though it deals less with character and more with nature. Reading the second poem reminded me of the Pagan men at the end of section five who worshipped the sun, so perhaps the heavy reliance on metaphors of the natural and common rebirth related in Spring and All are even further connected by those characters and the woman’s love for natures beauty. Perhaps Spring and All still being a continuation involves another character switch not totally unfamiliar in wasteland, Spring and All being spoken from the mouth and seen in the eyes of a naturalist like the questioning woman or maybe even one of or one alike the pagans at the end of section 5.

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    5. I completely agree with your reading of “Spring and All.” I could definitely see the element of hope that was brought in and it seemed way more present in that poem as opposed to Eliot’s.

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  5. In Section V, “What the Thunder Said,” the landscape is very dry. He mentions “Here is no water but only rock. Rock and no water and the sandy road” (331-332). Geographically, he mentions Jerusalem, Athens, Alexandria, Vienna, and London (374-375). He also mentions The Ganges River in India where there is thunder taking place. The section seems to be talking about the end of civilization. He says “The awful daring of a moment’s surrender which an age of prudence can never retract. By this, and this only, we have existed which is not to be found in our obituaries” (403-406). This section relates to the earlier sections I and III where he mentions the “Unreal City” and the “London Bridge.”
    Williams’ “Spring and All” can be read as a response to The Waste Land because it seems to be talking about a new beginning. The end of one life and the beginning of another. Williams mentions “lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches-they enter the new world naked” (14-16). Also, at the end of the poem he says “Still, the profound change has come upon them: rooted, they grip down and begin to awaken” (25-27).
    Summary of each stanza from “Sunday Morning”:
    Stanza 1: It is Sunday morning and a woman is thinking about the death of Jesus.
    Stanza 2: She begins to question her Christian faith and begins to see nature as something divine.
    Stanza 3: She compares Jesus Christ to Jove.
    Stanza 4: The woman looks at the birds flying and she thinks about how happy nature makes her feel.
    Stanza 5: She thinks about how death ends one thing but it also brings something new to replace it.
    Stanza 6: If there wasn’t death or change, paradise would not be interesting.
    Stanza 7: A circle of men are dancing and chanting to the sun.
    Stanza 8: Without religion the world live in chaos.
    The woman questions her faith. She convinces herself that she doesn’t need religion if she has nature. The speaker responds by saying that religious faith is necessary in order to live in peace. In the last stanza the speaker’s to the woman is “The tomb in Palestine is not the porch of spirits lingering. It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay. We live in an old chaos of the sun, or old dependency of day and night, or island solitude, unsponsored, free.”

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    1. Hi Aileenabundiz, Reading your response makes me want to go and change mine! It made me reread part of the poem, so I can see where you saw what you saw. Once I did that it made me see how bad and ugly they saw the world at the time. It may have been more obvious, but for myself I find poems pretty hard to understand. This was awesome.

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    2. To Aileenabundiz-
      I thought it was ironic the woman in “Sunday Morning” didn’t see the hypocracy of shifting her faith from one thing to another. For example, she considers to stop believing in god, in favor of more control in her life. Either way, she continued to believe in something, even if she was pagan. She believed in the unknown, and the inevitable path of nature. She leaves one philosophy just to pick up another, and because of this she is more unsure of herself than she was to begin with.

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    3. I think the last line from “Sunday Morning,” is a reference the beginning when she believes she is seeing ghosts in the beginning of the poem. The last reassures her that she sees no ghosts. And I think everyone has made the connection between Section I, III, and V with the use of the word “Unreal,” which is probably referring to a city. Any who, I like your answers and the quotes you chose to use.

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    4. I definitely agree with your response of What the thunder said and Spring and All which was pretty much the easier part of reading. About the your summaries of Sunday Morning, I like how it connects to what the first two poems suggested that the end of one thing (death) only leads to something fresh and new as stanza 5 and 6 would suggest. Great response.

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  6. In part five of The Waste Land, it seems to take place in the Ganga where the thunder is happening. Then there are other places that are mention like Jerusalem Athens Alexandria, Vienna London, but none of these places is where it is taking place at. It mentions the thunder in Ganga which makes me believe that’s where it is taking place. It seems to be about the end of the world, Christ is mention but not resurrection mentioned.
    Stanza 1- On a Sunday a woman thinks on Jesus’s sacrifice
    Stanza 2- the women continues to think about her religion and how it affects her.
    Stanza 3- the speaker is wondering whether her religion is enough to honor her God and save Earth’s people.
    Stanza 4- The speaker gives the impression to be thinking whether there is a heave and if it will compare to Earth.
    Stanza 5- The women decides that religion is within her.
    Stanza 6- The stanza is asking why one does not believe the possibility of paradise.
    Stanza 7- It mentions a group of men dancing in a circle who live in the present and don’t worry about the future.
    Stanza 8- Without religion the world would be a disordered mess.
    The women is question he faith. During the poem, she questions her faith and then at the end of the poem her questions are answered. The answer is that without faith the world would be a disorderly mess. She is also concerned about life after death, what heaven is like. The speaker responds with “Death is the mother of beauty.” In the last stanza, the speaker admires the earths beauty.

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  7. 1. In the section “What the Thunder Said,” the fifth section of The Wasteland, it seems as though the apocalypse has occurred. This seems to be the crux of the poem, where all the crises and fears Eliot has been hinting at through the previous sections have finally come to pass, leaving behind the titular Wasteland, where there “is no water but only rock.” Where exactly the stanza takes place, explicitly seems to be in India, around the river Ganga. Other cities such as “Jerusalem Athens Alexandria / Vienna London,” are mentioned, though the proverbial Thunder seems to be localized solely around the river.

    2. The poem “Spring and All” certainly can be read as a response to Eliot’s “Wasteland.” It represents the polar opposites of what Eliot’s desolate poem details. Where “The Wasteland” focuses on the drab and desolate nature of life and humanity, and seems to center around a crisis of faith, Williams uses the theme of rebirth to put a much more optimistic spin on the situation, highlighting the beauty of new life as we “enter the new world naked” and “grip down and begin to awaken.” Rather than let the crisis of faith overcome them, Williams uses this crisis as a vehicle for rebirth and progress in humanity.

    3. “Sunday and All” Stanza summaries:
    1. On a Sunday, a woman contemplates the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
    2. The woman questions her faith and what it has to offer her in return for all she gives. This echoes the theme of crises of faith began in “The Wasteland.”
    3. This stanza continues the questioning of whether sacrificing yourself for faith is worth the pain and struggle it can induce.
    4. Despite this questioning, the woman seems to reinforce in this stanza that nothing endures quite so much as faith.
    5. However, despite this enduring ideal, there will always be tests of one’s faith, questions that go unanswered and prayers that go unheard.
    6. The woman explores the ideas of paradise in death, seeming to embrace the beauty and nature of death as a natural occurrence in the cycle of life.
    7. Earthly temptations such as lust and false idols can get in the way of faith; this is something with which all humankind will struggle.
    8. In the closing stanza, it seems that the woman has come full circle to fully embrace her faith and the beauty that the belief in an eventual paradise in the afterlife will bring her.

    The poem “Sunday and All” describes a woman caught in a crisis of faith. She asks the speaker “Why should she give her bounty to the dead,” why she should devote her life and time to something that is intangible, while around her the tangible world has many delights to offer. She understands that faith endures, but wonders about what comes after, asking “when the birds are gone, and their warm fields return no more, where then is paradise?” Like anyone else she is scared of the eventuality of her own mortality and wonders what awaits her after death. But by the closing stanza of the poem, it seems as though the speaker has shown the woman that there is beauty in faith, “in the isolation of the sky,” and that even though there will be temptations and tests of her faith, if she can endure, the natural beauty of the afterlife will await her after death.

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    1. These interpretations seem spot on with what I wrote for my response for this week’s blog entry. One thing I did not touch on that you have, however, is the overall question that the speaker is asking. You summarize that question exactly. I think Sunday and All is rather excellent, since it perhaps summarizing a crisis that religious followers will inevitably have once in their lives. Whether or not they come to the same conclusion as the speaker is something we cannot predict, however. Perhaps this makes the poem a lot more interesting than it already is.

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    2. A lot of people seem to believe the section V of the Waste Land has to do with the apocalypse which is probably what Elliot was going for when he was writing this poem. It’s also nice to see someone else see the talk of hope in “Spring and All.” I also like your interpretation of the 7th Stanza for “Sunday and All,” because I just read about men dancing but you took it to another level of understanding. Over all, I like your thoughts and enjoyed reading them.

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  8. In Section V, it appears that we are in the Ganga, although the speaker references “Falling towers Jerusalem Athens Alexandria” (373-374), during the apocalypse. The speaker mentions Jesus in line 328 that reads “he who was living is now dead” and again, I believe, in lines 359 through 365 where he describes a third person walking beside the two of them. This could be Jesus incarnate being present with the two of them in the desolate apocalyptic dryland. The speaker is thirsty and making note of the arid surroundings that accompany him, along with the apparent absence of water and life. Section V is connected to both sections I and III in that they all refer to the “unreal city”.
    Williams’ “Spring and All” can be read a response to The Waste Land because of its theme of new birth, resurrection, and new life. The poem describes newness in the sixth stanza that reads “Now the grass, tomorrow the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf One by one objects are defined-It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf”. This is a vast difference in the theme of The Waste Land which delves into the despair and depression that comes with losing faith, and having nothing but death in every surrounding place.
    A summary of each stanza of “Sunday Morning” is as follows:
    I. A woman thinks about her religious upbringing while having her morning coffee.
    II. The woman attempts to rationalize within herself the confines of her religion, and wonders why she cannot experience “divinity” in other tangible things.
    III. She is mulling over the very core principle that her Christian faith is built upon, and considering if she can depart from it.
    IV. She finds joy watching birds fly during the morning, but wonders where else she can find joy once they have all flown away.
    V. The woman considers death, and how it always brings about some sort of life, newness or fresh revelation.
    VI. She speaks of heaven and how death is the only way to bring about something so beautiful.
    VII. In heaven, there are the people who have experienced death to get there, and yet they are rejoicing and making melodies in unison to their God.
    VIII. Without religion, or something to believe in, the world and society would be most chaotic.
    Throughout the poem, the woman is questioning her faith and attempting to rationalize and make sense of something that can only be believed or not believed; because faith is just that. She poses questions to the speaker, and his response seems to put her questions and anxieties at ease by showing her that without something to believe in, the world would be in chaos. The last stanza of the poem outlines how the tomb of Jesus Christ is free from any lingering spirits; meaning that without Christ’s resurrection and his followers believing that he was the Messiah, the world would be far worse off than it is.

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    1. I agree with most of your summation of “Sunday Morning,” but I thought the woman was admiring the chaos of Earth rather than condemning a lack of religion. I read it as her wondering if the perfection of heaven would be enough when the beauties of Earth are found so often and ever-changing. In the end, I do believe she has come to accept her faith, but also understanding that she might miss Earth in her eternity.

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      1. I agree with you on this one. I think one of the main internal struggles the woman has is the intangible nature of the afterlife, and wondering why people waste their live’s on this beautiful planet hoping for some unknowable, nebulous thing somewhere after death. I think maybe in the end she does accept her faith, and hopes that the afterlife is a continuation of the beauty found on Earth that she already loves and appreciates so much.

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    2. I really like what you say about the dry-land and walking with Jesus. All of the items in this part of the poem alluded to very religious symbolism. I myself, a person of ordinary religious background, immediately began to interpret that as such. The rising-from-the-dead part as well as the parched-and-thirsty-in-need-of-water were definitely chock full of these metaphors: he being Christ and water being new life.

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  9. Section V of The Waste Land first speaks of distant mountains and a desert; “Here is no water but only rock / Rock and no water and the sandy road / The road winding above the mountains” (lines 331-333). The desert is in the middle of a drought, although there is obviously thunder in the mountains, signifying an imminent storm. Here Eliot writes of “a city over the mountains,” “in the violet air,” and “Unreal” City, which he referred to in nearly all the other previous sections (“violet hour,” and “Unreal City” in “The Fire Sermon”). There’s also mention of the London Bridge (Eliot says it is falling down in this section; in the first section he describes it in relation to the crowd) and tolling bells, which was also in the first section. The tolling bells indicate a passage of time.This relates to the earlier section (“A Game of Chess”) in which the bartender says, “Hurry up please it’s time,” meaning that it’s time, desperately, for rain in the wasteland, and thus time for rejuvenation and regrowth. Suddenly there’s a flash of lightning and then “a damp gust / Bringing rain” (lines 393-394) . The speaker then prays, chants, and sits upon the shore in reflection. Eliot also speaks of the “hooded hordes swarming / Over endless plains” that recall the image of the “crowds of people, walking around in a ring” in “The Burial of the Dead” (lines 368-369, 56).

    From the title alone we can infer that “Spring and All” follows The Waste Land; spring signals the coming of growth and fertility, and the rejuvenation and freshness that a wasteland lacks, or even rejects. Williams, in contrast to Eliot, offers an optimistic and personal approach in his poem. He evokes landscape images of trees, muddied fields, grass, and rooted awakening, while Eliot describes arid regions and smoggy London streets. Even Williams’s descriptions of color are more vivid and lively than Eliot’s, as “the violet hour” in The Waste Land matches to “the surge of the blue,” and “the reddish, purplish” foliage of “Spring and All” (lines 2, 9-10). The brevity of “Spring and All,” (as a poem or section) may also be interpreted as a response to Eliot’s longer, drawn out period of death and disenchantment. The entirety of “Spring” is forward-thinking, (particularly the last lines; “rooted, they grip down and begin to awaken”) while The Waste Land reminisces on times past, such as the speaker’s undeclared love in “The Burial of the Dead” (lines 26-27).

    By summarizing “Sunday Morning” with one sentence per stanza, I noticed that I had a clearer understanding of the poem than I had in my initial reading.
    I) A woman sleeps and dreams of death on a Sunday morning, with the smell of coffee and oranges in the peaceful air.
    II) The woman reflects on why she must resign to death and reflects on the divinity of life, the aforementioned facets of nature such as the oranges, the cockatoo, the rain, etc.; she concludes that these natural comforts also reside within her. From what I can tell, the woman is happy with her life and what it holds and clearly has a problem with the idea of death and an afterlife.
    II) The speaker tells of Jove, who at one point met with the earth; the speaker questions if this divinity is the closest we may reach in this world, which is currently torn and apathetic.
    IV) The woman reflects on the natural beauties of the spring and wonders if this spring is (or can ever be) eternal. She doesn’t understand how anything could compare to these beauties or what more there could be.
    V) The woman again reflects on death, which destroys beauty but also inspires it.
    VI) Again the woman asks, if the beauty of the afterlife (or the release of death) mirrors that of life, why should we be limited to the divinity of death?
    VII) The speaker tells of men who will sing in devotion to the divine, and summon God through this praise and the divinity of nature.
    VIII) The woman hears a voice that tells her that we are living in the uncertain and dying days of the earth and the cherished beauties upon which she has reflected.

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    1. I really enjoyed your response of “Spring and All.” I completely agree on the title almost explaining it all. The comparison of the two natures described there. and the talk of the more positive mood of Spring and All compared to The Waste Land.

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    2. Your connections for “What the Thunder Said” to all the other sections has helped me understand this poem more fully and makes those seemingly arbitrary transitions more concrete and with purpose. The idea that the whole poem is about one general wasteland is a concept that just clicked everything into place. Of course the thunder section would be the last one in this poem because of the much needed water this non-specific wasteland craves and your interpretation and analysis helped me understand that. Thank you.

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    3. I agree with your distillation of the work Sunday Morning. Your postulations on her state of mind are very spot-on. She struggles with a fear of death and with the unknown aspect of the divinity. I believe that how you drew allusions between the landscape and earth and its reflective analogizing to life and death were very astute. I believe you’re on the right track acknowledging the simplistic natural elements of this work.

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  10. 1) In Section V, “What the Thunder Said,” where are we, geographically and temporally? What seems to be happening in this section, and how does it relate to at least one earlier section of the poem? Cite and analyze evidence to support your answer.

    At first, the speaker appears to be inside the desert, where only “thunder of spring over distant mountains” and where there is “no water but only rock”. This is further solidified by the presence of sand, where the speaker says their feet are deep within the sand. However, in this titular waste land is a road that leads to five cities, described as “unreal”: Jerusalem, Athens, Alexandria, Vienna, and London. When the speaker sees this cities however, he notes that there are “cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air”, along with “falling towers”. This denotes that not only are these five cities being destroyed in this waste land, but also being recreated as well. This symbolism of rebirth is reinforced by the presence of life returning, “a cock [standing] on the rooftree”, and a flash of lightning soon “bringing rain” to the desert. Later in the poem, we are then transported to Ganges, located in India. Contrary to the desert that we were introduced with, we are instead met with a jungle that seems to be situated near the sea. While it could be implied that Ganges can perhaps be the future where this deserted land is changed to a jungle, India is distinctively far away from cities like London and Vienna. Therefore, this rain perhaps seem to be both global and occurring at the same time as the unreal cities’ destructions and rebirths.

    2) How can Williams’ “Spring and All” be read as a response to The Waste Land, formally and thematically? Cite and analyze evidence from “Spring and All” to support your answer.

    If “The Waste Land” can be seen as the destruction of the world, then “Spring and All” can be seen as the birth of a new one. As opposed to the “dry grass singing” in The Waste Land, the grass instead “are defined… rooted, they grip down, and begin to awaken”. Along with that, the presence of water and a sunny day appears in “Spring and All”, as opposed to what might be a bleak dark sky in “The Waste Land”.

    3) Note that while “Sunday Morning” was written before The Waste Land, it shares some of its Modernist concerns about a crisis of faith. Try to write a one-sentence summary of each stanza. How do the questions in “Sunday Morning” set forth an argument between the speaker and the woman he describes? What are her concerns, and how does he respond? Analyze a few of your favorite lines to illustrate your answer.

    I. A woman wakes up on a Sunday morning, daydreaming about the “holy of hush of ancient sacrifice”, perhaps Jesus Christ.

    II. The woman meditates, taking in her surroundings while questioning her place in the world.

    III. The woman thinks more about Jesus Christ and his struggle, in both remorse and confusion, questioning her faith.

    IV. The woman watches birds fly in the day sky, reminiscing about their happiness and hers once they disappear. Seems to be a statement of freedom.

    V. The woman thinks about death, and how it could bring forth life anew after departure.

    VI. A woman thinks about heaven and questions why one could only find paradise in death.

    VII. The woman imagines heaven, describing how they are all in perfect unison (“a ring of men/ Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn”) about their devotion to God.

    VIII. The woman concludes that without something to follow or believe in, the world would be back in the old chaos before religion existed.

    Throughout the poem, the woman has a crisis on her faith and whether God will truly give his final reward, Heaven, to those who are faithful. She weighs in whether or not there is true happiness in the world when she sees birds flying away in the sky, whom perhaps can fly to paradise like the angels above could. She concludes that happiness could only be found in death, since the only way to access God’s paradise is through death’s gates. However, at the end, she is reminded that in order to access Heaven, she must be faithful. Without religion, she is unable to find happiness and find her rightful spot in the world. This nicely concludes with the birds once more, as they return “at evening”, as they return “downward to darkness, on extended wings”, symbolizing that happiness can return and not fade away.

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    1. Your analysis of “What the Thunder Said” is really interesting. For some reason I didn’t initially connect the waste land itself and the unreal cities; I assumed that the speaker was imagining far-off places. I also read the destruction of the cities as more of a final act, rather than a precursor to their rebirth, so this puts the poem in a more optimistic light for me. I had a totally different interpretation of “Sunday Morning,” but I do think that the ending could indicate a return to faith.

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  11. Section V of The Waste Land seems to be set in a desert wasteland. The speaker comments that “Here is no water but only rock/ Rock and no water and the sandy road” indicating that there is no water in an area that one would desperately want some (330-331). The speaker also states that “sweat is dry and feet are in the sand” (336). There are many locations mentioned in the texts but the thunder seems to only be happening around Ganga in lines 395 to 399. As I read Section V of The Wasteland, I felt it continues the feeling of isolation seen in the rest of the poem. I think Spring and All can be read as a response to The Waste Land because it describes a new beginning and hope for the future whereas most of The Waste Land seemed to depict despair and longing for the past.
    Sunday Morning Summary
    I. A woman contemplates her religion over her breakfast
    II. The woman contemplates why she cannot feel divinity like all other things
    III. She tries to decide if it is worth it to remain in a religion that worships a God that cannot relate to her
    IV. The woman watches birds outsider her window and contemplates her own freedom from religion
    V. She thinks about the beauty in death
    VI. The speaker talks about Heaven and that only through death can one see such beauty
    VII. The speaker talks of men singing God’s praise in Heaven
    VIII. The woman concludes with fully embracing her faith because without it life would be dark
    The woman in Sunday Morning is struggling with her faith. In stanza three she seems to be having a hard time with the fact that she has not experienced her God in some tangible way. She asks “What is divinity if it can came/ only in silent shadows and in dreams?”. By giving examples of the beauty in the afterlife the other speaker seems to be telling her that she will have that tangibility eventually.

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  12. 1) In Section V, “What the Thunder Said,” where are we, geographically and temporally? What seems to be happening in this section, and how does it relate to at least one earlier section of the poem? Cite and analyze evidence to support your answer.

    In “What the Thunder Said” the scene seems to be located in a desert or somewhere that was faced with destruction and not much remains. “Here is no water but only rock. Rock and no water and the sandy road” this stanza almost seems like a Post-Apocalyptic or rural setting in the middle of the summer. This place must have been overtaken and all that is left is ruins and shambles of a would-be city. The rock that is described could be rubble, there would be no water because there is no source of life. ‘If there were water we should stop and drink / Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think / Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand / If there were only water amongst the rock” also depicts a desert setting in the middle of the summer. The narrator is holding on to his life by a strand and vocalized his desperate need for a water source.

    2) How can Williams’ “Spring and All” be read as a response to The Waste Land, formally and thematically? Cite and analyze evidence from “Spring and All” to support your answer.
    “Spring and All” seems like a direct response to “The Waste Land” because it incorporates vivid imagery in a much more light-hearted way. “Under the surge of the blue mottled clouds driven from the northeast a cold wind” is a direct contrast to the ominous and rigid tone of “The Wasteland” where everything seemed meek and gray. “Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches” may personify winter as an actual human being, dragging its way through the ending of a cycle or lifetime. “rooted, they grip down and begin to awaken” can be seen as nature awakening after a long and rigorous winter that was prevalent in “The Wasteland”.

    3) Note that while “Sunday Morning” was written before The Waste Land, it shares some of its Modernist concerns about a crisis of faith. Try to write a one-sentence summary of each stanza. How do the questions in “Sunday Morning” set forth an argument between the speaker and the woman he describes? What are her concerns, and how does he respond? Analyze a few of your favorite lines to illustrate your answer.

    Stanza 1: The speaker is observing a light-hearted surroundings, but the somber reality of the cold winter is quickly brought to the speaker’s attention.
    Stanza 2: The speaker is questioning spirituality and faith by stating why they must obey the rules of something so abstract and not easily spoken about.
    Stanza 3: Jove was created in an unorthodox manner which questioned all previous laws of the Universe, so we must accept and love the life in which we were created for.
    Stanza 4:She is aware of the nature around her-the birds, misty fields-and acknowledges that Spring is around the corner in which her scenery will change.
    Stanza 5: Death (Winter) has arrived and though it brings destruction of all things beautiful, there is still something admirable about it.
    Stanza 6: With all good things come temptation, sacrifice, and patience.
    Stanza 7: A group of men are worshipping worldly desires but this will take their faith and energy away from their faith.
    Stanza 8: Worshipping anything that is present on Earth will lead you nowhere; accept and love what is present on Earth and you will be rewarded in the afterlife.

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    1. The woman is asking rhetorical questions that have to do with her questioning her witness life on Earth and believing in her faith. She is asking questions that question the foundations of nature and how the Universe works. “Why set the pear upon those river banks / Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?” could be interpreted as why must the Earth be filled by so many temptations and opportunities to sin and worship was is not God. “But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields Return no more, where, then, is paradise” can be a direct question to how Paradise could ever compare to the beauty she witnessed on Earth. How can something that no one truly knows about, be better than what she sees for herself during her life is what she is struggling to comprehend.

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    2. Somehow, I’m surprised I didn’t manage to make the connection with the lack of water and thirst. It seems obvious now in hindsight. Water is typically seen as a symbol of life, and perhaps what we can take from this is because there is no water in this desert, all life perhaps has perished in this waste land the storm has created. What are your thoughts on the latter half of the poem, where the narration shifts to another part of the world?

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  13. In “What the Thunder said” it seems to be geographically taken place in multiple cities. Throughout the poem Eliot sites Jerusalem, Alexandria, Athens, and Vienna. Much of these locations referring to the symbolic destruction/rebuilding of each “unreal city” When I think back to sections one-three I find a connection between section 1 “The Burial of the Dead” where in line 60 he refers to the “unreal city” as London was rising in falling he refers to the rising and falling of cities in the final section using symbols such as thunder.

    I feel “Spring and All” can be a response to “The Waste Land” formally in that it refers to the title itself. After reading and listening to the lecture notes and reading the definition you gave us for “The Waste Land” I see a correlation between land itself being destroyed from the war. When Williams says “They enter the new world cold, naked…” I see the theme of fear which is prevalent throughout “The Waste Land.”

    Stanza 1: She fears the dark while there is still light.
    Stanza 2: Without divinity there is no life
    Stanza 3: With labor and pain Earth can be like Heaven.
    Stanza 4: Her desires are tested by her reality.
    Stanza 5: She seeks contentment through her dreams.
    Stanza 6: Death is inevitable.
    Stanza 7:With the men’s cries to the winds their heavenly desires will come true.
    Stanza 8: Without the cries of worship, death and life would be disastrous.
    Her concerns are lied within how divine her nature is. She is challenged with the divinity of life and death and the world she lives in. The speaker I feel knows their faith and is comfortable in every way with it. The concerns lie in how deep the woman’s faith is.

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    1. Hello, I agree with you about how section V mentions many different locations making it difficult to determine exacty what it is. However, I belive it takes place in Ganga because that is the only city where the author actually goes into details about the drought and city. In your response to “Spring and All” I think you make an excellent point in that both stories share the underlying theme of fear.

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  14. In section V, “What the Thunder Said,” takes place in Eastern Europe from the decay of Jerusalem, Athens, Alexandria, Vienna and London. Later on in the poem the location shifts to the “Ganga” which is a sacred river of India. Elliot opens this poem with a description of a decaying, apocalyptic world. He writes about the fall of Christ in lines 328-330, “He who was living is now dead, We who were living are now dying, With a little patience.” This suggests that Christ has died but hasn’t been resurrected yet. To summarize this poem is about the end of the world and the fall of humanity. As suggested by others this poem relates to the other sections of, “The Waste Land,” by mentioning “unreal” or “unreal city.” Elliot uses that word throughout his poems because it gathers all the aspects of what is happening in these places. The poem “Spring and All” can be read as a response to The Waste land by incorporating death and new life. In Elliot’s poems he mentions the end of the world and the decay of humanity and in William’s poem he tells the opposite by mentioning, “a cold wind,” of winter is leaving and the new life of spring is awakening. William’ way of combining winter (death) and spring (new life) brings a contrast to Elliot’s dark themes.

    Stanza 1 is about an unnamed women on Sunday morning thinking about Christ’s sacrifice he bestowed on us. Stanza 2 is about the women starts to question her faith and why she should believe. Stanza 3 is comparing Jesus Christ with Jove the ancient roman mythological God of the sky. Stanza 4 the unnamed women begins on telling us how she feels about nature and the reality of it. Stanza 5 the women tells us that death is beautiful because heaven is bliss to her. Stanza 6 talks about how death is paradise. Stanza 7 then talks about death as one with earth and sky. Lastly stanza 8 talks about how nature is chaotic but can give a different perspective on the world than religion. This unnamed women is concerned about her faith and she responds in the poem about the afterlife and the beauty of death. She says, “But in contentment I still feel
    The need of some imperishable bliss.” Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams And our desires.”

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  15. 1) In Section V, “What the Thunder Said,” where are we, geographically and temporally? What seems to be happening in this section, and how does it relate to at least one earlier section of the poem? Cite and analyze evidence to support your answer.

    1 A. The speaker begins by describing a place of mourning, the imagery closely resembling the crucifixion of Christ: ‘He who was living is now dead’ echoes the verse ‘I am he that liveth, and was dead’ (KJV Rev 1:18). This denial of the resurrection suggests an apocalyptic scene. The scene then shifts to the Ganges. The desolation here is reminiscent of the first part of the poem: his description of the landscape as ‘Rock and no water’ (Eliot, 36) reflects the landscape in Section I: ‘stony rubbish,’ ‘dry stone’ (23).

    2) How can Williams’ “Spring and All” be read as a response to The Waste Land, formally and thematically? Cite and analyze evidence from “Spring and All” to support your answer.

    2 A. “Spring and All” revisits Eliot’s spring theme. In The Waste Land, the world resists awakening, and April is ‘the cruelest month’ (Eliot, 23), whereas, in Williams’ poem, the world undergoes ‘profound change,’ which is open to interpretation.
    Formally, Williams emulates the syntax of Section I of The Waste Land in the stanza beginning ‘All along the rood the reddish…’ (Williams). The main difference between these passages is that Williams’ lines have an unfinished quality to them.

    3) Note that while “Sunday Morning” was written before The Waste Land, it shares some of its Modernist concerns about a crisis of faith. Try to write a one-sentence summary of each stanza. How do the questions in “Sunday Morning” set forth an argument between the speaker and the woman he describes? What are her concerns, and how does he respond? Analyze a few of your favorite lines to illustrate your answer.

    3 A. Stanza one describes a woman having breakfast in her nightgown on a Sunday morning, considering first freedom, then spirituality. Next, she questions the presence of God, and becomes more confident as she seems to realize that divinity is within herself. The third stanza is about the birth of myth. In the fourth, the woman feels close to heaven, though the moment will inevitably end. Next, she craves eternal bliss; the speaker responds with the necessity of death. The sixth stanza continues the speaker’s praising of death. The seventh stanza describes a pagan chanting ritual. The final stanza returns to the opening scene. Her phrase ‘casual flocks of pigeons’ (Stevens) contradicts much of how beauty is presented in the poem, as there is nothing overtly poetic about pigeons, yet they are cited here as a source of beauty.

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  16. Elliot is fairly blunt in his references to places such as Athens, Alexandria (city in Egypt first ruled by the Greek king Alexander the great), Vienna, and, of course, London (374-375). After this list, he recites the word “Unreal”, and capitalizes it in reference to line 207 in “The Fire Sermon”, further illustrating his disappointment in modern Europe. There are allusions to Christ such as “He who was living is now dead” (328), and pushes the idea of a modern, morally bankrupt society with “We who were living are now dying” (329). The use of more modern material such as “London Bridge is Falling Down” pushes the idea of a failing society. Because Elliot was a Catholic, it is no surprise that he would end The Waste Land with a multitude of biblical references and criticize Europe’s lack of morality and religion as a cause.
    Williams’ “Spring and All” is more hopeful in comparison to The Waste Land. I would say it is not even subtle in its criticism of Elliot’s work. “Beyond, the waste of broad, muddy fields” (5-6) paints a picture of something better past today. “Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches” (15-16) is essentially telling us that there is something new on the way. The dawn of a new age approaches and with it, hope for a better future. The poem ends with “profound change has come upon them” (26-27), as if to say that with each new generation there is an opportunity for renewal. The faults of the world and people of the present do not need to be continued, as Elliot so hopelessly describes.
    For “Sunday Morning”, the first stanza is a woman thinking about Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, but she still feels fear of damnation despite the possibility of salvation because of him. In the second stanza, she questions why she should be afraid at all. In stanza three, there is a comparison to Jove, a God of the sky, as if to say that religious stories have always guides for people. Stanza four has the woman questioning what paradise is, and if, like life, it ends. In stanza five, she mentions wanting “imperishable (eternal) bliss”, as if to say she still craves heaven, but death and corrosion are necessary for appreciating life. In stanza six she reiterates that death is the mother of beauty, as if to say that true paradise cannot exist without it. Stanza seven illustrates that death is inevitable, and people return to the earth and sky, a comparison of the paradise we can make on Earth to Heaven. The final stanza gives the idea that religion is one way of looking at paradise, and nature is another. “Or old dependency of day and night” (VII, 5) is the line that makes me think Stevens sees religion as old, but not necessarily irrelevant. There is the comparison to nature, “in the isolation of the sky” (VII, 12), showing that religion still encompasses the world around us, as chaotic as it may seem.

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  17. 1) In this poem I felt that this was way in the past due to how it talked about eveything around us being extremely filled with nature. This poem was really sad, since it talked about death and dying nature. It talked about the dead, and how we are dying just at our own time and pace. “He who was living is now dead, we who were living are now dying, with a little patience.” This reminded me of The Fire Sermon, since this one talk about a fathers death, and many more people around her. It also talked about how people have “Departed, have left no addresses… By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept..” I took this as this person know they have passed away, and there is no way she can see them again. It also talked about her greiving the deaths.

    2) “Spring and All” can be a response to The Waste Land, since it is also talking about the death of people and nature. Yet in this poem it seems as if it is talking about what has happened after “The Waste Land”. It says, “They enter the news world…”, and I took this as if they have gotten into heaven after they’ve died.

    3) The questions in “Sunday Morning” give us the thought about the woman hoping to feel the spiritual feeling of heaven. It also lets us know how she’s feeling, as well as what she is feeling in this time.
    Stanza 1: A woman trying to move on from the past, but it keeps coming back to her memory.
    Stanza 2: Her thinking about how ugly the world used to be, and her seeing the new beauty and changes to the new world.
    Stanza 3: A sacred boy was born without people knowing, but wasn’t loved or cared for like Jesus was.
    Stanza 4: A woman who enjoys watching the birds in the morning, yet gets sad when they leave for a long fly to “paradise”.
    Stanza 5: She says that death is beautiful, since there is no escaping it.
    Stanza 6: He doesn’t understand death or know why we have “death”, but he still finds it beautiful.
    Stanza 7: Naked men dance and chant to the skies in hope to be singing to the heavens.
    Stanza 8: There was a voice that said Jesus’s grave is simply a burial, not a spiritual place.

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  18. 1.) Geographically we are without a specific and recognizable setting, what we do know is that characters are on a long “sandy road” surrounded by “mountains without water” and the dry crackling static of “sterile thunder without rain”(342). It seems Eliot has finally given us the opportunity to experience the waste land; resembling something very close to purgatory, it is a place of the in-between. The violet hour hangs where its explorers do not sit or lie but stand amongst “tolling reminiscent bells… empty cisterns and exhausted wells”(383-5). I can’t seem to decide if the journey of the narrator is based more on his religious or political/social wondering. On one hand we have allusions to Christ as he describes the wasteland as a place where “He who was living is now dead”(328) and on the other he is traveling the “unreal” landscape bashed with images of fallen towers and cities like “Jerusalem, Athens, Alexandria, Vienna, London”(377). It’s important to note the adding of London which has never had a great fall but the fact that this was written after WW1 where world powers saw their greatest horrors and stood in a place of scary instability, which is why I personally feel the narrator is more concerned with contemplating the political social standing of his home while he lies in the wasteland and with this idea of world destruction stems ideas of the religious afterlife. To sum it up fully, the last section seems to be set in a time and place right before a climactic change. It reads like a hallucination, a dry mirage put on by the speaker as if he’s come to terms with the possibility of the world crumbling. The lines where he sings “London bridge is falling down” and his what if state wishing for rain (“drip drop drip drop”), only attest to that idea as they reek of desperation and delirium. While reading this section I was reminded mostly of his first. The lines “We who are living are now dying… with a little patience”(329-330) remind me specifically of Marie, who at the time of her speaking is old and does nothing but read and wither claiming that only “there” in the winter of her youth did she feel alive. Even if I wasn’t immediately reminded of the general “if you’re not living you’re dying” phrase, it seems both her and our travelers have in common an acceptance for tradition and life’s tendency of coming to an eventual end, opting to live theirs in death and destructions waiting room.
    2.) Noting the commonality of “The Waste Land” and “Spring and All”, they’re both set after WW1, without a specific place, and deal with similar transitional settings. “Life and all” can be taken as a rebuttal for the pessimism proposed in the wasteland, claiming that change does not always mean darkness but rather, rebirth. Described are stills of what happens just before a big event but what sets them apart are what the hints imply the impending happening to actually be. Where Eliot leans towards something close to Armageddon and entire desolation of a home, Williams describes a simple shedding where the bones or rather, the twigs of the world remain. Formally we see a lot of juxtaposition in both pieces. The comparing of life and death, dry and wet, clothes and naked is seen in both pieces. As if he were a writer of the romantic the speaker of “Life and All” focuses mainly on descriptions of nature. I think he chose his description of the world to be presented in metaphors about “upstanding bushes… with dead leaves all around them”(12) and stiff curled wild carrot leaves because with every example of (fallen) greatness or epic(though fleeting) time periods, nature lives through it all as the only everlasting constant. What’s most important to take from this however, is not consistency but rather see hope in resilience. Tree’s may fall and leaves may brown but nature as entity lives on and through it all, so perhaps as a rebuttle to the very sad wasteland aspect Williams means to inspire with the notion that though cities may fall and building may topple humanity when seen as an entity rather than short lived single personas will live on as the trees have: naked and new but alive nonetheless.
    3.) Stanza 1: Ditching church a woman contemplates the death of Christ while imagining herself traveling to Palestine to see visit his grave
    2: Skeptical of Christianity she wonders what organized religion can offer that divine experiences with nature couldn’t supplement while requiring far less “bounty” of hers
    3: Jove, an ancient God is compared with love and nature
    4: She wonders where paradise will be after her favorite birds fly off and he responds with a reminder that nature as a paradise has outlasted all other ideas or claims of paradise elsewhere
    5: The woman wants a bliss that will never die while the narrator claims death is the driving force of beauty and change for it also brings renewal.
    6: A world without death is imagined and it is creepily still
    7: A group of (probably pagan) men shouting “in orgy” their love for the sun show up
    8: The woman is told by an anonymous voice, the tomb where Jesus may is a spiritually barren place.
    -I don’t really think of the poem as an argument, for me it reads more like a conversation between a child and a wise adult. Its as if the woman is just now realizing the sadness of death in the world and she’s wishing for a beautiful fairytale forever after and is met instead with the wisdom for why our world occurs in cycles of life and death. This is most evident in the fifth stanza where the conversation is back to back. The woman craving an “imperishable bliss” and the poet reminding her that “Death is beauty”, for the perishing of items is also a catalyst for plenty. After all, what better way to make an argument for something than to remind someone of what we would lose along with it?

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    1. Very nice explanation of “What the Thunder Said” and “Spring and All;” however, I enjoyed your one sentence summaries the most. Your summary for the sixth stanza, in particular, is spot on! The world without death would stand “creepily still” and I just think that’s a wonderful way of describing it. I like your idea of “Sunday Morning” being more of a conversation between an adult and a child rather than an argument. That is an interesting perspective and would change the way I read the poem out loud significantly. Well done.

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    2. I like your analogy of “Sunday Morning” to a conversation. It didn’t come across that way to me when I first read it but I prefer to think of the poem in this way since it makes the poem feel less condescending than when I first read it. It looks like most of us are in agreement, though, of the message that death is inherent to appreciating life.

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  19. 1) In Section V, “What the Thunder Said,” where are we, geographically and temporally? What seems to be happening in this section, and how does it relate to at least one earlier section of the poem? Cite and analyze evidence to support your answer.
    Section V of The Waste Land seems to be set in a desert land with a post-apocalyptic feel. In this passage the phrase, “Here is no water but only rock, rock and no water and the sandy road” provides the reader with the imagery of a dry, isolated location with not much life really happing (330-331). In section III of the poem, the speaker makes a reference to “A rat [that] crept softly through the vegetation/ Dragging its slimy belly on the bank” allowing the reader to picture themselves in a land where there is little life and the life that there is is not very pleasing to the eye.
    2) How can Williams’ “Spring and All” be read as a response to The Waste Land, formally and thematically? Cite and analyze evidence from “Spring and All” to support your answer.

    I believe “Spring and All” can be read as a response to The Waste Land because it finds joy and life from nothing where as The Waste Land depicts an isolated land without much life. They seem to be polar opposites from one another. In “Spring and All,” the lines “One by one objects are defined—It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf,” give the reader some hope that something good is to come. It is the rebirth of a land; it is the finding of the first leaf that is a sign that life is on its way.
    3) Note that while “Sunday Morning” was written before The Waste Land, it shares some of its Modernist concerns about a crisis of faith. Try to write a one-sentence summary of each stanza. How do the questions in “Sunday Morning” set forth an argument between the speaker and the woman he describes? What are her concerns, and how does he respond? Analyze a few of your favorite lines to illustrate your answer.

    Stanza 1: A woman trying to move on and find her faith over breakfast.
    Stanza 2: She finds the light from the darkness.
    Stanza 3: A holy being was born, yet was not as appreciated as Jesus.
    Stanza 4: She wonders which paradise her beloved birds migrate to and begins to appreciate nature and express her wonders with it.
    Stanza 5: The woman claims death to be beautiful, because to her, heaven is the most amazing aspect of our reality.
    Stanza 6: Death is paradise.
    Stanza 7: When men cry to the winds, all desires come true.
    Stanza 8: Worshiping will prevent our world from turning into full chaos; without something to believe in, we are nothing.

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  20. In section V of “The Wasteland” my main reaction was that it talked about the end. It this one I felt like we were finally able to get a little taste of the visuals of in a more literal way, the waste land. He has a lot of reference to the end and/or death like in the stanza, “He who was living is now dead, we who were living are now dying, with a little patience.” The setting of Europe and the mention of Jerusalem give a feel of religion to me, it feels as if he talking about the dark and dreary world of which is talked about in the book of Genesis in the bible, as he says “Here is no water but only rock / Rock and no water and the sandy road / The road winding above the mountains” (lines 331-333).

    From just the title I get that the “Spring and All” is what follows the tale of The Waste Land. Sprig is the sign of renewal, and growth. This was a refreshing on to read because of the positive atmosphere that it carried. Williams had a lot of mention of the nature and scenery much in the way that Eliot does but its much more of an approach that is airy and beautiful. Such evidence is strong in this line: “are defined… rooted, they grip down, and begin to awaken” where the grass is being described. Also the talk of water and sunny days appears in Spring and All in contrast to the bleakness of The Waste Land.

    Here is my attempt at summarizing “Sunday Morning;”
    Stanza 1: A woman is thinking of Christ and his atoning sacrifices on the morning of a Sabbath.
    Stanza 2: She then begins to question her faith.
    Stanza 3:Then Christ is compared to the figure Jove.
    Stanza 4: The woman is thinking of nature and the birds and seems to be quite satisfied with her surroundings.
    Stanza 5: She then mentions death and how it is another beautiful part of life.
    Stanza 6: Death is then talked about being a form of change while still remaining to be though of as beautiful.
    Stanza 7: Death is looked at how it would be with change, and Earth is talked about.
    Stanza 8: Christ’s resting place is simply a burial not a spiritual place.

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  21. Sorry if this is a repost, I posted it earlier but it does not show up. I am posting this one just in case.

    1. While I was reading section V “What the Thunder Said” it was a bit confusing to figure out where exactly the poem is taking place because it seems to jump to many different locations throughout the poem. However, I believe we are in Ganga because it describes the ruin of the city, “Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves waited for rain,” yet I think we can also argue that it could be in “unreal” cities like Jerusalem, Athens and Alexandria because they are also mentioned in the text. The poem seems to be describing the end of the world scenario such as the apocalypse. He does this by describing cities in ruin, drought, thunder surrounding the cities; all these descriptions build a gloomy tone and one of the world ending. It could also be in reference to Jesus Christ being crucified, for example when Elliot states “He who was living is now dead”. I believe this section has some relation to section I of the poem because both tones and themes are about death, they start with what seems to be a delightful tone yet both strike quickly into a depressing sense of death.

    2. I think it is a response because The Waste Land is about the end of the world, death, drought and thundering storms however “Spring and All” is the complete opposite of that. It is showing that once you go throw all the drought or “winter” that beautiful new life will spring up from the ashes of the old. “Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
    dazed spring approaches” this quote explains how the earth looks after winter, dead however slowly but surely new live is happening underneath which will arise soon. I believe the theme could be no matter how bad a situation looks from above; we never know what is going on behind the scenes. Also these two poems contrast each other as a symbol for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which is The Waste land because it is depressing and about death. However, in “Spring and All” is describing the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the life he brings with him.

    3. Stanza I: A women is thinking about the sacrifice of Jesu Christ on a Sunday morning.
    Stanza II: The woman begins to question her faith and practices.
    Stanza III: She begins to contemplate leaving her faith behind.
    Stanza IV: She is thinking about what brings joy to her life, which is bird watching.
    Stanza V: The women things about the concept of death and how new life arises from it.
    Stanza VI: The woman realizes that the only way to heaven is by dying.
    Stanza VII: It speaks about the constant struggle of mankind to not fall into temptations
    of the flesh.
    Stanza VIII: After all the contemplation of her faith it seems that the women is going to
    stick with it. Through the entire poem the women is questioning her faith and whether what she believes in is actually true. She wants answers in which the speaker answers in the closing stanzas; the speaker says that without faith the world would be in chaos. Also that is okay to have questions because it is easy to believe in something we do not see but to believe in a great eternity is what faith is all about. “The tomb in Palestine is not the porch of spirits lingering. It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay. We live in an old chaos of the sun, or old dependency of day and night, or island solitude, unsponsored, free.”

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    1. After reading your analyzes of “Spring and All,” I agree with the contrast you made to the waste land. This poem is about new life or the growing life on earth after the winter season however the waste land is all about death and the end of the world. However I noticed that the death of Christ in the waste land but didn’t notice the hidden meaning about the resurrection of him. Thank you for pointing that out because now I can see what it meant.

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  22. 1.In section V, “What the Thunder Said,” of The Waste Land, it seems to be taking place in India. Primarily around the sacred river Ganga according to footnote eight on page 18. Temporally, the speaker makes reference to sacred or important cities such as “Jerusalem Athens Alexandria/ Vienna London” (374-375). The speaker seems to be referring to the death of spirituality and faith with the introduction to modernism in such influential cities. The speaker states “Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air” (372) which could indicate the change taking place. I think this particular section relates to the section I, “Burial of the Dead,” where the speaker reminisces of innocent childhood and is dissatisfied with the change in the present.
    2.In William’s poem “Spring and All,” he makes direct reference and extensive reference to nature in order to further his argument of a barren and changing land. He writes “They enter the new world naked,/cold, uncertain of all/save that they enter…” to express the response to change. Just as in The Waste Land, where there is reference to the past and to the difference in the present.
    3.Stanza 1: A woman seems to be pondering the sacrifice of Christ. Stanza 2: The woman starts to question her faith.
    Stanza 3: The woman compares Christ to Jove and questions if sacrifice is worth the pain and struggle.
    Stanza 4: The woman appreciates the beauty of nature and the strong spiritual connection she feels with it and that it can bring
    Stanza 5: The woman does not feel validated in her spiritual connection as she feels alone and sits in silence
    Stanza 6: The woman thinks of death and the natural occurrence of life .
    Stanza 7: She discusses earthly temptations that can keep humanity from faith and purity.
    Stanza 8: The woman finally accepts her faith in hope of the paradise she will eventually find.
    The relationship between the speaker and the woman he describes is at odds because she is questioning her faith. The speaker writes “She says, ‘But in contentment I still feel/ The need of some imperishable bliss.” The woman feels as if she needs the validation that there is something after death. The speaker responds by encouraging the woman that death should be welcomed as it is our eventual fate.

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  23. In Section V of “The Waste Land” titled “What the Thunder Said”, the location seem to take place all throughout an apocalyptic deserted Earth, which includes places such as Athens, Alexandria, Ganga, Vienna, and London. What I can infer is that all these places are sand filled, waterless locations due to the crucifixion of Christ. It relates to other sections of the poem because it mentions the Unreal City but without the “city” part.

    William Carlos Williams’ poem “Spring and All”, can be read as a response to “The Waste Land” because it picks up where the latter left, by displaying that death must have occurred in order for it to be reborn. It shows this by stating, “Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches, they enter the new world naked”. This suggests that the dystopian world in “What the Thunder Said”, isn’t necessarily the end of world but the start of a new one as “Spring and All” states.

    Stanza I – A women has awoken on an early Sunday and contemplates the sacrifice of Christ.
    Stanza II – The women is considering to be free of her faith because of the possibility of the outcomes that are said to happen actually happen.
    Stanza III – She outweighs the cons of being connected to her religion.
    Stanza IV – Now she outweighs the pros of not being connected to her religion.
    Stanza V – The women is now thinking about death and how although it does bring darkness into life, there is still beauty to it.
    Stanza VI – There is no escaping death, as harsh as it sounds.
    Stanza VII – Now we must accept it.
    Stanza VIII – It is then that we feel connected to Christ.
    The argument between the speaker and the woman questions whether not they should continue on with their religion, with the woman considering not doing so. The speaker tries to answer some of her concerns by saying otherwise, and how we are connected to Christ when we believe in our faith.

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    1. I agree with what you analyzed in Stanza 8 about how we are connected to Christ. I interrupted that the poet was also writing about how the women was considering not following her religion. Stevens shows a spiritual message through this poem by pointing out that God is above all else. I think that the speaker was pointing that out to the unnamed women.

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  24. 1. I think T.S. Eliot is describing either a warzone or an Inferno inspired Hell. The poem mentions death in lines seven and eight of part five, “He who was living is now dead/
    We who were living are now dying.” Eliot describes suffering and a lack of resources in lines ten and eleven of part five, “Here is no water but only rock/Rock and no water and the sandy road.” He describes a similar image in Part one, lines twenty-four and twenty-five, “And the dry stone no sound of water. Only/ There is shadow under this red rock.” The voice seems to be similar in these two parts, both are prophetic. Eliot could be describing the destruction that takes place in a warzone or an Inferno inspired Hell. I think it’s also possible to link in Revelations with this.

    2. Both Eliot and Williams describe the deadness that occurs with winter and the contrasting new life that spring brings. In “Spring and All,” Williams describes the trees as dead and lifeless, “With dead, brown leaves under them/ leafless vines-“ (lines 12-13). By the end of the poem he describes the “awakening” of spring, “But now the stark dignity/ of entrance-still, the profound change/ has come upon them: rooted, they/ grip down and begin to awaken” (Lines 24-27). Both Eliot and Williams have an emotionally detached way of writing. They describe the details of nature in analogy to struggles of life.
    3. Part I- This stanza seems to describe the sacrifice of Jesus.
    Part II- The woman described should be concerned with enjoying herself and the beauty around her rather than devoting her time to a dead prophet.
    Part III- Will we experience paradise eternally or will we not be good enough to experience this?
    Part IV- The woman describes nature and says she is content, but when the seasons change and the birds are gone where is paradise?
    Part V- No matter what anyone does to please her or admire her beauty, she is still not fulfilled.
    Part VI- All beautiful things will perish, but do they still perish in paradise?
    Part VII- A group of men are worshiping the sun and their praise of nature is a praise of paradise.
    Part VIII- The grave of Jesus is simply a grave and all living beings are dependent on the cycle of day and night.

    The women seems to be unsure of what to believe in. She is concerned with the grave of Jesus and what that stood for, but something else is telling her that it is just a grave of a good man. “Why should she give her bounty to the dead?” is the voice that’s questioning her belief (Stanza II, Line 1). She describes being content with how things are but in Stanza five she is conflicted again, “But in contentment I still feel? The need of some imperishable bliss” (stanza V, lies 1-2).

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  25. 1. In the poem “What the Thunder Said,” the second stanza describes the setting of a deserted place, more symbolizing as the Wasteland and the need of salvation. Rocky and deserted place with no water. Water in the poem symbolize purity, stability, and fertility of growth to restore life. The poem is describing Jesus Christ and how he is heading to be crucified, and during his final hours he is praying for mankind. “He who was living is now dead we who were living are now dying (328).” Without Christ mankind are dying without having hope of salvation and the world would end. The narrator also quotes the ” Falling towers,” which are the great cities of civilization that had crumble from destruction and corruption within the society. When the thunder speaks it gives hope for rebirth because it would provide water also giving hope for salvation. However, thunder is violent and would not bring water for the greed of the people within the society and Christ hasn’t been resurrected. The poem uses “Drip drop drip drop drop,”(357) that is similar to “jug jug” from A Game of Chess using the reference of the Nightingale (103).

    2. In response for “Spring and All,” William is writing his life as a doctor and he is illustrating his surrounding in his job, “By the road to the contagious hospital under the surge of the blue mottled clouds (1).” He is telling the readers from his perspective of being a doctor and he is observing the beginning of Spring. Spring symbolize the beginning of new life and he is admiring the beauty of nature “one by one object are defined (22).” This poem has are similar to the one from The Waste Land because both are describing the importance of rebirth and how precious it is, although there is a slight darkness in ones path, but a slimmer of hope from the rebirth of life in nature.

    3. “Sunday Morning,” the narrator talks about a woman who is scared the thought of death and she questions her faith. She doesn’t know if there such a thing as the afterlife, so she doesn’t know if she should rely on her religion. However, she insinuates that religion is important to have because without it life would have no meaning and that we should all admire the beauty of life and nature.
    Stanza 1- Its Sunday morning and she is thinking about Jesus and she is feeling guilty for not going to church.
    Stanza 2-She is now questioning her faith and is only thinking about Christ
    Stanza 3-She then compares Christ with Jove and if god save the people and lead them to paradise
    Stanza 4- She respond the beauty of nature and admires it
    Stanza 5-She explains that even if death causes one thing to end, the idea of rebirth can bring something beautiful to exist
    Stanza 6-She imagines the idea a life without death and the idea of paradise
    Stanza 7- Talks about men dancing, and that are enjoying life in the present moment and care less about the future.
    Stanza 8- without religion or god, humanity would have no purpose and the world would be a mess without it

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    1. I find your idea that the water, in What the Thunder Said, symbolizing Jesus Christ interesting. That would make sense given religion is a common theme in these works. I also like the idea that when the thunder speaks it is giving hope of rebirth. That would make it seem as though Spring and All the rebirth that the thunder is speaking of.

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    2. Your interpretation if very interesting! I am really enjoying seeing everyone’s ideas on here. I like that you said she is feeling guilty about not going to church for stanza one. That totally changes the way I look at it.

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  26. 1. We are geographically in a desert where “sweat is dry and feet are in the sand,” (337) perhaps located in “Jerusalem Athens Alexandria,” (374) however; the setting changes abruptly to a wasteland of ice and a “white road” (361) for a few lines. This road harbors two physical beings and one imaginary; lines 359 to 365 depicts a couple who has failed to communicate. Here, a nervous speaker—perhaps the speaker introduced in line 111 in section II “A Game of Chess”—asks a series of questions that go unanswered about a third figure often seen walking with them. This reminds me of the speaker in section II because of the nervous nature of the questions. The speaker seems paranoid or suspicious just as the speaker in section II. Also, the dryness of the landscape is reminiscent of the very first two stanzas in section I “The Burial of the Dead.”

    2. William’s “Spring and All” seems to be responding to the literal wasteland Eliot describes throughout the poem. “Spring and All” reminds me of the April in Eliot’s first line of the poem, “April is the cruellest month” (1), where Spring reanimates the dead. William’s poem describes Spring and all its dead and dried elements but ends the poem in a euphoric tone. Those dry “twiggy / stuff of bushes and small trees” (10-11) in “Spring and All” are awakened and face the sun as a sin of hope and happiness. Williams strays from Eliot’s depressed view of the environment in “The Waste Land” and gives the reader emotion; the chance to feel the glimmer of hope from the “profound change” (26) of plants long thought dead.

    3. 1: She enjoys the simple things but an ancient religious sacrifice haunt her peaceful thoughts.
    2: She believes religion has no place in her life when the earth can be so beautiful.
    3: She compares the birth of Zeus to the birth of Jesus.
    4: She feels happy when observing the simple pleasures earth has to offer.
    5: Death will always bring new life on earth.
    6: Without Death, there will be no beauty in rebirth.
    7: A pagan prayer dance celebrating the earth.
    8: Religion brings order and reason to the chaotic earth.
    She doubts her religion and the male speaker explains: without a religion to guide her, may “sink / downward to darkness” but with religion in her heart, she can encounter the darkness with “extended wings” and glide upwards away from the dark cold waters and in the warm old sun.

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  27. 1) In section V “What the Thunder Said”, the imagery used by the author lets off an apocalyptic feel, given the dramatic vernacular and vivid descriptions. The people of Jerusalem, Athens, Alexandria, Vienna, and London are described as “hooded hordes” as they witness their cities go through destruction and rebirth repeatedly. This closing section describes how Western civilization has become a wasteland, alluding to the resurrection of Christ and the bible in order to make his argument. On line 328, Eliot states “He who was now living is now dead. We who were living are now dying.” This section is similar to the second section, in which both of the worlds from these sections are described as tense and unsettling. Those living in these places are dreary.
    2) William Carlos’s “Spring and All” can easily be compared to Eliot’s “The Waste Land” because many of the thematic elements are similar. Not to mention the fact that “Spring and All” seems to be Carlos’s attempt to build upon the aftermath of “What the Thunder Said”. In it, Carlos begins his story during the spring season. In comparison to “What the Thunder Said”, the religious allusions could mean that Spring is a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. Carlos writes, “Lifeless in appearance, sluggish/ dazed spring approaches/ They enter the new world naked.” This could be an allusion to Adam and Eve, or simply a comparison to god and his power to create new life. It also describes the tenacious resilience of humans.
    3) “Sunday Morning” analysis:
    Stanza I: It is sunday morning, and instead of going to church, a woman is enjoying the nice morning and enjoying a late breakfast. She then begins to daydream about the sacrifice and crucifixion of Christ.
    Stanza II: The woman considers to discontinue her faith in god. Instead, she decides to lean towards destiny, and gives credit to nature for the feelings she has.
    Stanza III: The woman contemplates on the possible consequences of what would happen if she relinquishes her faith in god.
    Stanza IV: The woman contemplates on why giving up her faith would benefit her, and why she would consider doing it.
    Stanza V: The woman is thinking about the cycle of life, how death can be depressing, but that it also brings new creation with it. She also yearns for a feeling of “eternal bliss” which is a possible reason for her to keep the faith.
    Stanza VI: The woman continues to ponder on the beauty of death; more precisely, the cycle of change and renewal.
    Stanza VII: The woman thinks about an instance in which Pagan men have an orgy and worship the sun, as they believe in the power of nature rather than the power of god.
    Stanza VIII: The woman comes to,the conclusion that paganism, in essence, allows its followers to control their own destiny. However, there is no higher power to give them strength, and the world appears to be a lonely place. Essentially, the world is embellished in mystery.

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    1. I like the Adam and Eve reference in Williams’s final lines. I read it simply as a birth scene, but the biblical allusion gives the poem more depth. I did read the last stanza of “Sunday Morning” as a mysterious conclusion, but I didn’t interpret it as a praise of paganism as a means of deeper freedom without a deity. This analysis has really enriched my understanding of the poem overall.

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    2. Section V of The Waste Land does sound apocalyptic and destructive. There is a sense of a new beginning/rebirth from “Spring and All.” I like your reference to Adam and Eve. I did not notice that in the poem when I read it but I can definitely see that connection.

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  28. This section is very explicit in its framing: out amongst the crags and craters of a waterless landscape. The narrator sits and ponders the slim horizon mapped out in his mental space. This passage is very heavy in prophetic voice; for example, “I have heart the key, Turn in the door once and turn once only; We think of the key, each in his prison, Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison” (Eliot). This is after he explains of a world thirsting for water. This idea contrasts with the previous entry, in which a different narrative voice shows gratitude for the River Thames: “Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song; Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long” (Eliot). This as the narrator weeps beside the gently flowing river. The contrast of these illustrative passages is one of many thematic gestures by Eliot analogizing primordial symbolism. The use of water and thirst and of the religious undertones that are associated with these ideas revert to a division – a dichotomy – of bilateral forces.

    It is definitely plausible that “Spring and All” could be a definitive response to The Waste Land. The way the poem is structured is in a much more formal and predictable design. This is in stark contrast to the laissez faire structure of Waste Land. “They enter the new world naked, cold, uncertain of all” (Williams). This is a declaration of the rebirth out of the wasted disposition of Eliot’s narrative and proclaims a new dawn of bleak hope: “rooted they grip down and begin to awaken” (Williams). His prophetic authorial voice offers a future of enlightenment. Both poems stand opposite one another as nearly perfect complements. One offering a terrain of desolate human coldness, the other – a cordial and raw blueprint of an intellectual reconstruction.
    1) A girl dreamily perceives her surroundings as a sort of funeral procession.
    2) The girl realizes paying homage religiously to the dead fails to honor the heaven within herself.
    3) It may seem we are truly alone but there is value in true love.
    4) Spring will literally and metaphorically always return, just as her fond memories do.
    5) Death is the singular imperishable bliss.
    6) Everything faces a demise, and death is like a sleepless waiting mother.
    7) It is the law of life, in which we return to the beauty and complexity of nature.
    8) All of life is intermingled literally, metaphorically and spiritually.
    In Sunday Morning, Wallace juxtaposes his character’s postulations on the coming of death. He responds to each of her questions with profound answers advising death as such a noble enterprise. “But in contentment I still feel the need of some imperishable bliss.” He illustrates the character’s desire to achieve the one true finality. Her concerns are expressed over the reality and pain (or lack thereof) and her questions as to the reality of existence after death. He responds with an almost matriarchal understanding what will happen with absolution.

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