Sunday, 29 April 2012

I need opinions

Here is an excerpt from T.S. Eliot's "The Wasteland", easily one of my favorite poems of all time (call it pretentious, but it is what it is. I'm a slave to lushly dystopian imagery). Anyway, the poem is massively long, so I won't share it all here, but here's one of my favorite bits:

At the violet hour, when the eyes and back 215
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives 220
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at tea-time, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched by the sun’s last rays, 225
On the divan are piled (at night her bed)
Stockings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest—
I too awaited the expected guest. 230
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house-agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses, 235
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired,
Endeavours to engage her in caresses
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.
Flushed and decided, he assaults at once;
Exploring hands encounter no defence; 240
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.
(And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall 245
And walked among the lowest of the dead.)
Bestows one final patronizing kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit…
She turns and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover; 250
Her brain allows one half-formed thought to pass:
“Well now that’s done: and I’m glad it’s over.”
When lovely woman stoops to folly and
Paces about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand, 255
And puts a record on the gramophone.

Because awkward sex is fun and stuff.


Its sort of a goal of mine to make little arts of the entire poem at some point before I die (and yes, I have only gotten as far as the Sybil and "April is the cruellest month") So, what sort of art media would you envision this scene in? Collage? Cartoon? Sketch? Painting? Mixed media? I know I want to tackle it, I just don't know how.


  1. Definitely something visual... sketch? There is so much going on... Perhaps it could even be a cartoon, like one of those comics with a single caption?

  2. I'm sorta leaning towards cartoon too, with tiresias narrating.