Back to the Classics

Thank you for sticking with me through my college poetry. I thought I’d head back to the classics for my next poem, which I pulled off the bookshelf in the hall just minutes ago. You may have read this in college; I didn’t. I’ll read it tonight (or fall asleep trying). The first stanza seemed appropriate.

The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot

I. The Burial of the Dead
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers. 
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in the sunlight, into the Hofgarten, 
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. 
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsch.*
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled, 
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

 

* This translates to “I’m not Russian at all, I come from Lithuania, pure German.” I have no idea what this means.

copyright 1922, T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

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