The Wasteland of T S Eliot
Umapagan Ampikaipakan, Resident Literary Critic
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This poem, first published in 1922, gives us the expression, ‘April is the cruellest month,’ a response to Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales’ (1400) which begins with, ‘Whan [when] that Aprille with his shoures [showers] soote [sweet]”. Within half a millennium, the optimism of a world with a clear centre gave way to a world that just experienced a war that killed 17 million people and 20 million wounded. Where were the sweet showers to come from?
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