My first reply didn't seem to get through. I'm trying again with a
Andy at Moravian College wrote:
> At the beginning of the "Wasteland", Eliot takes the true month of the
> Romantics and slanders our customary perceptions of this time of year. Was
> this a delibrite reaction against romanticism on behalf of classicism?
"April" was not the original beginning of the "The Waste Land." There
was a section before that on a late night in Boston by some "rowdies"
(Eliot used to roam streets at night.) I mention this because the
unusual opening of the poem as drafted would have reduced somewhat the
shock of "April is the cruellest month."
Eliot would be aware of his slandering April (great image) but it is
there for other reasons other than slamming romanticism. It marks the
time for vegetation ceromonies for instance.
April was the month in 1915 that he met his first wife and also the
opening of the Gallipoli Campaign where his friend Jean Verdenal was
killed (see the dedication to "Prufrock and Other Observations.")
Sometime after getting a feel for what is on the surface of the poem,
consider the personal elements here and elsewhere too.
P.S. - Nice puns Marcia.