Sorry for the late reply Tim. I had to do some homework for this one.
For those that don't know this means that I had to go to the facsimile
of the TWL drafts to read the poems mentioned by Tim. Details for the
facsimile are at
I think we have to consider how the poems would have been presented to
us to determine how we we have looked at them. Pound seemed to think
that what went to TWL was one poem and that the others ("Elegy,"
"Exequy," etc.) were individual poems. This may have meant that if
Pound suggested the inclusion of the poems we might have seen the
publication of '"The Waste Land" and Other Poems.' In this case it
would have taken longer for someone to see them as a unit and publish
a case for that. But that certainly would have happened.
> Most poets, I imagine, show their poems to friends, and the decisions
> about the final form are still their own.
I think that Eliot wrote TWL principally to get problems off his chest
and to recover from from his dry period of creativity. Thus, for its
eventual publication he was more likely to let Pound have his way with
the edits. Eliot was done with it at that time (although he still had
to add notes.)
> Would the poem have seemed any less fragmented and collage-like if
> passages such as Song, Dirge, Exequy, Death of the Duchess and even
> the sea voyage passage had stayed in the poem?
I miss the intial opening because I think it gives added pogxxx to the
"April" lines. But the opening had a lot of lines to rewrite and it
needed it. Although I like the deleted part of Part 4 I don't think
that it would add much to the poem. Eliot's note on the melting of
the characters into each other took its place.
Inclusion of "Death of the Duchess" into a '"The Waste Land" and Other
Poems' would have required a rewrite of Part 2 because "Death" was
mined for too many lines for TWL so I don't think it would have been
included. "Dirge" points back to another Eliot poem and Sweeney in
TWL was enough of that. It also changes the tone for the "pearls that
were his eyes" from The Tempest. It was best left out. While
portions of "The Death of Saint Narcissus" appeared in Part 1 they
could have been easily edited out. This leaves "Narcissus," "Elegy"
and "Exequy" as publishable with TWL.
The obvious theme is death and a youthful death at that. This ties
into TWL and the burial of the dead and Phlebas. In Elegy we have
Aspatia adding a gender bending touch (think TWL's hyacinth girl tied
to Phlebas via the note including the hyacinth garden with
pearls/eyes.) In "Exequy" the dead speaker becomes a love deity.
Some reader or another would have tied this with TWL's lovers in the
hyacinth garden and the shadowed beauty would have been tied with
Phlebas and/or Saint Narcissus. "Elegy" and "Exequy" also use a first
person view (as does the initial opening to TWL.)
All told, if the other material stayed in then I think TWL would have
acquired a personal meaning early and it being a reflection of the
state of the modern world after WW I would have had a harder time
Timothy Materer wrote (Sun, 5 Jan 2003):
> What do listmembers think of giving Pound credit or blame for shaping
> The Waste Land? For example, Lyndall Gordon regrets that Pound's cuts
> eliminated many of Eliot's references to positive religious
> experiences. Recently, in "Avant-Garde Eliot" (21st-Century
> Modernism, in the Blackwell Manifestos series, 2002), Marjorie
> Perloff argues that Eliot was actually more avant-garde in Prufrock
> than in The Waste Land because the latter's "fragmentation,
> parataxis, and collage structure . . . is largely the product of
> Pound's severe cuts."
> This opinion makes Eliot seem rather passive. Most poets, I imagine,
> show their poems to friends, and the decisions about the final form
> are still their own. Would the poem have seemed any less fragmented
> and collage-like if passages such as Song, Dirge, Exequy, Death of
> the Duchess and even the sea voyage passage had stayed in the poem?