As I was rereading TWL this a.m. I was suddenly powerfully reminded of
Milton's Lycidas. No particular echo -- but a sort of generic
resemblance. Both do involve death by water. Both do incorporate a sense
of social waste (Milton's more sharply), both point (again, Milton's
more sharply) to potential rebirth. Has anyone ever looked at TWL as
elegy? That would give poignancy to the opening line, linking it to
Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd."