Print

Print


The opening lines of 'The Waste Land' via-a-vis Easter 

Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The date of Easter varies from 22 March to 25 April inclusive. (Wiki)  

In the modern-day secular scenario, the opening voice in 'The Waste Land,' a deeply Christian one, agonizes over the abysmal absence of the Christian sense of spring, of Easter and all the sacrosanct memories associated with it. 

What meets the eye is a world asleep to, and oblivious of, all that constitutes the discipline, the joy, and the glory of the season. 

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          5
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 sunlight, into the Hofgarten,   10
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 archduke’s,  
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,  
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,   15
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.  
 
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow  
Out of this stony rubbish?  

There is no doubt the contemporary secular scenario evokes a strong contrast with Chaucer's April with its "showers sweet" that engender a strong spiritual urge in the inhabitants of a Christian land.

Just a restatement, perhaps, of what has been thought and said on the subject.

CR