The Waste Land is a longform poem written by T.S. Eliot. It is widely considered by literary critics to be one of the most important poems of the 20th century, if not the most important work of modernist poetry. The poem is divided into five sections: “The Burial of the Dead,” which tackles themes of disillusionment and despair; “A Game of Chess,” narrative riffs on the same themes; “The Fire Sermon,” an exploration of death and concepts of self-denial; “Death by Water,” a lyrical protest; and, finally, “What the Thunder Said,” which ends the poem on a strong image of harsh judgment.
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