Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It's a pretty good poem, too …

 TS Eliot's The Waste Land remains one of the finest reflections on mental illness ever written | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

… the crisis at the heart of The Waste Land wasn’t only global, it was also personal. Eliot’s wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood, also had poor physical and mental health and he scattered his poem with references to their life together. “I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter,” ends the poem’s first stanza, in one of the most powerful and subtle lines ever written about insomnia, of which he and Vivienne were both sufferers. She asked him to remove some lines due to their being too personal, but many others about a husband and wife living with mental illness were retained. “My nerves are bad tonight. Yes, bad. Stay with me./ Speak to me. Why do you never speak. Speak.” Theirs was one of the worst romantic mismatches in modern letters.

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