Revisiting 'The Waste Land' by T.S. Eliot in times of Covid

Suresh Pattali remembers the renowned poet's work to create a rendition reflecting the pandemic times

By Suresh Pattali

Published: Thu 29 Apr 2021, 7:43 PM

Last updated: Thu 29 Apr 2021, 11:05 PM

April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lotus out of the dead land, mixing

Prayers and tears, stirring

Dull data with monsoons of agony.

Campaigns kept us warm, covering

Earth in fateful pathogen, feeding

Millions of lives with dried dreams.

Summer surprised us, coming over the ghat

With a shower of microbes; we stopped in the hospice,

And went on in twilight, into the Heavens.

Here is the man with three slipups, and here is the fate,

And here is the bearded merchant, and his card,

Which is blank, is something he carries under his topi,

Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find

The vaccines. Fear death by water.

I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.

Thank you. If you see dear Mr Merchant,

Tell him I bring the horoscope myself:

One must be so careful these days.

Ganga was sunken, and the limp lives

Waited for oxygen, while the funeral plumes

Gathered far distant, over Himavant.

The country crouched, humped in silence.

Then spoke the thunder


I sat upon the shore

Fishing, with the arid plain behind me

Shall I at least set my lands in order?

Howrah Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down

These fragments I have shored against my ruins

Why then Ile fit you. Hoi polloi is mad againe.

Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.

Shantih shantih shantih

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