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‘The Waste Land’ à la RapGenius

By Harriet Staff


Thanks to Nick Moran at The Millions, we happily spent an hour or with, as he puts it, “Nineteen intrepid RapGenius users [as they] set out to break down the ‘cultural clusterf*ck and middle finger to the stripped-down simplicity of the Imagists’ otherwise known as T. S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Waste Land.’” The revised-remixed version is annotated with notes and images that we enjoyed as much as the actual text. Here’s the first stanza:


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
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,
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,
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.

We recommend that you spend some time reading and clicking through the notes of this version at RapGenius.

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 by Harriet Staff.