Category Archives: Part 2 Assignment


I have received my feedback from my tutor and was overall very happy with the positive and constructive comments I received.  I had chosen my close reading on a poem that I had no idea was described by many as one of the most, if not the most important modernist poem of the twentieth century.  Once I had discovered this, I still continued with the close reading.  It was therefore really encouraging to read my tutor’s opening comments that is was “bold move” to do the close reading on the opening section of T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland.  He also mentioned that I had “got to grips with some close reading methodology and stylistics of literature and applied them well to this poem”.  It made me feel so good about what I had achieved and that I was actually understanding what I was studying.  One thing I noticeably forgot to do was add the actual part of the poem I was doing the close reading on ‘The Burial of the Dead’.  So note to myself is to make sure I follow the instructions to a T.  I will now add some of the comments below and add my own thoughts and reflections to them

I have made extensive notes in the documents you sent which include much improved referencing and organization.  This was very encouraging as I had mentioned to my tutor in my previous assignment that the referencing side of things concerned me, I felt that I had made improvement and this was confirmed.

Avoid too much speculation and support your ‘opinion with some references, citing reliable sources.  I realize that I can’t just use a random student on the internet or an unknown source, needs to be a more convincing and reliable quote.

Define in more detail some of the key concepts and themes that apply to the work – modernism and its ‘programme’ to disrupt formal devices in literature, art, photography etc is key here as is a foregrounding of form before you begin to describe the subject matter of the work.  I need to make sure I do this in future.

Do include the text in the essay to refer to and do back up some of your general. Noted I will make sure I add to my assignment.

In academic writing also, writing in the third person and considering the form of the work and showing that you understand the theme/discourse is all you need to do for a degree level.  Supplement the detailed description of literary elements with analysis which will move to a more persuasive writing style as you progress.  Not sure I quite understood the meaning of this, but hopefully I will as my studying progresses.

Define key terms that refer and are essential to this work ie if Modernism as a key ‘disruptive’ form is central to this poem (it is), then define it in both form & content int he opening of the essay and in your reflection.  This is context.  Use references (such as Lodge in – Readings).  Makes sense to do this so again will make a mental note to define key terms more.  Look more into the word and movement of Modernism

Some research on ‘intertextuality’ its definitions and application in art and literature would support the reading on Elliot.  See Lodge in Readings.  I will follow up on these additional reading suggestions – especial in Readings.


Personally, I would avoid your opinion and try to engage with the stylistics/linguistics of the poem and uncover how it communicats (this will be useful to consider as you move onto other mediums in later assignments). I will look at the additional reading list in order to understand the ‘stylistics/linguistics of a poem.

Get to grips with variations in Harvard referencing so as Shrestha (2013) comments … in this case (Author, date) in brackets works better.  Need to read and re read the Harvard referencing information to better understand so that it becomes second nature.

Avoid speculation, and outline the formal way the poem shows this mood.  I had used ‘I can only imagine’, so I will take note not to use this type of message.

Use references (such as Eliot) to allued to a real, historical figure such as Marie Louise Elizabeth Mendel also the cousin of Archduke Rudolph, the Crown Prince.  Strangely enough I was going to reference further but wasn’t sure at the time, so will make note for the future.

Introduce this theme of time signature in the introduction with some references see Joyce and David Lodge ‘intertextuality’ in Readings.   Further studying required in the additional reading list.

Qualify some of the passages in this reflection.  So, say what these skills are specifically.  I had mentioned poems that I had never thought of looking at before, so I need to mention which ones they are.

Reference this.  Is it in the learning log? then link reference here.  I had made up a small poem as suggested in one of the exercises and mentioned it in my reflection.  My tutor is suggesting I reference it here.  I’ve made a note to include it.

Could you give a reference to a text that summarises this? Dean and Miller? I had said that I was realizing that Time and Place was very significant in all aspects of art, but I didn’t give any examples.  I will investigate what makes me realize this and make some quotes.

Define this in the intro to the essay.  Modernist was the word I used and I now realize with all the feedback that I need to apply this in the introduction of any essay.

It’s productive.  You can apply similar stylistic readings when it comes to visual communication and photography.  In my closing paragraph I said that this whole learning experience in part 2 Creative Reading will ‘help me through the next stages of this course’.  It would appear I will be using the same tools even in visual communication and photography, am really looking forward to it.

It was good to go through my feedback again and highlight some of the main comments I received, in summary it looks like I’m doing ok and the main thing is I am learning so much and keep gaining more confidence as each Project is completed.  Creative Reading is different to what I was expecting, I had thought it would have been more about my own creative writing style, it has therefore been such a huge learning curve.  It has made me discover a much deeper understanding for what makes an exciting fiction book or poem.  I can see that there is a lot to learn and considering this is one of the routes I want to take it has made me think a little more about which two routes I would like to follow, as I had thoroughly enjoyed Contemporary Art, it was much more visual, however Creative Writing is where my passion lies.  I am looking forward to my next learning experience of Visual Communications, I am finding the way the course is structured is just so clever, how it makes you research and learn, I am really enjoying the whole learning experience.




For the assignment we are asked to choose a piece of text by a contemporary author that explores time/and/or place.  I have chosen an extract from a poem called Wasteland by TS Eliot.  I found this extract on the Poetry Foundation website, accessed on October 21, 2018. I could see immediately a reference to time and a place and the poem is considered to be one of the most important contemporary poems of the 20th century.

I thought I would start by asking myself questions about the poem and listing them here before writing up 1500 word essay about the poem.

The Waste Land

                                  FOR EZRA POUND

              I. The Burial of the Dead
 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 arch-duke’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.
151 words
accessed October 21, 2018
gives over view of full poem
What type of poem is it?  It is a modernist contemporary poem in five parts.  The Burial of the Dead is the first part.
Key words April is the Cruellest month, breeding lilacs, dead land, Earth, forgetful snow, Colonnade, arch-duke’s, frightened, go South in the winter
What poetic devices are used Personification (breeding lilacs, dull roots, forgetful snow), Metaphor (shower of rain)
Who is the narrator? I think there are two narrators, in the beginning it to be a omniscient speaker, someone who knows everything about the land, the second part is a woman (Marie), possibly royalty or friends with royalty, as refers to staying at the arch-duke (“a man of high ranking – Austrian royal family.  Assassination of the Arch-duke Ferdinand started first world war)
What type of narrator are they/he/she? first part is an omniscient speaker as he knows everything about the land and the weather and second part as a woman, spoken in the first person.
What is the theme? The poem is about death and destruction of land, possibly aftermath of war, it’s also about love the two cousins seem to know each other well and care about each other, he protects her when sledging down the mountain, I think it’s also about survival, she has memories that seem sad and has somehow survived whatever happened to the land.
What does the title mean?  The Burial of the Dead It was originally called ‘He Do the Police in Different Voices’ which is part of a Charles Dickens novel.  I think it means the poem is religious and is about surviving a war and then the aftermath of burying the dead.
What is the mood of the poem?  It is mostly depressing and sad, although there is a little bit of happiness when Summer arrives and the two cousins enjoy walking over the Starnbergersee and stopping in the Colonnade (classic architecture, long sequence of columns like in the Belvedere on the pfingstberg palace in Munich, Germany – another hint to being royal)
How do you feel about the poem There is so much more to the whole poem, but the first part seems like a whole poem in itself, it tells a story of land that has been destroyed possibly by war, giving memories of happy times.  It brings two characters into the poem that are  cousins perhaps romantically involved, I feel sad that the main character Marie has ended up alone later in life and also sad to not know what happened to her life or to her cousin.
How does the poem relate to Time & Place and what is it saying about Time & Place
Time is referred to in the mentioning of the month April and the seasons of Spring , Summer and Winter.  It also mentions time as a child and dead land where once it wasn’t it must have been alive with flowers and trees, mentions a memory of time gone by.  The place appears to be in Germany as there is mentioning the Starnbergersee (German Lake in Munich), colonnade (the columns as in the pfingstberg palace and Hofgarten (Renaissance garden in Munich).  The place mentions a lake and mountains.
What do the lines remind you of? Reminds me a little of The Road by Cormac McCarthy, with it’s dead land as if its the aftermath of war or acopolyst in the case of the Road.  Reminded me of my own childhood going down hills on a sledge and being born in Germany.
What lines stay with you? April is the Cruelest month (questioning why as it should be a happy month, springtime evokes thoughts of lambs, flowers, sunshine) breeding Lilacs out of the dead land (very depressing like its difficult for the flowers to come through the dead ground) Took me out on a sled And I was frightened.  He said Marie Marie, hold on tight. (shows he cares about Marie and she seems vulnerable but safe with him).
Is the Rhythm choppy, flowing or smooth? It is quite choppy, is laid out in short sentences.
How does this impact the poem makes it easy to read
Is the speaker important, who is she/he, are they obvious or do you have to guess? I feel the speaker is very important both at the beginning and the second part, I found it easy to realise who the speaker was.
Any lines you don’t get?  At first I didn’t get certain lines but now I think I understand them quite better although having researched various sites the poem is extremely complex and difficult to understand, so I think I have only scratched the surface.
The cousin and woman are nameless, why?  Do you still care about them?  Do they still have an identity?  I am not sure why they are not named, quite similar to that of The Road by Cormac Macarthy where they are also not named.  Yes I care about them as I want them to be happy and yet she ends up alone so feel sad for her.  Yes i still feel they have an identity, imagining them having fun in the summer and as children back at the Arch-duke’s residence.
Has something happened to the world, the place they are at for the land to be ‘dead’?  Yes the poem was written in 2022 not  long after the first world war ended, the fact that it mentions dead land as if something bad had happened.  The hint of them visiting the Arch-duke who might possibly have been the one who is assassinated and causes the start of world war I.
Why is ‘April the Cruelest month”?  It would seem on this occasion it is because flowers that would normally bloom in Spring, are not they are struggling to bloom out of the dead land.
What year is the poem set in? I think it is set in 1922 when the poem was written.
What Country are they in?  I would say they are in Germany, as German accent and the places they visit are in Munich.
Is it a happy or sad poem?  It is mostly sad, but has a little bit of happiness in the middle
Eliot doesn’t punctuate the speech, why? I don’t know why
“Forgetful Snow”, “breeding lilacs: are these metaphors? Yes and also Personification as they are ascribing human qualities to an object.
Has their been an apocolys or war?  If so what makes you think this?  A war as it was set in 1922 and the land is now dead, and the hint of the Arch-duke possibly being assassinated and causing the world war I.
Is their any biblical theme to the poem? Yes the mention of Earth and the title being the burial of the dead
Is the language complex or simple?  It is fairly complex although I understand the basic storyline however the meanings behind some of the lines are extremely difficult –  like April is the cruelest month – why? and forgetful snow?  What do these mean.
What is the Plot?  Survival after a war and the memories of a time before the war, with a love story that ends sadly.
The Character The main character is Marie
References/Research for Assignment 2
Quora – answers questions on poems – accessed October 23, 2018

Loughborough university accessed Oct 22 2018–gk

Nick Cartwright accessed Oct 22, 2018

Prof M Green accessed Oct 22, 2018

Chris Day of Quora acessed Oct 22, 2018

map of Starnbergersee – Lake in Munich, Germany

colonnade – Belvedere at the pfiingstberg palace in Germany

Archduke – A man of high ranking – Austrian Royal Family – Assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand start of first world war.

The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes accessed October 22, 2018

Guardian write up on The Death of the Author accessed Oct 28, 2018


Alec Guiness reading The Waste Land

Lecture on The Waste Land by Tim McGee

MLA Style

Works Cited:

Shmoop Editorial Team. “The Waste Land.” Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 25 Oct. 2018.

In-text Citation

(Shmoop Editorial Team)

T. S. Eliot’s Modernism in TheWaste Land Asha F. Solomon Department off English,Montfort College, Lucknow