To start out the poem, there is a fat stack of editor’s notes. Speaking of reasons I’m not a huge fan of this poem this has to be my key sticking point. Don’t get me wrong, I can respect a clever allusion or witty reference, but almost every line being an allusion can bog down the poem a bit. I think that I can relate to the class when I say that, to put it mildly, the poem can be a bit confusing. So, even with all these editor’s notes, I can only imagine the confusion that a random person would have upon stumbling over this poem. All this negative being said, I do have an immense respect for the work and T.S. Eliot. Cramming this many references into a piece is exceedingly difficult and despite what I may view as faults are actually intricately complicated methods of inserting more meaning into the poem.
I think that it is especially interesting and innovative that similar to “The Second Coming” Eliot brings up Egyptian mythology. Though I did not know so at first, after looking into the origin of Tarot cards I learned that they were from Egyptian occult practices. I find this especially interesting because the contradiction that it forms to the Christian religious imagery. It is fascinating when Eliot makes up new tarot cards on line 52 as the “one-eyed merchant” and some others. My immediate reaction, much like the rest of the poem–but especially here, I think “what the f*** does that mean.” So, I’m excited to see what everyone has to say.