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"The Waste Land"

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Textual Editing Assignment
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The typist home at teatime, who begins
To clear her broken breakfast
away her broken breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out squalid food in tins,
Prepares the room and sets the room to rights.

Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations meet the sun's last rays,
And on the divan piled, at night her bed,
Are stockings, dirty camisoles, and stays.

A bright kimono wraps her as she sprawls
In nerveless torpor on the window seat;
A touch of art is given by the false
Japanese print, purchased in Oxford Street.

I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs,
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest,
Knowing the manner of these crawling bugs,
I too awaited the expected guest.

A youth of twentyone, spotted about the face,
One of those simple loiterers whom we say
We may have seen in any public place
At almost any hour of night or day.

Pride has not fired him with ambitious rage,
His hair is thick with grease, and thick with scurf,
Perhaps his inclinations touch the stage—
Not sharp enough to associate with the turf.

He, the young man carbuncular, will stare
Boldly about,
in "London's one cafe",
And he will tell her, with a casual air,
Grandly, "I have been with Nevison today".

Perhaps a cheap house agent's clerk, who flits
Daily, from flat to flat, with one bold stare;
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silky hat on a Bradford millionaire.

He munches with the same persistent stare,
He knows his way with women (and that's that!)
Impertinently tilting back his chair
And dropping cigarette ash on the mat.


The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired;
Endeavours to engage her in caresses,
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.

Flushed and decided, he assaults at once,
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.

(And I Tiresias have forestuffed all
Enacted on this same divan or bed,
I who have sat by Thebes beneath the wall
And walked among the lowest of the death.

Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit;
And at the corner where the stable is,
Delays only to urinate and spit.


She turned and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Across her brain one half-formed thought may pass:
"Well now that's done, and I am glad it's over."

When lovely women stoops to folly and
She movies about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.





"This music crept by me upon the waters"
And along the Strand, and up the ghastly hill of Cannon Street,
Fading at last, behind my flying feet,
There where the tower was traced against the night
Of Michal Paternoster Royal, red and white
.

Pound's edit
Change
The typist home at teatime, who
clears away her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out squalid food in tins,
Prepares the room and sets the room to rights.

Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations meet the sun's last rays,
And piled on the divan, (at night her bed),
Are stockings, dirty camisoles.

A bright kimono wraps her as she sprawls
In nerveless torpor on the window seat;
A touch of art is given by the false
Japanese print.

I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs,
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest,
I too awaited the expected guest.

Spotted about the face,
One of those simple loiterers whom we say[1: Pound note: "Personal"]

We may have seen in any public place
At almost any hour of night or day.

His hair is thick with grease, and thick with scurf,
His inclinations touch the stage—

He's, the young man carbuncular,
in "London's one cafe", will stare
And he will tell her, with a casual air,
Grandly, "I have been with Nevison today".

The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
The meal is ended, she is bored and tired;
Endeavours to engage her in caresses,
Which still are unreproved, if undesired.

Flushed and decided, he assaults at once,
Exploring hands encounter no defence;
His vanity requires no response,
And makes a welcome of indifference.

(And I Tiresias have forestuffed all
Enacted on this same divan or bed,
I who have sat by Thebes beneath the wall
And walked among the lowest of the death.

Bestows one final patronising kiss,
And gropes his way, finding the stairs unlit;

She turned and looks a moment in the glass,
Hardly aware of her departed lover;
Across her brain one half-formed thought pass:
"Well now that's done, and I am glad it's over."

When lovely women stoops to folly and
Then movies about her room again, alone,
She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.





"This music crept by me upon the waters"
And along the Strand, and up Cannon Street.

Select Witness

Pound's edit

Textual Editing Assignment

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