Dis/Continuities: Natural and Artistic Landscape/Seascape in T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and S.T. Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Nayef Ali Al-Joulan, Amer Hasan Al-Rashid


This study sets T. S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” against Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, arguing that although both poems belong to different literary traditions, yet they exhibit certain similarities and parallels that should not be overlooked. This paper identifies these parallels within the two poem’s recruitment of the following: the quest motif, along with notions of sin, punishment, and salvation; fertility rites; indifferent setting; raped/betrayed nature or female; water imagery; the supernatural figure and resurrection of the dead along with notions of life-in-death. It turns out that natural elements are incorporated in both poems as a test tube to examine human values and norms of behavior against the background of nature, within a conception of man as the archetypal solitary outsider. The paper then underlines the interrelatedness of the symbolic journey in nature in both poems and the journey into precursor artistic/poetic landscapes, whereby Eliot’s journey across the indifferent realms of the Waste Land might perhaps be seen as a continuity, or even discontinuity, of the piscatorial journey of Coleridge’s Mariner. And with the parallels between the two poems in mind, the paper then poses a question about the boundaries of Eliot’s overemphasized anti-Romantic attitudes.
Key words: Eliot; Coleridge; Rime; Waste Land; Romantic Poetry; Modern Poetry

Resumé: Cette étude met "La terre vaine" de T.S. Eliot dans l'état opposé de "La Rime du vieux marin" de Samuel Taylor Coleridge, en affirmant que bien que ces deux poèmes appartiennent à de différentes traditions littéraires, ils présentent certaines similitudes et des parallèles qui ne devraient pas être négligées. Cet article identifie ces parallèles au sein des éléments suivants utilisés dans ces deux poèmes: le motif de quête; ainsi que des notions de péché, punition et salut; les rites de fertilité; le réglage indifférent; la nature violée / trahie ou feminine; l'imagerie de l'eau; la figure surnaturelle et la résurrection des morts ainsi que des notions de vie en mort. Il s'avère que les éléments naturels sont incorporés dans les deux poèmes comme un moyen pour examiner les valeurs humaines et des normes de comportement contre le contexte de la nature, dans une conception selon laquelle l'homme est un outsider archétype solitaire. L'article souligne ensuite l'interdépendance des parcours symboliques dans la nature dans ces deux poèmes et le voyage dans des paysages précurseurs artistiques / poétiques, par lequel le voyage d'Eliot travers les royaumes indifférents de la Terre vaine pourrait peut-être vu comme une continuité, voire une discontinuité, du voyage halieutique des marins de Coleridge. Et avec les parallèles entre les deux poèmes dans l'esprit, l'article pose alors une question sur les limites des attitudes anti-romantiques surestimées d'Eliot.
Mots-clés: Eliot; Coleridge; Rime; Terre Vaine; PoÉSie Romantique; PoÉSie Moderne


Eliot; Coleridge; Rime; Waste Land; Romantic Poetry; Modern Poetry ;Eliot; Coleridge; Rime; Terre Vaine; PoÉSie Romantique; PoÉSie Moderne


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.ccc.1923670020110702.031


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