The Delta


In the early 1900s, T.S. Eliot aimed to create a poetry that relied on the creation of images rather than rhetoric, that denied complete unity of theme in favor of individual feelings, and that acted as a medium for the communication of the poet's subconscious. Additionally, he desired that after its creation poetry be criticized not in terms of its ideological content or meaning, but rather its artistic value and its ability to create emotion in the reader. Eliot's method both succeeded and failed in his poetic work, The Waste Land. Although this work aptly followed each of Eliot's poetic guidelines and became an admirable embodiment of his "new poetic," criticism of the work paid less attention to its artistic worth and more to its implied meaning and function as a reflection of the author. The failure of the work to be viewed as Eliot wished it to be can be attributed to both the nature of literary criticism and, ironically, the success of the artist in making his art as he wished it to be, a manifestation of the poet's subconscious.