African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 191


War saved in verse: Politics in Ezra Pound’s Canto XVI and T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land

Bouzzit M'bark
  • Bouzzit M'bark
  • English Department, Ibn Zohr University. Morocco.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 02 January 2014
  •  Accepted: 03 September 2014
  •  Published: 30 September 2014


Modernist poetry is rarely examined in the light of the very social and political agitations which accompanied its production. Some theorists claim that modernist poetry is apolitical; neglecting the fact that the poet can never exist in vacuum. Unquestionably, the poet is the product of his immediate conditions of existence. No matter how he conceals his social reality, his words reveal it all. This paper looks at two prominent poets, namely Ezra Pound and T.S Eliot to find out where the two allude to World War One in their poetical productions. This paper is an attempt to understand these hidden mysterious allusions (names of soldiers, politicians, and places) which disturb the indecipherable stream of consciousness prevalent in the two poems. This paper brings to life dead corps; it brings back the memory of those who passed away fighting on the fronts. It implicitly says that war still needs close examination as it is still horrendously practiced by the so-called the modern man. The paper also looks at the psychological torments which the two poets experienced and which led to the production of a very unique work of art. It implicitly says that the ideology behind war is fallacious and it still needs to be closely examined so as to avoid any future clashes.


Key words: Modernism, poetry, politics society, war.