It's an allusion to Shakespeare's The Tempest, Act I, scene ii. Ariel sings to Ferdinand, in order to deceive him into thinking his father has been drowned in a shipwreck.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Looking at Swami Krishnananda's book on The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (emphasis mine):
This instruction, which was communicated to the Devas, Manushyās and
Asuras – gods, men and demons – by the single letter Da repeated three
times, meaning Dāmyata, Datta, Dayadhvam – be self-controlled, be
charitable and be compassionate, is applicable to all ...
Eliot said that the source of the title, theme and imagery of ‘The Waste Land’ was the medieval legend of the Fisher King:
Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal of the incidental symbolism of the poem were suggested by Miss Jessie L. Weston’s book on the Grail legend: From Ritual to Romance.
T. S. Eliot (1922), Notes ...
TL;DR: Several scholars have investigated the relationship between the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic on modernist writers including T. S. Eliot. Most such analysis has taken place in the past 25 years. The most visibly prolific researcher on this subject is Dr. Elizabeth Outka at the University of Richmond. She proposes that the pandemic influenced The Waste ...
To say anything definitive about The Waste Land is challenging; indeed, this work seems to evade interpretation with each new line and stanza. With many interpretations carry with them some merit, I contend that the line "heap of broken images" is meant to evoke something broader about modernist art: this line is a metatextual reference to the poem itself ...
Here is a quote from Xenophon, something said by the pilot's mate on a perfectly ordered Phoenician trading ship:
“There is no time left, you know,” he added, “when God makes a tempest in the great deep, to set about searching for what you want, or to be giving out anything which is not snug and shipshape in its place. God threatens and chastises sluggards.
To add to muru's excellent answer, taking on the "why" part of the question, this final part of Eliot's poem presents us with a world in ruins, not as much in substance as in spirit. The prevailing intention I think, is to depict spiritual emptiness: with the invocation of the biblical crucifixion with no resurrection, the depiction of the Grail with towers ...
This is my first attempt at writing an answer, so I hope I have done it right in terms of links of attribution and format. If I have not, I hope someone will tell me, so I can benefit from clarification. Beyond that, I’ll simply give it a whirl!
Perhaps this is too simplistic and pedestrian of an interpretation, but maybe we can make a case for simplicity. ...
From this source: (emphasis mine)
Adopting a prophetic tone of archaic allusion for much of the poem,
Eliot asks, “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow/Out of
this stony rubbish? Son of man,/You cannot say, or guess, for you know
only/A heap of broken images…” (ll. 19-22). Being a devout albeit
unconventional Catholic, Eliot uses ...
The line has a different context in the two sections of the poem. In the first, it is primarily about death, the physical changes of the body and the cold blankness of the eyes.
The second section is describing a woman laden with jewellery and the narrator thinks again of the "pearls that were his eyes" as he gazes at the jewels surrounding her. As the ...
My sense is it relates to the theme of "profit & loss", and commerce/banking, that is developed later in The Burial of the Dead:
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down ...
The second part (“A Game of Chess”) of The Waste Land is a sequence of episodes in different styles, all concerned with seduction. (The title alludes to Thomas Middleton’s play A Game at Chess in which the game of chess is used as an extended metaphor for seduction.)
The extract in the question belongs to the second of these episodes, which begins:
Evidence that a certain event influenced a specific literary work that does not explicitly mention that event requires that two conditions are fulfilled:
The event took place before the literary work was completed.
Ideally, there is biographical information, such as letters or diary entries, that mention the influence of the event on the work in question.
1. What plagiarism?
The sources of the accusation of plagiarism are the two following articles:
Evans, Robert: “5 Great Men Who Built Their Careers on Plagiarism”, Cracked.com, 29.03.2009.
Bailey, Jonathan: “Famous Plagiarists: Could it Happen Today?”, PlagiarismToday, 31.05.2009.
I did not find any accusation of plagiarism in the 17 reviews, contemporary ...
As Gareth Rees pointed out, the Copyright Act of 1911 was the copyright law that was in force when T. S. Eliot published "The Waste Land". Below is how this act defines "copyright" (emphasis mine):
For the purposes of this Act, "copyright" means the sole right to produce or reproduce the work or any substantial part thereof in any material form whatsoever,...
As muru mentioned in his answer, the Upanishad Eliot is referencing is the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Eliot added the following footnote:
“Datta, dayadhvam, damyata” (Give, sympathise, control). The fable of the meaning of the Thunder is found in the Brihadaranyaka—Upanishad, 5, 1. A translation is found in Deussen's Sechsig Upanishads des Veda, p. 489.
I'm no expert on this poem, but having read its first chapter (the first four stanzas, "The Burial of the Dead") several times, poring over individual words and sentences, I came up with a couple of possible interpretations of the "heap of broken images" based on context from elsewhere.
The third stanza is all about one "Madame Sosostris, ...
After some reflection, the simple answer may be that
the Dog is the friend that is also foe
This assessment is based on the capitalization of Dog, and mythological conception of Sirius, the "dog star" that appears in time of harvest (a boon to mankind) but is also believed to bring madness, disease and death [Iliad 22.1].
This reference from Homer is ...
First, I'd like to step back from this stanza a bit and look at an earlier one:
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound ...
In the first instance of 'pearls for eyes', Eliot probably relates to the blind enthusiasm for the war at it's beginning in 1914. With the glory of victory seemingly at hand, young men willingly joined and become soldiers, as if they had pearls for eyes, oblivious of their fate to become 'shadow under this red rock'.
The tarot card given by Madame ...
The first reference of the Phoenician sailor comes from Socrates' dialogue with Ischomachus in Xenophon's book, Oeconomicus. The dialogue was about orderliness and the Phoenician sailor is referenced as a man who kept his ship in perfect order, with every tool in its place.
I figure T.S. Eliot was very familiar with classical literature like Xenophon.