DEATH BY WATER
This scene was originally a full canto equal in length to the other four. However, in discussions with Ezra Pound, Eliot was convinced to shorten it to its present form. (Source: Open Yale Courses. )
The scene depicts the drowning of a sailor, and operates as a metaphor for a symbolic death of the self (called upon by the Buddha in the Fire Sermon), so that divine inspiration can return in Canto V.
To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot and leave a comment on the lyrics box