Eliot contains the same ecstatic vision

from President Barack Obama – Analysis of "The Waste Land" on Rap Genius

Meaning

Obama may have in mind lines such as these, from the first section of Eliot’s “The Waste Land”:

“You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
They called me the hyacinth girl."
––Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak,
and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

Or these, from the fifth section:

My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed

Eliot’s visions of ecstatic love are always elegiac, though: they belong to an irrecoverable past and have been replaced by the waste land of sexual and romantic emptiness. This is both a cause and an effect of the “lifeless mechanistic order” of modern culture.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Analysis of "The Waste Land"” by President Barack Obama and leave a comment on the lyrics box