"On Margate Sands
I can connect
Nothing with nothing

from T.S. Eliot – The Waste Land on Rap Genius

Meaning

On Margate Sands
I can Connect
Nothing with nothing:

Shows the deeply personal element of this poem. Eliot wrote most of sections II, III, and portions V while at Margate while on paid leave from Lloyd’s bank to recover from a state of “nervous exhaustion".

In a letter to the novelist Sydney Schiff dated 4 November 1921, Eliot writes: “I have done a rough draft of part III [of The Waste Land], but do not know whether it will do, and must wait for Vivien’s opinion as to whether it is printable. I have done this while sitting in a shelter on the front — as I am out all day except when taking rest.

The Nayland Rock promenade shelter, overlooking Margate Sands, has been identified as the one in which Eliot sat, and has been preserved and listed by English Heritage.

In 1920, T.S. Eliot discovered Vivienne and Bertrand Russell’s 4-year affair. A double-betrayal which began only three months after the Eliots had been married. This knowledge deeply affected Eliot, who’s disordered nerves soon worsened leading to his near collapse.
Tom discovered his wife’s sexual antics durring the period of time when “Bertie” Russell was incarcerated, following Crown his seditious comments concerning the German peace offer.
In his personal journals, letters, and noted, Russell dubbed his sexual escapades with Vivienne:

part of the “marlow plan”

T.S Eliot and Indic Traditions refers to this recognition “enlightening”:

it establishes the very compassionate connection among all beings that the poems nihilistic implications have seemed to deny.

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot and leave a comment on the lyrics box