When the eyes and back
Turn upward from the desk,
In a wage-labor society, the time when people get off work. (The “violet hour” is twilight.) The longing implied by the upward turning suggests that structuring your life around productive labor is a distortion of what could be considered “natural.”
These lines may have helped inspire a passage from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a book populated with allusions to The Waste Land:
At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others — poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner — young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
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