I think we are in rats' alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.

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

Meaning

This image is usually explained as the WWI trenches. In Eliot’s “Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar” rats are also, however, disturbingly associated with Jews:

The rats are underneath the piles.
The jew is underneath the lot.

The “alley of bones” is probably a play on the valley of bones in Ezekiel 37. In a vision of the prophet, a wind revives the dead skeletons. Hmm… What is that noise?

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