The silence.

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

Meaning

Silence has a long history with Eliot of being representative of the presence of the “infinite”. Here, combined with “Heart of Light”, which are variously substituted throughout Dante’s Paradiso when referring to any member of the tripartite God or any manifestations, revelations, or visions emanating from his being.

Also in force of the reading is Eliot’s use of the definite article “THE” in both cases: “THE heart of light” “THE silence”

Also consider the unpublished 1910 poem that Eliot finished while at Harvard, entitled Silence.

The seas of experience
That were so broad and deep,
So immediate and steep,
Are suddenly still.
You may say what you will,
At such peace I am terrified.
There is nothing else beside.

Alternately, there is an established line of thinking that “the heart of light” is in opposition to Joseph Conrad’s novel “The Heart of Darkness”.

This theory alternate theory still maintains the Beatific quality of “Heart of Light in opposition to the Demonic Kurtz in Conrad and functions through this diametric tension.

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