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From Wikipedia: The Hollow Men (1925) is a poem by T. S. Eliot. Its themes are, like many of Eliot's poems, overlapping and fragmentary, but it is recognised to be concerned most with post-World War I Europe under the Treaty of Versailles, the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, and, as some critics argue, Eliot's own failed marriage. The poem is divided into five From Wikipedia: The Hollow Men (1925) is a poem by T. S. Eliot. Its themes are, like many of Eliot's poems, overlapping and fragmentary, but it is recognised to be concerned most with post-World War I Europe under the Treaty of Versailles, the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, and, as some critics argue, Eliot's own failed marriage. The poem is divided into five parts and consists of 98 lines.


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From Wikipedia: The Hollow Men (1925) is a poem by T. S. Eliot. Its themes are, like many of Eliot's poems, overlapping and fragmentary, but it is recognised to be concerned most with post-World War I Europe under the Treaty of Versailles, the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, and, as some critics argue, Eliot's own failed marriage. The poem is divided into five From Wikipedia: The Hollow Men (1925) is a poem by T. S. Eliot. Its themes are, like many of Eliot's poems, overlapping and fragmentary, but it is recognised to be concerned most with post-World War I Europe under the Treaty of Versailles, the difficulty of hope and religious conversion, and, as some critics argue, Eliot's own failed marriage. The poem is divided into five parts and consists of 98 lines.

30 review for The Hollow Men

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav

    You are about to embark upon journey of life; life as it is contradictory like our hollow men who lack something essential to life- probably have brain only but no heart, or perhaps stuffed like an effigy. Their voice scare them that no one should hear them- it occurs not to them, whether reverberations of sound waves they give birth convey anything if at all they do, they doubt their existence- as if their being not shone from the darkness of nothingness; blood doesn't flow in their veins or th You are about to embark upon journey of life; life as it is contradictory like our hollow men who lack something essential to life- probably have brain only but no heart, or perhaps stuffed like an effigy. Their voice scare them that no one should hear them- it occurs not to them, whether reverberations of sound waves they give birth convey anything if at all they do, they doubt their existence- as if their being not shone from the darkness of nothingness; blood doesn't flow in their veins or they don't have veins underneath sheath covering the structure stuffed with skeleton and bones. Dante's Inferno surges up from the depth of darkness, the other kingdom where death takes you to, but hollow men are not fortunate enough to be there, for they struck in some limbo, for they are not passionate and only those who have violent passion can transcend to Inferno. The hollow man dare not make eye contact in nether world, for eyes always convey the truth, the shiver he feels through his spine on realization that eyes would show him inside out, for others may look into his being to realize that he is just an effigy and nothing else. He wants to conceal his being somehow from the probing eyes of Paradiso, for justice may happen in the final meeting and hollow men can only delay it but can't escape it, for their fate it is. They have some faith in gods to transcend them to the other kingdom but their hope is diminishing with every passing moment, for those who can't help themselves how could they help them ? Hope continues to fade, their eyes left them, the torch bearings of their beings are not with them anymore. They grope together one last time, the justice of God may send people Paradiso or Hell but for our hollow men, even the scorching gates of Hell do not make way for they are just effigy s. The hope they have is as hollow as our hollow men. They have ideas but cannot bring them into reality, for some shadow always falls like an iron curtain to block their intentions, their existence doesn't begets essence for always the shadow stands in between. Perhaps that's how world ends, for a bang not required to end it, as one may expect, but a little whimper is good enough to pull curtains and put end to the drama of life on the stage of being and nothingness. There is a deep despair here, a horror; the horror of nihilism staring up at you from the darkness; a deep black gulf of nothingness. The idea, that one is imbecile to confront the reality of life; and his existence is just a shadow of a being which is apparently hollow is very frightening; one keeps on struggle with realities of his inauthentic existence, the nihilistic horror one confronts through the probing eyes of The Other robs him from any sort of comfort his inauthentic existence may beget. Eventually, when the illusion of hope is ripped apart by the harrowing absurdities of life, he may come to make amend with the harsh possibilities in life and in effect may accept the perpetual end of life. The poetic style of the verses marked by verbal austerity and relentless negation forms a structural counterpart to a thematic strategy that repudiates the validity of human experience at every level. In this respect the poem expands upon the theme of denial explored as part of the individual's search for meaning in The Waste Land. The negation of life ultimately leads to stark encounter with nothingness wherein every sort of inauthentic existence may be shredded in pieces which then may lead to birth of faith in God, as per religions or madness as per nihilistic reality or even to absurd and fully conscious existence as per Camus and Sartre; Kierkegaard may say that simultaneous fear and intense awareness of nothingness, opens up the possibility of faith in an infinite beyond human comprehension, the negation brings the individual to a terminal point marking the boundary between the finite and the infinite. Excerpts We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar ........................... Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence Between the essence And the descent Falls the Shadow Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow. ........................... This is the way world ends This is the way world ends This is the way world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Traveller

    Though The Hollow Men is more stark and elegant than Eliot's complex poem, The Wasteland, one could still end up spending hours if you were to dissect this poem line by line. Whether one agrees with Eliot's sentiments and his personal philosophy or not, his imagery is simply superb. Bleak bleak bleak outlook. One has to applaud the sheer force of the imagery. What could be more disturbing than a procession of brainless, shuffling zombies? Possibly a horde of sightless, shuffling strawmen, hollow Though The Hollow Men is more stark and elegant than Eliot's complex poem, The Wasteland, one could still end up spending hours if you were to dissect this poem line by line. Whether one agrees with Eliot's sentiments and his personal philosophy or not, his imagery is simply superb. Bleak bleak bleak outlook. One has to applaud the sheer force of the imagery. What could be more disturbing than a procession of brainless, shuffling zombies? Possibly a horde of sightless, shuffling strawmen, hollow at the core, leaning against one another to remain upright, whispering with dry voices, whispering, whispering, with arid voices like the rustle of wind through the dry grass... whispering like rats feet scurrying over broken glass in a dank subterranean cellar... Can you see it in your mind's eye? That could be “us”, that could be mass culture, consumerism. I do think that Eliot meant to include secularism into his aspect of hollowness, but it needn’t be read that way; in fact, it can be any cultural situation that espouses “hollowness” , and it can be any lack of deep values. This is what makes the poem so classic; because of its bareness, its bleakness, its muted though deeply effective, controlled imagery, it can be used as a basis for almost any contextual interpretation that you’d care to tack on to it. ...and then of course, there is the subtlety... The sheer subtle genius of passages such as: Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; and Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow and Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow and Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence Between the essence And the descent Falls the Shadow Eliot was apparently pretty depressed when writing it, and it shows; even more than with The Waste Land. Note that he speaks of The Hollow Men as "us". So he is including himself here, possibly his whole generation. There is a deep despair here, a horror; the horror of nihilism staring up at you from the darkness; a deep black gulf of nothingness. If poems were to be classified into the same genres as prose, this would be one of my favorite horror poems; it is darker, certainly, than anything Poe has written. Re-reading this poem made me realise that I REALLY need to brush up on guys like Kierkegaard, Camus and Sartre. Noting what some critics 'see' in this poem, makes me smile a little, but then, the poem lends itself so well to possible allusions, and of course, Eliot is known as very allusive poet; an image which he himself was quite eager, it seems, to enforce. No doubt most of the allusions were deliberate, and of course many clues were planted by the erudite Eliot in person. But even if this poem contained not a single literary reference or allusion; just as it stands by itself, it already oozes a frightful, horrific genius sheerly via its evocative power alone. Although the poem is probably more meant as an an attack against the loss of idealism and as an attack on secularism and/or atheism, and though it smacks of the despair created by the threat of meaninglessness and absurdity that existentialism sneaks into our world view, (the poem seems to have quite a few allusions to covert subversion), I can personally apply it to a more modern frustration with mass consumerist culture and corporate greed (which was of course not quite as ubiquitous back in 1925 when the poem was written, as it is now). Since I do think Eliot himself was at a pretty low point psychologically when he wrote this, it sort of touches one with its notes of personal anguish too. So, for me, this poem can be read both on a personal and on a societal level.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow Life is very long Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence... ...I read this, and get hit by countless images, multiple voices and associations, and a sense of closeness, being all part of the hollow individuality, the shape without form, shade without colour, paralysed force, gesture without motion ; oblivious to the bang and the whimper. Way to go, Eliot. Sept 22, 18 * Also Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow Life is very long Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence... ...I read this, and get hit by countless images, multiple voices and associations, and a sense of closeness, being all part of the hollow individuality, the shape without form, shade without colour, paralysed force, gesture without motion ; oblivious to the bang and the whimper. Way to go, Eliot. Sept 22, 18 * Also on my blog.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy (Other Amy)

    This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. Certain phrases are always echoing in my mind, and this is one of them. Whatever else may be said of my useless high school years, they got the meditations of one T.S. Eliot into my head. In high school, I loved to pick Eliot's poems apart, running every allusion back down to unlock the 'true' meaning. Rereading this for a group read, I am gratified to find that the imagery its This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. Certain phrases are always echoing in my mind, and this is one of them. Whatever else may be said of my useless high school years, they got the meditations of one T.S. Eliot into my head. In high school, I loved to pick Eliot's poems apart, running every allusion back down to unlock the 'true' meaning. Rereading this for a group read, I am gratified to find that the imagery itself arrests me now in a way it has never done before. (Once I have devoured this again for the first time, it gets a proper review.) *************************** Four months later, here is the proper review. Only it is impossible for me to really review this poem, because it is one of my all time favorites. Hard to review the things that made me what I am. So here is more of an experience of it, an appreciation of the imagery, if you will. (Eliot would hate this for annotation and anachronism, but that's what you get for being a poet who stands the test of time.) I strongly suggest you read the poem yourself first before proceeding to the images I am about to attach to it. It is quite readily available online (here, for instance). Ready? Here we go. *************************** Mistah Kurtz-he dead A penny for the Old Guy We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men. Eyes I dare not meet in dreams In death's dream kingdom These do not appear: There, the eyes are Sunlight on a broken column There, is a tree swinging And voices are In the wind's singing More distant and more solemn Than a fading star. Let me be no nearer In death's dream kingdom Let me also wear Such deliberate disguises Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves In a field Behaving as the wind behaves No nearer- Not that final meeting In the twilight kingdom This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead man's hand Under the twinkle of a fading star. Is it like this In death's other kingdom Waking alone At the hour when we are Trembling with tenderness Lips that would kiss Form prayers to broken stone. The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river. Sightless, unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual star Multifoliate rose Of death's twilight kingdom The hope only Of empty men. Here we go round the prickly pear Prickly pear prickly pear Here we go round the prickly pear At five o'clock in the morning. Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow For Thine is the Kingdom Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow Life is very long Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence Between the essence And the descent Falls the Shadow For Thine is the Kingdom For Thine is Life is For Thine is the This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper. (view spoiler)[That last image is the Pale Blue Dot photo of Earth taken by Voyager 1, a composite photo of the solar system taken approximately 4 billion miles away. Lousy image, but the concept was too good to pass up. (hide spoiler)] Full review finished 6/17/16

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ali

    ... The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars ...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marzieh Torabi

    This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.

  7. 4 out of 5

    B. P. Rinehart

    "Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion" - lines 11-12 Nothing like a good T.S. Eliot poem. I mean it is giving you everything and very little. To get the full effect of this poem it has to be recited out loud or to your self--but it has to be recited. "The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley" - lines 52-55 The poem is like most modernist work from this period, being concerned with WWI and its af "Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion" - lines 11-12 Nothing like a good T.S. Eliot poem. I mean it is giving you everything and very little. To get the full effect of this poem it has to be recited out loud or to your self--but it has to be recited. "The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley" - lines 52-55 The poem is like most modernist work from this period, being concerned with WWI and its aftermath. In it we are given a descent into the underworld(s) a la Dante which is standard of most Eliot's work (try to name a volume of Eliot's poetry that does not allude to Dante) and it gives a very short but beautiful imagery of becoming and of being undone as "hollow men" often are. The fact that this poem can be matched perfectly with The Divine Comedy and is one the most persistently quotable poems in pop culture history increases its value and importance. Allusions to Heart of Darkness and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, as well as Guy Fawkes are spread throughout this poem. Fawkes, Brutus, and Joseph Conrad's Kurtz are the titular "Hollow Men". "This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper." lines 95-98

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy

    The main problem with this poem (as Bukowski pointed out in his day) is the ending: it was poetic and clairvoyant... until the atomic bomb. That ending ruins the whole experience of the poem for me, as the flawed intuition that it is. Since that last verse couldn't be more wrong, instead of being insightful it sounds pedantic (three repeated lines preparing us for such a lack of vision!). Pretty much everything that happens in our lives may end with a whimper, from our relationships to our very The main problem with this poem (as Bukowski pointed out in his day) is the ending: it was poetic and clairvoyant... until the atomic bomb. That ending ruins the whole experience of the poem for me, as the flawed intuition that it is. Since that last verse couldn't be more wrong, instead of being insightful it sounds pedantic (three repeated lines preparing us for such a lack of vision!). Pretty much everything that happens in our lives may end with a whimper, from our relationships to our very own lives themselves, but the world... could have been finished already because of nuclear weapons various times (Chomsky points out some cases throughout history in his book "Who rules the world?"), which means a total "bang". B--!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mario MJ Perron

    I read this in a Norton's anthology a very long time ago... it so filled my brain with images that it took root in my subconscious. A few years after reading it, I started drawing and painting a series I called The Hollow Men... they have since evolved into much happier creations in my people of the land paintings. All this to say that The Hollow Men is not a story for those who want simple diversions, it will grab your attention and rattle your imagination. Then it will find a home from which t I read this in a Norton's anthology a very long time ago... it so filled my brain with images that it took root in my subconscious. A few years after reading it, I started drawing and painting a series I called The Hollow Men... they have since evolved into much happier creations in my people of the land paintings. All this to say that The Hollow Men is not a story for those who want simple diversions, it will grab your attention and rattle your imagination. Then it will find a home from which to grow in your subconscious. Good luck and good reading. M.

  10. 5 out of 5

    senjuti (센주티)

    Poetry is not my cup of tea. I read this because of 'The Sinner's season 3 where the following lines were mentioned a number of times- "Here we go round the prickly pear Prickly pear prickly pear Here we go round the prickly pear At five o'clock in the morning. " I need to understand this poem more deeply.

  11. 4 out of 5

    mwpm

    Mistah Kurtz-he dead A penny for the Old Guy I We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the Mistah Kurtz-he dead A penny for the Old Guy I We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Leaning together Headpiece filled with straw. Alas! Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form, shade without colour, Paralysed force, gesture without motion; Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men. II Eyes I dare not meet in dreams In death's dream kingdom These do not appear: There, the eyes are Sunlight on a broken column There, is a tree swinging And voices are In the wind's singing More distant and more solemn Than a fading star. Let me be no nearer In death's dream kingdom Let me also wear Such deliberate disguises Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves In a field Behaving as the wind behaves No nearer- Not that final meeting In the twilight kingdom III This is the dead land This is cactus land Here the stone images Are raised, here they receive The supplication of a dead man's hand Under the twinkle of a fading star. Is it like this In death's other kingdom Waking alone At the hour when we are Trembling with tenderness Lips that would kiss Form prayers to broken stone. IV The eyes are not here There are no eyes here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river Sightless, unless The eyes reappear As the perpetual star Multifoliate rose Of death's twilight kingdom The hope only Of empty men. V Here we go round the prickly pear Prickly pear prickly pear Here we go round the prickly pear At five o'clock in the morning. Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow For Thine is the Kingdom Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow Life is very long Between the desire And the spasm Between the potency And the existence Between the essence And the descent Falls the Shadow For Thine is the Kingdom For Thine is Life is For Thine is the This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Fadoua ϟ

    I Read the whole poem and still loved it !

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ȝmman Saqqaf

    Aren't we all bunch of hollow men, wandering above this wicked planet? Looking for salvation in the simplest things, maybe "An eye", "A kiss" or something else. Bunch of people full of sins, full of mistakes, dreams maybe or hope. Gazing at the "Death's other Kingdom" eyes full of timid hope, legs trembling between marching forward to paradise and retreating backward to netherworld. But like our ancestors, The Hollow Men, we have frozen in our places year after year, like scarecrows. All the lit Aren't we all bunch of hollow men, wandering above this wicked planet? Looking for salvation in the simplest things, maybe "An eye", "A kiss" or something else. Bunch of people full of sins, full of mistakes, dreams maybe or hope. Gazing at the "Death's other Kingdom" eyes full of timid hope, legs trembling between marching forward to paradise and retreating backward to netherworld. But like our ancestors, The Hollow Men, we have frozen in our places year after year, like scarecrows. All the literary influences in the life of Eliot, have led to this masterpiece. Where its profoundly metaphorical lines, force you to imagine the smallest detail in the lives of these hollow men. Land of nothing but dust and cacti, a mud river maybe. Men reciting their final lullaby into the ears of other generation of hollow men. However, those men completely understand their condition, they are unhappy, full of regret, full of lust, perhaps they want to turn back the time so that they may find salvation in it, for their current situation. You can't actually know if god has forsaken them or they have forsaken him, the situation in which they are in, I believe, is a sacrifice from both parties. Eliot's succeeded in creating a state of physical and psychological suffering, so the reader can realize that those hollow men are aching from the inside and out, like the Dead Men in Pirates of The Caribbean. The narrative talked about a shadow that prevent them from doing things that they want to do, but chew on this; aren't we all have that shadow? Dogmas, families, money, physical pain, lake of imagination, lack of knowledge or experience, lose of a loved one, anything. We have that shadow right behind us. Some have the courage to face it and put an end to it, while some just leave it roaming around them and build a prickly wall of fear wrapping their lives. I'm developing the idea of a hollow man. What makes a person hollow? I think every single person on this earth is missing something; and the thing that he misses makes him hollow in a way or another. Some people are philistine, talentless, with disabilities, with high IQ or low IQ, too sensitive or too solemn. Anything that we lack could make us hollow. Moreover, I do not lean to the idea that "Death's dream kingdom" is heaven per se; maybe it's the thing that we aspire to complement our lack, our weakness, and our inability, which makes us less hollow. "Those who have crossed With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom Remember us-if at all-not as lost Violent souls, but only As the hollow men The stuffed men." Here, I do believe that the hollow men do not want us -the next generation of possible hollow men- to be like them, they want us to learn from their mistakes and do much better that what they have done. I can't but salute Dante and whoever helped with giving influence to Eliot so he can come up with this brilliant ode.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    Favorite parts: "Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form shade without colour,  Paralyzed force, gesture without motion" "Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow Life is very long" "The eyes are not here There are no eye here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms. In this last of meeting places Favorite parts: "Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass Or rats' feet over broken glass In our dry cellar Shape without form shade without colour,  Paralyzed force, gesture without motion" "Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow Life is very long" "The eyes are not here There are no eye here In this valley of dying stars In this hollow valley This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms. In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of the tumid river."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Baddance

    ''This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.'' After finish this poem, the melancholy made an echo in my heart and my soul feels sad.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tavleen Kaur

    Read for my paper "British Literature: Early 20th Century" in Oct-Nov 2020

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I was never really into poetry until my mother gifted a book full of poetry to me(seeing how there was a 30% off sale). The Hollow Men were one of those glorious poems enclosed within its leather covers. Yesterday my brain threatened to commit suicide because of all the deepness and richness it had just soaked up. It was malfunctioning as I'm going to explain why. This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but with a whimper" The Hollow Men is primarily about a theme very obvious after bein I was never really into poetry until my mother gifted a book full of poetry to me(seeing how there was a 30% off sale). The Hollow Men were one of those glorious poems enclosed within its leather covers. Yesterday my brain threatened to commit suicide because of all the deepness and richness it had just soaked up. It was malfunctioning as I'm going to explain why. This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but with a whimper" The Hollow Men is primarily about a theme very obvious after being repeated in its imagery of ghosts,feeling of being useless and the descriptions of the afterlife. Fear, unworthiness,resignation and grief are very common aspects among poems today featuring death/ ghosts- but the Hollow Men pulses and resonates with something else: guilt and shame. The poem begins with pointing out that Mr.Kurtz is dead. (This happens to be a quote from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness something I found out while researching the poem online.) We are the hollow men We are the stuffed men Written during World War I the poem seems to speak of people who are soulless and purposeless as if their mere existence isn't significant enough. They are unable to change the devastation occurring around them as they are the ones who are in between- in between the living and the afterlife. Trapped in a desert like graveyard laying awake, cold and lonely pondering over what the after life would be. Welcoming? Warm? Or reproachful and draconian? The men can't speak and are unspoken to. Lost and branded a wanderer. Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow For Thine is the Kingdom This and other reviews can be found at: Andy's Scribbles

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Snell

    Personal Response: I pretty much didn’t like or dislike this poem. I really didn’t like it because it was really wordy, and hard to figure what theme the poet was getting at. I liked it because it was hard to decipher what the words meant, which kept me thinking about it for hours. Plot Summary: I’m not really sure what the poem is actually referring to, but this is what I comprehended it to be: In the first part, the poet describes the aftermath of a battle. I think this because he states that the Personal Response: I pretty much didn’t like or dislike this poem. I really didn’t like it because it was really wordy, and hard to figure what theme the poet was getting at. I liked it because it was hard to decipher what the words meant, which kept me thinking about it for hours. Plot Summary: I’m not really sure what the poem is actually referring to, but this is what I comprehended it to be: In the first part, the poet describes the aftermath of a battle. I think this because he states that there is men leaning together without shape or color. In the second part, I believe the poet is talking about what Europe was after World War I. One line talks about “Death’s Dream Kingdom,” which I interpret as he thinks modern Europe is living hell. The third part I think he makes a connection to the dead bodies to rocks, never moving. About the cactus part, the poet may be referring to some minor attacks in Southern Africa during World War I. The fourth part I think the river statement may be about the winding trenches in the earth. Since rivers are usually winding, this is what I perceived. The final part, is really confusing for me. I think in the very first stanza, the poet shows how children just keep on playing, while the world has no future. The next four stanzas, I can’t figure out. The last stanza though, I believe the poet is contradicting what people believed would happen. From what I know, most people believed the continent would be destroyed by weapons. The poet however thinks the continent won’t end with just a weapon going off, but by people dying slow, painful deaths whimpering. Recommendation: I would recommend this article to high school children and adults. I say this because younger children wouldn’t figure it out. Everybody should read this though, because it shows how horrible the war was for Europeans.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Bruce

    A haunting poem, with facets of meaning that have struck me differently each of the times I have read it. Although Eliot was famous for including allusions of all kinds in his poems, he was opposed to the annotation or adaptation of his works. He wrote in a letter in 1962, "I will not allow any academic critic and there are plenty of these in America only too willing) to provide notes of explanation to be published with my poems... I should be allowing interpretation of the poem to be interposed A haunting poem, with facets of meaning that have struck me differently each of the times I have read it. Although Eliot was famous for including allusions of all kinds in his poems, he was opposed to the annotation or adaptation of his works. He wrote in a letter in 1962, "I will not allow any academic critic and there are plenty of these in America only too willing) to provide notes of explanation to be published with my poems... I should be allowing interpretation of the poem to be interposed between me and my readers." Ironically, I found this quote in the new Faber & Faber edition, which is stuffed with annotations. With respect for Eliot, sometimes it helps to have a little background, although I agree that the first encounter with a poem should be unmediated.

  20. 5 out of 5

    sch

    Meh. The problem is not in every single line, but in the simple declaratives (We are the X, This is the Y, This is the Z). It is hard to get past those famous, dominant lines. Sections II and IV have none of them and are better for it. Section V takes a startling, different form--until the final four lines.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    This is one of the greatest poems I’ve ever read. It got me through a really dark place in my life while I was in high school. In a way it became one of my coping mechanisms. I had little print out of it everywhere and I’d read it methodically. I highly recommend it. It’s not very long but it says a lot.

  22. 5 out of 5

    S

    Fundamentally a transitional piece, and partially a rehash of "Waste Lands"-era issues but drawing ineluctably towards the Anglican mysticism that will become the topic and obsession of Eliot's monumental "Four Quartets".

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wendelin St Clair

    I always thought this would make a geat thing to base a more exploratory/slower-paced mystery-horror game (for some reason I'm thinking like Among the Sleep) on. Certain lines just seem made for it: The eyes are not here There are no eyes here

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anika

    Nothing like this poem.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    This is one of my favorite poems.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sean Cunningham

    Very powerful poem. Great, dark imagery and use of everyday, childish things to create a somber, creepy atmosphere.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Well, here's a poem of despair and depression cranked all the way up to eleven. If you identify yourself as a goth, I'd imagine you'd love this poem.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Angel Navarro

    I really love this one, it's a very beautiful writing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    G

    In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of this tumid river *** A vital feature of arguably good poetry is the use of voice, which is essential in communicating specific concepts within an author's work. T.S. Eliot's power of voice within this 1925 work not only builds a sense of character, but reveals the modern man’s current state of being. Voice is used as a key feature in establishing context, whereby WW1 was the first war documented on a wide sca In this last of meeting places We grope together And avoid speech Gathered on this beach of this tumid river *** A vital feature of arguably good poetry is the use of voice, which is essential in communicating specific concepts within an author's work. T.S. Eliot's power of voice within this 1925 work not only builds a sense of character, but reveals the modern man’s current state of being. Voice is used as a key feature in establishing context, whereby WW1 was the first war documented on a wide scale, and returning solders were often left alienated in their trauma from the events, as they were perceived as less of a man for revealing their suffering. Inspired by French symbolists, Eliot utilises highly emotive and symbolic language to establish the psyche of this world's inhabitants. I personally found this poem to be striking when regarded within its context, but also brilliant read on its own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    I very music enjoyed the Hollow Men. We went over it in AP English class, and it is the first thing I have enjoyed from the reading portion of the class. This poem talks in riddles, which can be difficult yet incredibly fun to decode. Eliot wrote this poem shortly before he lost his sanity. It is thick with allusions to biblical references due to his connection to the Anglo Church. He also looks at different ways to view death. I particularly enjoyed the format in which the poem was written: exa I very music enjoyed the Hollow Men. We went over it in AP English class, and it is the first thing I have enjoyed from the reading portion of the class. This poem talks in riddles, which can be difficult yet incredibly fun to decode. Eliot wrote this poem shortly before he lost his sanity. It is thick with allusions to biblical references due to his connection to the Anglo Church. He also looks at different ways to view death. I particularly enjoyed the format in which the poem was written: exactly 100 lines. Overall, I would recommend this poem to anyone who enjoys poetry and well written works.

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