A reading of the fourth part of The Waste Land – analysed by Dr Oliver Tearle
‘Death by Water’ is by far the shortest of the five sections of T. S. Eliot’s 1922 poem The Waste Land. The section which precedes it, ‘The Fire Sermon’, is 234 lines – over half of the entire length of the poem. Why is ‘Death by Water’ so short? We’re going to attempt a brief summary of this section of the poem here, along with some words of analysis. You can read ‘Death by Water’ here.