The Waste Land is an American self-elegy masking as a mythological romance, a romantic crisis poem pretending to be an exercise in Christian Irony. Mask and pretence, like the invention of more congenial fathers and ancestors, are customary poetic tropes and certainly not to be censured. They are part of any poet’s magic, or personal superstition, and they help to get authentic poems written. The Waste Land, rather than Four Quartets or the verse dramas, is Eliot’s major achievement, a grand gathering of great fragments and indisputably the most influential poem written in English in our century.
«Bloom’s Modern Critical Views: T.S. Eliot»