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Analysis and comments on Ash Wednesday by T.S. Eliot

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Comment 21 of 141, added on May 6th, 2007 at 11:20 PM.

Compared to Eliot's other poem, The Wasteland, this poem was definitely
easier to read and comprehend. Possibly it can be attributed to my faith in
God, but nevertheless, I felt that I finally understood what Eliot talked

Throughout the poem, Eliot confesses his unworthiness and helplessness as
he cries out to the heavens above.

Errkuh from United States
Comment 20 of 141, added on May 3rd, 2007 at 4:50 AM.

Ash Wednesday evoked my pure appreciation for Eliot; his use of the English
language is eloquent, free-flowing, and quite simply, beautiful. His use of
repetition and analogies create a strong imagery in the reader's mind, and
his choice of diction portrays his passionate affair with God. Even without
being much of a religious person, Eliot was able to convince me that
believing in something greater than oneself is a worthwhile venture.

Casey Ohashi from United States
Comment 19 of 141, added on May 3rd, 2007 at 12:59 AM.

This poem, was an incredible poem to read. It was powerful, especially
because I am someone who believes in God. Although I did not understand
all of the allusions, metaphors, etc., I was able to get a feeling for this
poem by doing exactly that, feeling. This poem, was very thought
provoking, it made me stop looking for any meaning at all, in fact it made
me just read it and read it again just because it was so beautiful. It
brought forth emotions and I understood the message even though I did not
comprehend every line of the poem.

BcHaNg from New Zealand
Comment 18 of 141, added on May 1st, 2007 at 7:55 PM.

No matter that I can't understand a lick of what this poem is trying to
say, Zachariah opens up to me a whole new way of looking at it. It's

(Zachariah's comment is #1)

Kie from United States
Comment 17 of 141, added on April 1st, 2007 at 5:16 PM.

well....i'm doing a project of T.S. Eloit and I need two poems that i
understand and enjoyed.if anyone who reads my comment has any ideas feel
free to e-mail me.

Comment 16 of 141, added on May 4th, 2006 at 2:09 AM.

For some reason, when I first began reading the poem, I had no idea what
Eliot was talking about or what was going on. It's strange to think that
although most people think that this is an easier poem to read than "The
Wasteland," I understood that poem a lot more than this. However, reaching
the second part, I began to see all the allusions to Christianity and God.
This poem in my opinion is like a prayer. Although I may be completely off
the true meaning, it seems as though the narrator of the poem is asking for
forgiveness for not repenting in his ways. He is praying to God to forgive
his ways even though he "avoid[ed] the face" and den[ied] the voice" of God
(I'm assuming).

What I found really intersting in the poem was how it began and concluded.
There was much repetition with the words, "I do not hope" and "i cannot
hope" in the beginning and throughout, which shows such hopelessness. It's
as though the narrator of the poem just gave up on his life or his
circumstances. However, it concludes with "and let my cry come unto thee,"
which I believe shows that the narrator is reaching out to someone and
hoping that someone else will hear his plight and come to his rescue.
Thus, he has not fully surrendered to his circumstances and still has a
shred of hope left.

I still don't fully understand the meaning of this poem, but then again TS
Eliot was a literary genius and who understands genuises? I can only
strive to begin to understand what he truly meant.

V. Tapat from Philippines
Comment 15 of 141, added on May 2nd, 2006 at 3:49 AM.

I think Ash Wednesday about the narrator's personal decision to convert to
a more Christian-based religion. He repeated several time that there was
"no hope" and he would not try again, probably telling the reader that he
tried to believe before, but was maybe scared of what realizations he was
making, or just not ready to walk in faith. I think he believes in a higher
power, God (more specifically), for he is constantly looking for approval
and asking for mercy, asking Him to "pray for us sinners." In this poem,
Mary is the symbol of heaven. It is she who seems to decide if the sinners
or unconverted should be allowed in heaven after being unable to make up
their mind about religion and faith. It is then that the narrator puts
himself down by saying, "Lord, I am not worth," in hopes of escaping

Erika Howell from United States
Comment 14 of 141, added on May 1st, 2006 at 5:36 AM.

Ash Wednesday is a very interesting poem once you stop to think about all
the symbolism it actually portrays in each stanza. Eliot's use of
repetition and also the significance of colors are evident in this piece.
Although each section of the poem was different, each was conencted in some
way. I found it clever how he linked the first section to the second by
ending the first section with the use of words from the ending of the
prayer 'Hail Mary' and then go into the second section which describes a
woman which we can assume to be Mary, then finally in the fourth section
actually mention her name. I also noticed his use of contrasts and
contradictions in the poem. Profits and losses, birth and death, and of
course, darkness and light. I prefer this poem over 'The Wasteland.'

J Gollero from United States
Comment 13 of 141, added on May 1st, 2006 at 3:49 AM.

The most obvious aspect of this poem that stuck out in my mind was the
repetition that T.S. Eliot used. There was repetition of entire passages
like how he connected the first part of the poem to the last part. Also
there was the repetition of single words, homonyms, and alliterations. The
sound of the poem being read aloud was very lyrical and fluid despite the
poem having a depressing overtone.

T.S. Eliot uses a lot of symbolism for light and dark and the colors white
and blue.

In the poem it was easy to tell that there were a lot of religious
referneces to christianity. Ash Wednesday is a day for christians to
repent by getting ash rubbed into their forehead and recite a Litany of
Penance. It also marks the beginning of Lent. T.S. Eliot addresses these
topics and the topic of death. No matter what status or group a person
belongs to, one thing to remember is that every person is a sinner. The
"veiled women" must decide who she must pray for but i think that she was
included to remind everyone (or mainly christians) that God is merciful and
will not judge; instead, he will forgive as long as a person is willing to
repent during the forty days of Lent and starting with Ash Wednesday.
T.S. Eliot uses a lot of symbolism for light and dark and the colors white
and blue.

A. Cachero from Philippines
Comment 12 of 141, added on May 1st, 2006 at 4:04 AM.

This poem was very subliminal reading for me as I wasnt really able to
grasp what Elliot was trying to say. I think it was sort of prayer because
in section V the narrator hopes the veiled lady will pray for the children
and wonders what'll become of his people. other than that it seemed like it
was a lot of oxymorons put together like "teach us to care and not to

aus from United States

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Information about Ash Wednesday

Poet: T.S. Eliot
Poem: Ash Wednesday
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 5134 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 30 2010

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