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

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Comment 24 of 144, added on May 7th, 2007 at 9:43 AM.

Ash Wednesday is a very interesting and attention grabbing poem. It shows
the speakers need for God and how he feels he is "unworthy" for him. It
shows his lack of hope for everything in the world. TS Eliot uses great
metaphors and awesome figurative language! :)

nieve! from Ireland
Comment 23 of 144, added on May 7th, 2007 at 4:12 AM.

Although I did not understand every part of this poem, I was able to get
the gist of it, of the emotions and feelings that the poem seemed to
portray to whoever read it. Eliot seems to doubt/question his relationship
with God, and repeatedly says that he is not worthy. He prays himself, as
well as other sinners. Eliot is not alone in these feelings. Almost
everyone will question their faith in God, or any higher being in that
matter, at one point or another in their lives. I think that any religious
person can relate to Eliot while reading this poem, which is why the poem
seems to emit such powerful emotions.

lei lei from United States
Comment 22 of 144, added on May 7th, 2007 at 1:23 AM.

Well. I like The Waste Land better than this poem. Ash Wednesday seems to
have more of a relious feel to it and me not being very religious at all
finds it to be ummmmm interesting, but not intriguing. I find that The
Waste Land makes me want to read all the novels alluded to within it, but
Ash Wednesday doesn't compel me to learn more about religion.

My favorite part of Ash Wednesday is in part 2 where the bones are
"Where all loves end . . .Word of no speech." I dunno it just sort of
touches a chord somewhere deep inside. To think that there is a place
where all loves end is against the traditional fairy tales I grew up on.
These fairy tales ended with "and they lived happily ever after" assuming
that they continued loving each other forever. This contrasts that saying
that there is a place where love ends.
Or maybe this is a place where all love ends? As in this is a place where
all love winds up. Perhaps it is not the end of love, but just a final
place for love to exist.

J or die from Canada
Comment 21 of 144, 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 144, 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 144, 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 144, 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 144, 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 144, 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 144, 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

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Information about Ash Wednesday

Poet: T.S. Eliot
Poem: Ash Wednesday
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 5763 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 30 2010

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