Is it plebeian to want to not love The Waste Land, is it a flip from how relevant one must have felt to be in the know, at that time, at that when? He wrote it in 1922—almost a century ago—and misspelled “cruelest.” It feels opposite. It feels plebeian to let myself feel plebeian about anything.
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
If I were to arrange the months in order of cruelty, it would go something like: February, March, April, November, January, December, July, May, September, June, October, August.
From bitter white to light. Unreal City to a wicked pack of cards.
Then it depends on the why, the personal. When the roots aren’t dull, they’re being smothered by peak winter bitterness, snuffing out a fire that aches to burn August bright. Then you can tolerate April, perk your ears for birdsong, keen eyes on unfurling buds. Up here it won’t be in-bloom-green until late May, so yes, April is still cruel, capitalizing on our impatience, feeding on want.
When I’m unhappy the order would be: February, March, December, January, November, April, May, June, July, and then August through October. Almost the correct, deliberate order.
Which makes me wonder: well, you know, it’s hard to not believe unhappiness wasn’t the intended state for us all. But then one day you’ll read Camus on Sisyphus.
“Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world.”
Each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, and everything is flipped yet again because nothing sounds more beautiful.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel. I do not find The Hanged Man. Fear death by water. One always finds one’s burden again. I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. That corpse you planted last year in your garden. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. All Sisyphus’s joy is contained herein. Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, and each man fixed his eyes before his feet. If the descent is thus sometimes performed in sorrow, it can also take place in joy. And still she cried, and still the world pursues. My nerves are bad tonight. The absurd man, when he contemplates his torment, silences all the idols. One always finds one’s burden again.