Image by Angus McBean

The Waste Land Part IV - Death by Water

T. S. Eliot


The Waste Land Part IV - Death by Water

T. S. Eliot


Poem introduction

The Waste Land

The Waste Land Part IV - Death by Water

IV. Death by Water

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss.
A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.


from Collected Poems 1909-1962 (Faber, 1974), by permission of the publisher, Faber & Faber Ltd.

Recordings