“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? / Son of man, / You cannot say, or guess, for you know only / a heap of broken images,”
I absolutely love these lines. This second stanza returns to the tone of the opening lines, describing an almost barren, desolate place of “stony rubbish” –sterile, lacking life, essentially the “waste land” of the poem’s title. It encompasses what we have learned about modernity in class. When I read these lines I heard Professor Gharabegian voice in my head, channeling Eliot as she often does in class. Lol!