What is the structure of the poem?

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Typical to his style, T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" is a long, sprawling, and almost encyclopedic work that branches through many scenes and alludes to past works on an epic scale. The structure of the poem is divided into five parts. Within these parts, Eliot uses a disjointed narrative that flows through a series of vague and surreal scenes. From a lackluster scene of seduction in a modern apartment to the death of a Phoenician on the open sea, these vignettes in seemingly random time and space cast a haunting light on the feeling of life in a post-war society.

At the time of writing this masterpiece, Eliot was extremely dissatisfied with the structural tendencies of English poetry, finding them tedious, boring, and exhausted. This break from structural tradition into chaotic verse, out of all of his work, is most prominent in "The Waste Land."

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