Miniskirts in The Waste Land, set in Notting Hill and India, is an elegy for the late 60s/early 70s. In flamboyant contrast to the drab reality of post WW2 Britain, the air in these years of emerging counterculture, the era of the pill, throbbed with the scents and sounds of youth, the blazing hues of psychedelia. These poems portray a young woman’s search for self-knowledge, and love. But the heady freedom of the sexual revolution masks a darker side: a fear of loneliness, the realities of the Vietnam war. Along the way, she discovers the joys and disappointments of young love, explores the ‘queendom’ of motherhood, has a taste of her inner power till, in the end, the ‘jangled’ voices from her past ‘fade’ along with ‘voices of the jungle’. Peace, however transient, descends upon her.
Miniskirts in The Waste Land offers, for the curious, a glimpse into this vanished world. And for those who were there, the tantalising ghost of Patchouli scent and incense.