The Wasteland by ts eliot has a form that falls under the literary movement called modernism. Modernism is used to descrie post WWI literature, which expressed a rebellion against previously held notions about form, style, and rules. During this time the literature (poetry included) made a dramatic shift away from the traditional, romatnic, or idealized appraoch to life...and as a result art. The grittier, more realistic the work, the better. Eliot is no exception to this in that he employs many of the forms used during this time, such as free verse, phrases from other languages and cultures, a juxtaposition of viewpoints, frank and graphic depictions of sex, and anything that really would have 'shocked' the older generation of the time.
From a literary standpoint, eliot gives a nod to Chaucer in his opening section when he uses the phrase, "April is the curellest month". Then, in true modernist bent, he twists the Chaucer theme of the renewing atmosphere of April but making it a time of death.