Steven's Reviews > The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot
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Jul 09, 07

bookshelves: poetry

Perhaps my favorite poem for its vivid use of imagery and metaphor. One of my favorite memories of the play is the Crash Test Dummies song, "Afternoons and Coffeespoons," popular at the same time I read this poem.

In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michelangelo.

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands,
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

It is impossible to say just what I mean!

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

Do I dare to eat a peach?

I am no prophet — and here's no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
It is impossible to say just what I mean!

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
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