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The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  19,227 ratings  ·  301 reviews
Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky Like a patient etherized upon a table; Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, The muttering retreats Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels.
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published 1976 by Ameron (first published 1915)
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Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This landmark collection of fiercely insightful and incisively cut gems - on the subject of the rampant hypocrisy that was in part responsible for the wholesale mowing down of young men in the trenches of Flanders - is just too good to ignore!

And it took the disenchanted citizenry of the rapidly and irrevocably changing Western World by storm.

Eliot’s anger is transmuted here into the muted and carefully-planted wasp stings of wit.

For Thomas Stearns Eliot was a punctiliously correct ethical power
Sep 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1-fiction
3 of 5 stars to the poetry of T.S. Eliot, specifically, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems.

In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”, a man confronts his physical sexuality during an elite social gathering. The man, J. Alfred Prufrock, breathes in his surroundings and then uses them to define his own appearance as the antithesis of what he sees. The man has no self-esteem and therefore constantly dwells on his negative attributes and less-than-perfect features.
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Question: Why oh why do they make children read Prufrock in school? How can a kid, having run in from recess with pink perfect cheeks and years to go before hairs start sprouting out of weird places, have any idea what T.S. Eliot is talking about? How can someone who thinks 21-year-olds are ancient, possibly get Prufrock? I remember being asked to read this poem in fourth grade, and it is touching in an odd way to think back on the scene in the classroom - my 40-ish, balding teacher, bent almost ...more
Stella Dinielli
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is an examination of the tortured ego of the modern man—overeducated, eloquent, neurotic, pompous and disturbed, who’s ironically tortured due to his overwhelming brilliance. The main character, not someone of fame and wealth but rather an unacknowledged poet, sees the world as spiritually exhausted and a wasteland. Humans are incapable of communicating with one another because their psychological state is too fragile and afraid of change. He notices all the ...more
Aug 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is the most beautiful poem I have ever read. I'm not a big poetry connoisseur, so feel free to disagree.

I would eat this poem if I could. Or marry it. I would hold the hair of this poem while it puked, if it were the type of poem to drink heavily to the point of wretching, but it's not. This poem is far too good for those sort of shennanigans. (Instead, it partakes of tea and cakes and ices and lingers in dooryards and ponders the beauty and futility of life,
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a required reading at literature seminar. I like poetry in general, and I enjoyed many of these poems.
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
"Do I dare disturb the universe?"

(view spoiler)
Dave Cheng
Apr 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My copy of this book I stole from my high school library.

In my freshman poetry class, we were told to memorize a poem of at least 10 lines. I told my teacher that this was a pointless assignment and that rote memorization doesn't teach anything, but honestly I was just lazy and hated the idea of memorizing anything.

Then I stumbled upon The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. It took me one night/morning to memorize the 132 lines.
Hasan Makhzoum
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

When I was asked by BBC Culture what would be my favourite line by the great poet T.S. Eliot, this famous expression from his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock came up instantly to my mind.
Not for my adoration for espresso (worship would be the appropriate term), but for being intrigued by how a simple line provides multiple figurative meanings..

The reference to the coffee spoon has various interpretati
Alejandro Saint-Barthélemy
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jules Laforgue fans
Shelves: poetry
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is a masterpiece, 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟, but, as a whole book of poems, it just functions like a pop album, meaning that there are two very good poems or hits (Rhapsody on a Windy Night is also brilliant) and the rest feel like fillers (which Eliot knew, for they are clearly jokes).

Let us go instead of Let's go (same goes for do not ask and maybe other cases) seems like a poetic inaccuracy to me (it would be great to have Ezra Pound's opinion on this [aren't all his correcti
BAM Endlessly Booked
Catching up with the classics # 17

3.5 stars
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Poem review "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”

Prufrock, the main character of this poem, is exhibited during the uncertain times of the beginning of World War I. Published in 1915, T S Eliot presents one of his first published poems.
His verses narrate the experience of Prufrock, an urban man that deeply dwells in his own existential thoughts. Dominat
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
T S Eliot's first pamphlet of poetry, Prufrock and Other Observations was incessantly hyped before publication by Ezra Pound, the one time modernist poet and erstwhile fascist campaigner during the Second World War, although that shouldn't be used as a stick to beat Eliot, even if there were many doubts about his own sympathies at the time (particularly in relation to his alleged anti-Semitism).

While Eliot used allusions to such an extent that some wondered whether he was in fact guilty of plag
The first time I heard this poem out loud, all I could say was "Wow." I haven't read much of Eliot's work, and to be honest, most of it goes over my head. However, "Prufrock" connected with me so strongly—the indecision, fear of the future, fear of doing something incredible, falling in love, the meaninglessness of life, the fear of not being worthy of affection, doom in death.... Written so eloquently, with great sadness & emptiness, this gorgeous poem voices the fears of every person doesn't k ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Prufrock is one of my all-time favorite poems and it is included here with other works by Eliot. This is a great and relatively short way to capture the beauty of Eliot's verse. ...more
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh Eliot, how u push me to fall into the chasm of nihilism.... 😞
- Jared - ₪ Book Nerd ₪
I re-read this and have indeed gained deeper insight from my first reading in high school.
Raises questions of introspection,
of mortality,
of inhibitions,
of regrets,
of hopes,
of drive,
of happiness,
of love,
of lust,
and so much more.

In a word: Beautiful!

Now, I leave you with the opening stanza:
"S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma percioche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti
Gabrielle Grosbety
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, classics
In T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Eliot invents a paralyzingly timid, consistently fearful, and chronically indecisive man named J. Alfred Prufrock who portrays facets of the human condition and also comes to be a way for Eliot to look inward and know himself. The entire poem is structured around a rambling, internal, dramatic monologue that Prufrock has with himself, which only intensifies the poem’s insular feel, and destructively, yet effectively for the sake of the inten ...more
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.

This is undoubtedly the best poem ever written, I feel so lucky I got the chance to study it, or else I am pretty sure I wouldn't have stumbled across it. Or if I had had, I wouldn't have picked it up for fear I might not be able to grasp the meaning behind it. But, amazingly, I did, I felt it in my bones which made it all the more shocking. I've been crying my
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The Lovesong and the other works here are full of navel-gazing reflections on the inexplicable fixations and frustrations of emotional life, throwing up frequently resonant physical details, framed with a self-consciousness that sometimes cloys or annoys, and sometimes inspires deep sympathy.
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, literature
It is an odd thing, but recently I read someone on this site say that they had always thought Eliot was English and was a bit surprised to find out that he was actually an American. Now, I’ve always thought of Prufrock as being English, but the odd thing is that now that I think about why I should believe that I really couldn’t tell you. I mean, as a cultural phenomena I think it is generally Americans who use their middle name, but keep their first initial dangling, so J. Alfred Prufrock would ...more
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“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 toast and tea.”

my favorite poems in this collection: Prufrock, Portrait of a lady, Rhapsody on a windy night, aunt Helen, La Figlia Cha Piange.
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Prufrock & Other Observations is a thin volume of T.S. Eliot’s first poetry collection, which is perfect in is own way because what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up in quality. The poems are difficult to understand and they require close reading, contextual information is certainly helpful, too. The difficulty is not necessarily pretentious – depending on your definition of what constitutes pretentious literature – but a result of several influences on Eliot. This early collection is i ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alienated and isolated consciousness in inane upper class cityscapes. Top tips: Prufrock, Lady, Rhapsody.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This poem is, I think, Eliot’s ‘fanfare for the common man’. Prufrock is the ordinary bloke in the street, and his name itself seems deliberately humdrum to set him apart from the great figures of literature: ‘No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be,’ he exclaims self-deprecatingly after a rather long passage of philosophising. But although he is no hero, Prufrock is as capable of appreciating beauty and having deep insights into the human condition as any of the exalted ones. He is rath ...more
عماد العتيلي

Ok, here is the thing: I LOVE PRUFROCK:)
Oh God! I loooooove this book. I read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" maybe a million times! It's my favorite poem.
This particular poem takes you in a journey to a world where people are asleep - just like the world we're living in today! A world so ugly, like a "“sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:”

Prufrock is so sick of that world, he wants to shout, scream, and tell people that they are sinking, and that their lives are going in the wrong dir
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
In reality 4.5 stars.

The title poem gets a full five stars, undoubtedly. It was a poem I thought I wouldn't like (heaven knows why), and I read it almost by accident (the beginning is quoted in a John Green novel). I read it three times in a row, every time more blown away than the last.

The other poem I absolutely loved in this small collection was "Rhapsody on a Windy Night". The last two lines made me draw my breath sharply and almost start crying. I was so shudderingly stricken by the endin
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reread of this tiny, lovely book of poetry. Even though I don't understand all of what Eliot is trying to say, I thoroughly enjoy the language. His words sound so absolutely beautiful, and a lot of his poems are very atmospheric.

Some of my favourite passages:
For I have known them all already, known them all
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

From "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Now that lilacs are in bloom
She has a bowl of lilacs i
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My most favorite parts: Motif of cat as night & Image of patient on thhe surgery table & the spider on the wall. This poem makes me go "yew....." and "exactly".

The motif of the cat thrills me because it is so perfect. This cat idea has occurred to others, yet it took all these centuries, millenia, for a writer to get the imge so perfect.

Sumit Singla
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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.

I picked this up after reading references to it in 'The Fault in Our Stars' and have to say that I don't think a poem has ever affected me so much (except maybe some works by Alfred Tennyson).

What beautiful imagery! What lovely, smooth, flowing poetry.

I'm not sure whether it would be correct to label J. Alfred Prufrock a neurotic, or simply someone who is a little to
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Thomas Stearns Eliot was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry." He wrote the poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, Ash Wednesday, and Four Quartets; the plays Murder in the Cathedral and The Cocktail Party; and the essay Tradition and the Individ ...more

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“For I have known them all already, known them all—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
“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.”
More quotes…