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ELDER POETRY INTERLUDE: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Well, not the entire poem of T.S. Eliot although it is surely worth the read and you will find it here.

This, today, is a short six lines taken from near the end of the work with that wonderful, well-worn question in line 3.


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 they will sing to me.

Thomas_Stearns_Eliot_by_Lady_Ottoline_Morrell_(1934)

Thomas Stearns Eliot was born in the U.S., moved to the U.K. in his 20s and eventually became a naturalized British citizen. He was one of the most renowned poets of the 20th Century.

In addition to The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, many of Eliot's works are among the best-known and loved - Gerontion, Ash Wednesday, The Waste Land and my favorite, Four Quartets.

He died in 1965 at age 76.


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Comments

I also love these lines from J.Alfred Prufrock..It amuses me to think of measuring out one's life this way:

"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."


"Let us go then you and I
When the evening is spread out against the sky"

What lovely words to start the Love Song of Prufrock.

Thank you for posting this, Ronni.

I love T.S. Eliot!!!! He's my favorite poet and this is my favorite of his poems!

I wrote my masters thesis on this poem, now many, many years ago. At the time, my mother observed that although I probably had an excellent intellectual understanding of the poem, I certainly could not have the visceral understanding I would only achieve "later in life." Thanks for sharing this and reminding me of how right she was!

One of the greats that I need to revisit. So many of them were left behind years ago when I graduated ...


Ronni,

I know you like and appreciate most of the writers and poets of our day,so I am wondering if you have seen the Woody Allen film "Midnight In Paris"

If not, please get it on Netflix. You will love it.
I will not say another word!

One of my favorite poems of all times, especially the line, "I measured out my life in coffee spoons." What's amazing was that Eliot was just in his early 20's when he wrote it.

I'm enjoying this poetry interlude. Wonder if we have any elder poets? I'm not one, but I appreciate reading others.

Nice post. My favorite poem is One of Shelley's

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