Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I don't understand exactly why I've long had a special affection for this poem. I discovered it many years ago in a book of Eliot's that my father had acquired for a night school class when I was a young boy. That book and this poem first served as a reference for me in high school, when I needed a poem to interpret for a literature class. I remember laughing and rolling my eyes with a friend as we hooted at the lines: "Should I, after tea and cakes and ices/Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?" and "I grow old...I grow old.../I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled."

On a good day, I can recite the entire poem by heart, a pleasant exercise on a morning bike ride. I'm convinced its appeal is strictly aesthetic, as I could offer you no "interpretation" and wouldn't hazard any sort of critical analysis for fear it would destroy it for me. It did inspire me once, however, to use it as a model for a rather feeble and futile protest of W's signature folly.

Here is a reading of the poem by Eliot himself, following a brief pitch for you to buy a Lexus:

1 comment:

Joel said...

DWF, I wrote a some what lengthy commrne, but lost it when I tried to "publish it". Don't know what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I'm supposed to long in.