Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

T.S. Eliot began writing The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock in February of 1910 and first published it over 5 years later. You can read an annotated edition online here. Poor J. Alfred Prufrock longs to express his love, yet he does not dare.

This is one of those famous literary works that offers tea, including in this section:
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
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.
How sad: the risk not taken, eternal regret.

Listen to Eliot reading it:


"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."

Bleubeard and Elizabeth offer a way to connect with others on Tuesdays at this link at their blog.

22 comments:

  1. Happy T-day
    Thanks for sharing and the visit.

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    1. thx :) happy t day to you, too.

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  2. Poor Prufrock. A reminder that we need to seize the moment. Enjoyed the clip.

    Darla

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    1. yes, today is all we have. we need to live in it.

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  3. the writing is so lyrical and moving and with Eliot reading it is that much more meaningful. I enjoyed this very much.Thank you for sharing it, and happy T day!

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    1. so glad you liked it. i love it when you can hear an author read their own work :)

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  4. how lovely...I don't believe I've read this before, nor am I sure of the true meaning, but I guess that is the way with poetry. mysterious enough to be interpreted in many ways, on different levels. Love the quote below the clip, 'measuring life with coffee spoons.'

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    1. yes, i'm no good at discerning deeper meanings, i'm afraid. i got a kicj out of the coffee spoons quote :)

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  5. Sad to be so worried, so afraid of love and timid of life.
    Eliot--he reads almost like he is humming sometimes--like a song in the rhythm of it. I have never heard his voice or knew they even had copies of him reading. Fascinating! Thanks!
    Oh, and Karma didn't like him for some reason. Had her ears back as he talked his sing-song words--LOL! Happy T-Day! :)

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    1. maybe karma lives for the day and hates this idea of fretful regret. or maybe it's just that voice! lol

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  6. I love that poem, but I'd forgotten that I mentioned tea. Thanks for sharing, and have a Happy T Day!

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    1. i had forgotten the tea, too. happy t day :)

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  7. Hello and Happy T Day to you! Thanks for sharing the poem/video with us. I did enjoy it ! Have a wonderful day!

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    1. happy t day! i'm glad you liked the poem.:)

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  8. Happy Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. happy t tuesday to you, too! :)

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  9. How clever of you to find a poem involving tea. His voice sounds haunting. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs
    xx

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    1. i love the google search ;) i'm glad you liked it.

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  10. I really enjoyed hearing the poem read! Thanks for sharing on this tea day!

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    1. yes, it's interesting to hear how he reads it, i think. i'm glad you liked it :)

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  11. What an interesting read. It was great that you found a clip that Elliot read. Always best when the author, who knows how to punctuate his writings, reads his own work. Haunting, but lovely. And thanks for sharing it this T Tuesday. Just the kind of wonderful variety I enjoy on T day.

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    1. i'm glad you liked it :) thx for hosting the gathering. i always find such fun things!

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