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Copy of Prufrock

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by

Emily Sutton

on 14 November 2012

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Transcript of Copy of Prufrock

T.S. Eliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 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
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit. In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo. The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, mad a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
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 for me,
And time yet for a hundred in decisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of the toast and tea. In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo. And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair -
(They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!")
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin-
(They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!")
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reserve. For I have known them already, known them all-
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voice is dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume? And I have known the eyes already, known them all-
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I'm formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume? And I have known the arms already, known them all-
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume form a dress
That make me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I them presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow street
And watched the smokes that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?. . . I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. 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 not prophet- and here's no great matters;
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.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball,
To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"-
If one, settling a pillow behind her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all.
That is not, at all." And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkles streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail
Along the floor-
And this, and so much more?-
It is impossible to say just what i mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen;
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what i meant, at all." No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start and scene or two,
Advise the prince, no doubt, and easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous almost, at times, the Full, at times, the full. 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 sing each to each.

I do not think they will sing to me.

I have seen them writing seaward on the waves
combing the white hair on the waves blown back
when the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the cambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown. The End!
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