J. Alfred Prufrock

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot must be ‘attempted’ to be read at least once in one’s lifetime. If you can figure it out, that’s just as well too. The part I enjoyed most is the terrific imagery of the feline of the species, the regular cat, in the extract below –

 
     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, made 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 time for me, 
And time yet for a hundred indecisions, 
And for a hundred visions and revisions, 
Before the taking of a 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 reverse.

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