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Understanding alfred prufrock in the love song of j alfred prufrock by t s eliot

The Love Song of J. 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.

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, made a sudden leap, And seeing that it was a soft October night, Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

  • This is a standard reaction to many of T;
  • It's an important lead in to the poem itself as the quote conveys the idea that the answer will be given by Guido because no man has ever returned to Earth alive from the hellish abyss;
  • Alfred Prufrock" is totally a modernist poem.

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.

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; I know the voices dying with a dying fall Beneath the music from a farther room.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Summary

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 am 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?

  1. The city is half-deserted.
  2. 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. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
  3. Society was changing, and a new order was forming. For I have known them all already, known them all.
  4. He's getting on in years and is acutely aware of what he's become, measuring his life in coffee spoons, losing his hair, turning thin.
  5. Alfred Prufrock is a shifting, repetitive monologue, the thoughts of a mature male as he searches for love and meaning in an uncertain, twilight world. So how should I presume?

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 from a dress That makes me so digress? Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl. And should I then presume? And how should I begin?

  1. At the time of writing, class systems that had been in place for centuries were under pressure like never before.
  2. He's getting on in years and is acutely aware of what he's become, measuring his life in coffee spoons, losing his hair, turning thin. Eliot's poem is the story of a modern day Guido living in a smoky, city hell.
  3. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948. This shifting, repetitive poem is a parody of a love song; it flows then stumbles and hesitates its way through the life of a middle aged male who can't decide where he stands in the world.

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets And watched the smoke 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.

Analysis of Poem: "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! Smoothed by long fingers, Asleep.

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 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: 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: I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be; Am an attendant lord, one that will do To swell a progress, start a scene or two, Advise the prince; no doubt, an 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 Fool.

What Happens in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock?

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind?

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.

  • Alfred Prufrock didn't appear in print until June 1915, when editor Harriet Monroe, with Ezra Pound's recommendation, published it in the journal Poetry;
  • The "modernists" basically include all the artists and writers who were living smack in the middle of the huge, massive transformation from olden days to modern times, which was roughly the end of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century;
  • You, too, may be in the process of being dragged through the poem in one of your classes;
  • Alfred Prufrock is 131 lines long and is mostly loose rhyming, that is, there is no consistent rhyme scheme and no regular pattern to the rhythm;
  • Eliot , was an American who moved to Britain in 1914.

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me. I have seen them riding seaward on the waves Combing the white hair of the waves blown back When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown. Collected Poems 1909-1962 1963.