The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by TS Eliot [*POEM*]


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, 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.

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?

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.
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?
  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?

“Is it the perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?”

*          *          *

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.

*          *          *

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.

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 toward 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 by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”

“I am Lazarus, come back from the dead…”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled 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 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.

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 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.

“. . . human voices wake us, and we drown.”

32 thoughts to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by TS Eliot [*POEM*]”

  1. Sorry Lasha, this is off topic, but I know you won’t mind.

    This 61-year-old Palestinian farmer had his ear cut off by Jewish settlers on Yom Kippur a couple of days ago. For full story, see here:

    By the way, the author of this poem, TS Eliot, was considered a big anti-Semite. He wrote these shocking lines:

    “The rats are underneath the piles,
    The jew is underneath the lot.”

    The Jews got very angry when they read these lines and actually kicked up a fuss because Eliot had for some reason written the word “jew” with a small ‘j’. He had insulted them by denying them the honor of a capital “J”.

    I’m not joking. This is true.

  2. Fantastic pictures, Lasha. You really know how to choose them for their subliminal impact. Those pictures enhance the poem in a most remarkable manner.

  3. The poem has been published all over the internet, but this is the only illustrated version I have come across. Truly memorable.

  4. i use the inferior j. it is appropriate. jewry is a collective of small minds and the collective itself is a smaller mind. from the many, the lesser.

    the heebi jeebi j does not make me an eliot but i am still a shlomo.
    read my words. pretend i roar.


    “The Sakineh scandal” by Thierry Meyssan

    1. i





      1. I don’t understand very well, jessie lassie. Please forgive my curiosity.

        You do seem fortunate enough to perhaps milk the cows, knead dough, fetch water?
        That’s very fortunate indeed!

        There are fine young men thereabouts, I’m sure.

    2. levee-hiding-behind-henree … even among the shining exemplars of his vomitous race, a standout, no one brings it one quicker for me.

    3. there are 1 MILLION sayanim in the US (the good ol\’ jews\’ in the nehgoborhiod), out of some 5 Million jews\’? That\’s 20-25% are sleeper\’ cells, waiting for an order to execute and order. The majority of the hive are polluting the NE, and the Washington Latrine. Government/fianance/rapine jobs, naturally. And what\’s left, good\’ ones, are the silent ones who NEVER by themselves and as a group, ever revolt publicly and denounce the treacherous and criminal activities of their breed. And when they do, they sound as hypocritical as RUTH BEERSTAIN and other fakes. Zionism\’ is not a race. But Khazars and Ashkenazis are. jew\’ is just a cover to rapine Palestine.

  5. Thanks for printing this, the best effort by Eliot. So many inspired writers like Eliot and Pound are flushed down the ‘anti-semitism’ memory hole by the JTPB. There will come a time soon when this type of genius isn’t even taught anymore.

  6. 30-40 years ago TS Eliot was all the rage. He was studied at school and university. He seemed to have much to say. He captured the Zeitgeist of angst following the Second World War. But now, thanks to his anti-Semitism, he has been phased out of most academic courses. Gone, too, “The Merchant of Venice” with its stereotypical predatory Jew Shylock.

    People have suddenly grown up. They know there is no place for anti-Semitism in today’s brave new world. The most popular book in university courses is now “The Diary of Anne Frank.” And the most popular area of historical enquiry is of course Holocaust Studies.

    This is as it should be. It is no longer a a shameful thing to be a Jew, as the incorrigible Eliot did his best to imply in his seedy little poems about Burbank and Grishkin and rats under the piles.

    It’s perhaps typical of Darkmoon that she should select this disgraceful old codger, TS Eliot, for rehabilitation on her site.

    1. If it is true that those great works are no longer part of curricli it is beacause Jews control the “education” system and, as we know, Jews are allergic to truth.

          1. Thanks for the correction Sardonicus, that’s what comes of being a smart arse. I should have run with the perfectly acceptable “curriculums”.
            BTW, I notice that I even misspelled the everyday word “because”. Proofreading! Proofreading!

          2. Not to worry, Mary. You’re clearly an educated woman and a darn good speller most times. Most of the women I rub shoulders with don’t even know what a “curriculum” IS! 🙂

  7. Is that Burroughs sneaking out of there; guilty as charged!!?

    Last time I saw him he was shaking his fist at me and laughing.

    1. Yes, that is Burroughs. A very disturbing picture, I thought. It says more than a thousand words can. One either knows at a glance what it’s saying or one doesn’t. However, maybe it says different things to different people. Which in itself is a remarkable phenomenon.

      I think we can all agree that the highest of the arts, which brings us closest to the gods, is music. But which is the second highest art: is it Poetry or Painting? If there were a lineup of the Muses, I wonder what their order of precedence would be.

      All the arts have suffered tremendously under the cultural Marxists of the Frankfurt School, i.e., organized Jewry. Music is now satanic, Poetry a bad joke, and Painting an obscenity. I exaggerate, of course, but there’s no doubt that the decline in the arts has been steep. No one today comes within ten million miles of Mozart.

      1. of course you don’t exaggerate.
        except that for me mozart wasn’t the undisputed champ.
        that goes to beethoven, followed by schumman.
        (just listen to beet’s piano sonata 32, opus 111 (i think) performed by equally immortal claudio arau).

        for me nowadays, the best is silence, the highest form of art unsullied by the devil’s spawn.

        1. Your comment about silence made me think of the silence of the vast ocean. It inspired me to add a picture of a lonely albatross skimming the silent waves of the sea.

          See these lines above in bigger-than-average blue font:

          I should have been a pair of ragged claws
          Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

        2. your aptitude for visual form pretty well matches the poetic one.

          please link us to youtube of yourself singing the queen of the night aria from mozart’s die zauberflöte so we can ascertain the musical reach as well.

          the only one we are not interested in is the ability to maintain silence.
          (which for so many women is the hardest to attain :-))

    2. thanks for information, a great picture.
      and the dream ladder into the tree of universe, or enlightenment, or apples or whatever.

  8. I’ll have more to say about my boy Tom Eliot a little later, but for now just . . .

    Prison and palace and reverberation
    Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
    He who was living is now dead
    We who were living are now dying
    With a little patience

    You’re a great photo editor, Lasha. Me too. I think the next one of these you should tackle is Yeats’s “The Second Coming”, far more relevant to our times than Prufrock. But try not to make it TOO scary.

    William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    You’re in my wheelhouse now.

  9. Love songs can be found in the histories and cultures of most societies, though their ubiquity is a modern phenomenon. A highly controversial and startling explanation of the genesis of love songs can be found in Denis de Rougemont’s “Love in the Western World”. De Rougemont’s thesis is that love songs grew out of the courtly love songs of the troubadours, and that those songs represented a rejection of the historical Christian notion of love. ..”`-

    Freshest article content on our very own web-site

  10. Bravo I love poetry.
    I had a cousin, known as Doc Holliday. He was a rabble rouser and loved poetry. They say he repeated this one, don’t know if it was true, after shootings at the O.K. corral. This is going to sound like bragging a bit, yeah it is, but his cousin, Margaret Mitchell wrote “Gone With The Wind.”

    Thing is if you saw the movie Tombstone, Doc was seen quoting Kubla Khan. I have no idea if this was true. I am going up this year to the museum. My cousin (Bill) is the proprietor of the Doc Holliday Museum in Griffin, Georgia.

    Anyway after the O.K. corral he was quoted using some of the verses of Kubla Khan. If of course if you subscribe to the movie (Tombstone)

    And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
    His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
    Weave a circle round him thrice,
    And close your eyes with holy dread,
    For he on honey-dew hath fed,
    And drunk the milk of Paradise.

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