The Love of Prufrock


 Let us go then, you and I,
 When the evening is            against the sky
 Like a patient           upon a table;
 Let us go, through         half-deserted streets,
 The muttering 
 Of          nights in           cheap hotels
 And sawdust             with oyster-shells:
 Streets that        like a tedious 
    lead        an overwhelming question ...
                 "What is it?"
                    our visit.

             the women
         of Michelangelo.

 The yellow fog                         the window-panes,
 The yellow smoke                         the window-panes,
 Licked its tongue into                the evening,
 Lingered                           in drains,
 Let fall               the soot            from chimneys,
 Slipped by                   a sudden leap,
                 it was a soft October night,
 Curled                       and fell asleep.

 And indeed 
     the yellow smoke             along the street,
                       the window-panes;
 There will be       there will be
            a face to meet the faces
 There will be         murder and
          for all the                   hands
 That          drop a                  plate;
      for you and      for me,
 And      yet for           indecisions,
     for           visions and revisions,
            taking      toast and tea.

 In the room 
         of Michelangelo.

     indeed there will be
            "Do I dare?" and
         turn back              the stair,
      a      spot in               my hair--
                      his hair
 My         coat, my                               chin,
 My necktie                                  a simple pin--
                          his arms          are thin!
         the universe
 In a minute
                                            will reverse.

 For I have known                 , known them all:
            the evenings,           afternoons,
 I have              my life with coffee spoons;
 I know the                           fall
                   from a farther room.
   So how should I
       have known the eyes          known
 The eyes
                           sprawling on a pin,
           pinned               on the wall,
      how should I
    spit out                      my days
   And how should I

       have known the arms          known them all--
                              white and bare
                               with light brown hair!
 Is it              a dress
 That makes me    digress?
 Arms that lie along          or wrap about
   And should I             ?
   And how should I      ?

           *         *         *         *

              I have gone at dusk
 And watched the smoke
 Of lonely men

 I should have                       claws
 Scuttling across the floors

           *         *         *         *

     the afternoon, the evening, sleeps
 Smoothed by      fingers,
 Asleep                  it malingers,
 Stretched               here beside you
 Should I, after                   ices,
                      force the moment to its crisis?
            I have wept and         wept and
               seen my head
 I am no                        great matter;
 I have seen               my greatness flicker,
 And             the eternal Footman                   snicker,
 And           I was afraid.

 And would it have been           after all,
 After                          the tea,
 Among the porcelain                         and me,
                    worth while,
 To have bitten                with a smile,
 To have squeezed              into a ball
                   some overwhelming question,
 To say: "I am Lazarus, 
 Come back to tell you all,
 If                           her head,
   Should say: "That is not what I meant
                   at all."

 And would it have been
                    worth while,
       the sunsets     the dooryards     the           streets,
       the novels,       the teacups,       the skirts

           and         more?--
                               what I mean
                           threw               patterns on a screen:
 Would it           worth while
 If one, settling                          a shawl,
 And turning                    should say:
   "That is not
               what I meant, at all."

           *         *         *         *

              Prince Hamlet      was meant to be
                           that will do
    swell a progress,       a scene or two,
                    no                tool,
              glad to be
 Politic            and meticulous
 Full of high sentence
                   almost ridiculous--

 I grow old
 I       wear                my trousers rolled.

 Shall I part my hair       ? Do I dare               ?
 I shall                                       upon the beach
              the mermaids singing, each to each.

   do not            they      sing to me.

             them riding            the waves
 Combing                   the waves
          wind blows the water
 We      lingered in                 the sea
 By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed
 Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

CT, 2014

Sculpted work:
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S Eliot