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St. Robert C.H.S. 12 University Poetry Sp ec ial po in ts o f i n te re st: ALLEGORICAL VERSE FREE VERSE Volume 1, Issue 1 2010 LYRICAL VERSE DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE Thoughts on Poetry simple, self-contained, and SONG LYRICS APOET IS LIMITED in the unpretentious materials he can use in creating his works: all he Fortunately, the English Inside this issue: language contains a wide has are words to express The Sound of Words 2 his ideas and feelings. range of words from which “Words mean more than what is These words need to be to choose for almost every set down on paper. It tae the precisely right on several thought, and there are also human voice to infuse them with The Meaning of Words 3 numerous plans or methods levels at once: deeper meaning.” of arrangement of these ~Maya Angelou The Arrangement of Words 4 • they must sound right to the words, called poetic de- listener even as they delight vices, which can assist the poet has created his work. his ear The Arrangement of Words 5 • they must have a meaning writer in developing cogent Words or portions of words cont. which might have been unan- expressions pleasing to his can be clustered or juxtaposed ticipated, but seems to be readers. to achieve specific kinds of The Images of Words 6 the perfectly right one Even though most poetry effects when we hear them. • they must be arranged in a today is read silently, it The sounds that result can relationship and placed on the must still carry with it the strike us as clever and pleas- Poetry Explication Essay 7 Structure page in ways that are at once feeling of being spoken ing, even soothing. Others we easy to follow and assist the dislike and strive to avoid. aloud, and the reader Allegorical Verse: Because I 8 reader in understanding These various deliberate ar- could not Stop for Death should practice “hearing” it rangements of words have • they must probe the depths in order to catch all of the been identified. of human thought, emotion, Free Verse: 9 and empathy, while appearing artfulness with which the I, Icarus Lyric Poetry: 10 Summer Night Song Lyrics: 11 Avoid the Unnecessary Use of the Afternoons and Coffeespoons Dramatic Monologue: The Love 12 Verb "to be" (CONSIDER USING THE FOLLOWING INSTEAD:) Song of J. Alfred Prufrock dramatizes asserts asserts addresses Dramatic Monologue: The Love 13 presents posits posits emphasizes Song of J. Alfred Prufrock cont. illustrates enacts enacts stresses Dramatic Monologue: The Love 14 characterizes connects connects accentuates Song of J. Alfred Prufrock cont. underlines portrays portrays enables Personal Notes 15 Publication Information 16 Page 2 THE SOUNDS OF WORDS Words or portions of Alliteration: Repeated con- Asso na nce : Repeated words can be clustered sonant sounds at the begin- vowel sounds in words or juxtaposed to ning of words placed near placed near each other, usu- achieve specific kinds each other, usually on the ally on the same or adjacent of effects when we same or adjacent lines. A lines. These should be in hear them. The sounds somewhat looser definition sounds that are accented, or that result can strike us is that it is the use of the stressed, rather than in same consonant in any part vowel sounds that are unac- as clever and pleasing, of adjacent words. cented. even soothing. Others we dislike and strive to Example: Peter and Andrew Example: He‟s a bruisin‟ avoid. These various patted the pony at Ascot loser deliberate arrange- "A poem ments of words have should not been identified. mean but be." Consonance: Repeated Euphony: A series of musi- Rhythm: speech rhythms ~ Archibald consonant sounds at the cally pleasant sounds, con- (verbal stresses) into a regu- MacLeish ending of words placed near veying a sense of harmony lar pattern of accented syl- American Poet each other, usually on the and beauty to the language. lables separated by unac- (1892-1982) same or adjacent lines. cented syllables. Rhythm These should be in sounds Example: Than Oars divide helps to distinguish poetry that are accented, or the Ocean, from prose. stressed, rather than in Too silver for a seam— "The true phi- vowel sounds that are unac- Example: i THOUGHT i losopher and cented. This produces a Onomatopoeia: Words that SAW a PUSsyCAT. pleasing kind of near- sound like their meanings. the true poet are rhyme. Meter: is measured by the one, and a Example: boom, buzz, number of feet. A line with beauty, which is Example: boats into the crackle five feet is called pentame- truth, and a past ter; thus, a line of five truth, which is Repetition: The purposeful iambs is known as “iambic Cacophony A discordant re-use of words and phrases pentameter” beauty, is the series of harsh, unpleasant for an effect. aim of both." sounds helps to convey dis- The most common line order. This is often fur- Example: I was glad; so lengths are: Ralph Waldo Emerson thered very, very glad. American Poet (1803- by the combined effect of monometer: one foot 1882) the meaning and the diffi- tetrameter: four feet Rhyme: Words that culty of pronunciation. have different beginning heptameter: seven feet sounds but whose endings dimeter: two feet Example: My stick fingers sound alike pentameter: five feet click with a snicker octameter: eight feet And, chuckling, they Example: time, slime, mime trimeter: three feet knuckle the keys hexameter: six feet 12 University Poetry Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 3 THE MEANING OF WORDS Allegory: A representation of Ambiguity: A word or phrase M ost words convey several an abstract or spiritual meaning. Sometimes it can be a single that can mean more than one thing, even in its context. Poets meanings or shades of meaning word or phrase, such as the often search out such words to at the same time. It is the poet‟s name of a character or place. add richness to their work. Of- job to find words which, when Often, it is a symbolic narrative ten, one meaning seems quite used in relation to other words that has not only a literal mean- readily apparent, but other, in the poem, will carry the pre- ing, but a larger one understood deeper and darker meanings, cise intention of thought. Often, only after reading the entire await those who contemplate some of the more significant story or poem the poem. words may carry several layers or “depths” of meaning at once. Allusion: A brief reference to Example: Robert Frost‟s „The The ways in which the mean- some person, historical event, Subverted Flower‟ ings of words are used can be work of art, or Biblical or "Poetry lifts identified. mythological situation or char- the veil from acter. the hidden beauty of the Analogy: A comparison, usu- what distinguishes the precisely Metonymy: A figure of speech world, and ally something unfamiliar with correct word from one that in which a person, place, or something familiar. is merely acceptable. thing is referred to by something makes famil- Example: The plumbing took a closely iar objects maze of turns where even water Denotation: The dictionary associated with it. be as if they got lost. definition of a word Example: The White House stated were not fa- today that... Example: The Crown reported today that... miliar." Apostrophe: Speaking directly Euphemism: An understate- to a real or imagined listener or ment, used to lessen the effect Oxymoron: A combination of Percy Bysshe inanimate object; addressing of a statement; substituting two words that appear to contra- Shelley that person or something innocuous dict each other. English Poet thing by name. for something that might be Example: a pointless point of (1792-1822) Example: O Captain! My Cap- offensive or hurtful. view; bittersweet tain! our fearful trip is done… Example: She is at rest. Paradox: A statement in which (meaning, she‟s dead) a seeming contradiction may Cliché: Any figure of speech reveal an unexpected truth. Ex- that was once clever and origi- Hyperbole: An outrageous ex- ample: The faster I go the more nal but through overuse has aggeration used for effect. behind I get. become outdated. If Example: He weighs a ton. you‟ve heard more than two or Personification: Attributing three other people say it more Irony: A contradictory state- human characteristics to an in- than two or three times, chances ment or situation to reveal a animate object, animal, or ab- are the reality different from what ap- stract idea. phrase is too timeworn to be pears to be true. Example: The days crept by useful in your writing. Example: Wow, thanks for ex- slowly, sorrowfully. Example: busy as a bee pensive gift...let‟s see: did it Synecdoche: Indicating a per- come with a Fun Meal or the son, object, etc. by letting only a Connotation: The emotional, Burger King certain part represent the whole. psychological or social over- equivalent? Example: All hands on deck. William tones of a word; its implications and associations apart from its Shakespeare literal meaning. Often, this is Page 4 The Arrangement of Words Words follow each other in Point of View: The au- • 1st Person: the speaker is a sequence determined by thor‟s point of view concen- a character in the story or the poet. In order to discuss trates on the vantage point poem and tells it from his/ the arrangements that result, of the speaker, or “teller” of her perspective (uses “I”). certain terms have been the story or poem. This may applied to various aspects • 3rd Person limited: the be considered the poem‟s of that arrangement process. speaker is not part of the “voice” — the pervasive Although in some ways story, but tells about the presence behind the overall these sequences seem arbi- other characters through the work. This is also some- trary and mechanical, in limited perceptions of one times referred to as the per- another sense they help to other person. sona. determine the nature of the "Poets are poem. masters of us ordinary men, in knowledge of the mind, • 3rd Person omniscient: the series of metrical feet. Gen- There is a natural tendency because they speaker is not part of the erally, but not always, the when reading poetry to drink at story, but is able to “know” line is printed as one single pause at the end of a line, streams which and describe what all char- line on the page. If it occu- but the careful reader will we have not yet acters are thinking. pies more than one line, its follow the punctuation to made accessi- remainder is usually in- find where natural pauses ble to science." Line: The line is funda- dented to indicate that it is a should occur. mental to the perception of continuation. ~Sigmund Freud poetry, marking an impor- In traditional verse forms, tant visual distinction from the length of each line is "Poetry is an prose. Poetry is arranged determined by convention, orphan of si- into a series of units that do but in modern poetry the lence. not necessarily correspond poet has more latitude for The words to sentences, but rather to a choice. never quite equal the ex- Verse: One single line of a Stanza: A division of a lines that are all of the same perience be- poem arranged in a metrical poem created by arranging length and meter, nor even hind them." pattern. Also, a piece of the lines into a unit, often the same number of lines in Charles Simic poetry or a particular form repeated in the same pattern each stanza. Stanzas created American Poet of poetry such as free verse, of meter and rhyme by such irregular line born in 1938 blank verse, etc., or the art throughout the poem; a unit groupings are often dictated or work of a poet. The of poetic lines (a by meaning, as in para- popular use of the word “paragraph” within the graphs of prose. verse for a stanza or associ- poem). The stanzas within a ated group of metrical lines poem are separated by is not in accordance with blank lines. Stanzas in the best usage. A stanza is a modern poetry, such as free group of verses. verse, often do not have 12 University Poetry Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 5 Stanza Forms: The names Enjambment: The continua- Form: The arrangement or given to describe the number of tion of the logical sense — method used to convey the lines in a stanzaic unit, such as: and therefore the grammati- content, such as free verse, couplet (2), tercet (3), quatrain ballad, haiku, etc. In other cal construction —beyond "Poetry (4), quintet (5), sestet (6), septet words, the “way-it-is-said.” A the end of a line of poetry. should be (7), and octave (8). Some stan- This is sometimes done with variably interpreted term, great and zas follow a set rhyme scheme however, it sometimes applies unobtru- and meter in addition to the the title, which in effect be- to details within the composi- sive, a number of lines and are given comes the first line of the tion of a text, but is probably thing specific names to describe them, poem. which en- used most often in reference to such as, ballad meter, ottava ters into the structural characteristics of rima, rhyme royal, terza rima, one's a work as it compares to (or and Spenserian stanza. soul, differs from) established and does modes of conventionalized not star- arrangements. tle it or amaze it with it- SOME FORMS: scribed pattern or structure — Quatrain: a four-line stanza, self, but the poet determines all the vari- or a grouping of four lines of Open: poetic form free from with its ables as seems appropriate for verse subject." regularity and consistency in each poem elements such as rhyme, line John Keats length, and metrical form Couplet: a pair of lines, usually English Poet rhymed; this is the shortest (1795-1821) Closed: poetic form subject to a stanza fixed structure and pattern Heroic Couplet: a pair of Blank Verse: unrhymed iambic rhymed lines in iambic pen- pentameter (much of the plays tameter (traditional heroic epic of Shakespeare are written in form) this form) Free Verse: lines with no pre- Lyric: derived from the (usually single) emotional Greek word for lyre, lyric element predominates. Rang- poetry was originally de- ing from complex thoughts to signed to be sung. One of the the simplicity of playful wit, three main groups of poetry the melodic imagery of skill- (the others being narrative fully written lyric poetry and dramatic), lyric verse is evokes in the reader‟s mind the most frequently used the recall of similar emo- modern form, including all tional experiences. poems in which the speaker‟s ardent expression of a Page 6 The Images of Words Imagery: The use of vivid the concrete things so through imaginative use and language to generate ideas brought to mind. combinations of diction. and/or evoke mental im- ages, not only of the visual Poetry works it magic by In addition to its more tan- sense, but of sensation and the way it uses words to gible initial impact, effec- emotion as well. While evoke “images” that carry tive imagery has the poten- most commonly used in depths of meaning. tial to tap the inner wisdom reference to figurative lan- of the reader to arouse The poet‟s carefully de- meditative and inspirational guage, imagery can apply to scribed impressions of responses. any component of a poem sight, sound, smell, taste that evoke sensory experi- and touch can be transferred ence and emotional re- "There's no to the thoughtful reader sponse, and also applies to money in poetry, but then there's no poetry Related images are often Sound: Tom placed his ear Synesthesia: An attempt in money, clustered or scattered tightly against the wall; he to fuse different senses either." throughout a work, thus could hear a faint but dis- by describing one kind of serving to create a particu- tinct thump thump thump. Robert Graves sense impression in English Poet lar mood or tone. Images of (1895-1985) Touch: The burlap wall words normally used to disease, corruption, and covering scraped against the describe another. death, for example, are re- current patterns shaping our little boy‟s cheek. "A poem is Example: The sound of never fin- perceptions of Shake- • Taste: A salty tear ran her voice was sweet. ished, only speare‟s Hamlet. across onto her lips. aban- Example: a loud aroma, a Ex: Sight: Smoke mysteri- doned." Smell: Cinnamon! That‟s velvety smile ously puffed out from the what wafted into his nos- Paul Valery clown‟s ears. trils. French Poet (1871-1945) Tone, Mood: The means by and attitudes. Tone can as interpreted through inflec- which a poet reveals atti- also refer to the overall tions of the voice; in poetry, tudes and feelings, in the mood of the poem itself, in this is conveyed through the style of language or expres- the sense of a pervading use of connotation, diction, sion of thought used to de- atmosphere intended to figures of speech, rhythm velop the subject. Certain influence the readers‟ emo- and other elements of poetic tones include not only irony tional response and foster construction. and satire, but may be lov- expectations of the conclu- ing, condescending, bitter, sion. Another use of tone is pitying, fanciful, solemn, in reference to pitch or to and a host of other emotions the demeanour of a speaker 12 University Poetry Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 7 Poetry Explication Essay Structure Paragraph #2 – literal Last Paragraph – the summary of the poem. title on a connotative "A poet who Last sentence of para- level, auditory devices makes use graph is the thesis (sound devices), discuss of a worse word in- statement (the theme the meaning of the last stead of a and the tone – positive line of the poem. better, be- or negative) cause the Paragraph #1 – Back- former fits ground to the author (if Paragraph #3-? – full the rhyme or you know anything) connotation analysis of the meas- the poem…remember ure, though to use the lit devices it weakens the sense, is like a jew- TP-CASTT eler, who Title: What does the title overtones of diction. Con- stanza division, changes in cuts a dia- mean? Consider carefully sider figurative language. line and or stanza length, mond into a the title’s connotation before irony, (which sometimes brilliant, and reading a selection or poem. Attitude: the poet's (TONE) hides shifts), effects of struc- diminishes Basic analysis of Tone: ture on meaning. the weight Paraphrase: Translate the DIDLS or PDIDLS. Look for poem into other easily under- speaker’s attitude toward Title: Examine title again, to make it standable words. Literal/ self, other characters, and this time on an interpretative shine more." denotative meaning only, the subject. Observe both level. resist the urge to interpret. the speaker’s and the poet’s Horace Walpole Look for syntactical units, (TONE) attitude. Do not con- Theme: Determine what the English Poet complete sentences and en- fuse them. poet is saying. List what the (1717-1797) jambment. poem is about (the subjects), Shifts: in speakers and in then determine what the Connotation: Extend be- attitudes. Look for occasion poem is saying about each of yond the literal level men- of poem (time and place), these subjects (purpose, tioned above. Emotional key words, punctuation, theme, message). PDIDLS for Tone Point of View: the narrative‟s Details: facts included or omit- Sentence Structure: perspective. First, third person, ted based on speakers perspec- how structure affects limited or omniscient. tive. the reader‟s attitude. Determine what the Diction: the connotation of the Language: The overall use of poet is saying.. word choice. language such as formal, clini- cal, jargon, emotional. These Images: vivid appeals which words describe force or quality create understanding through of diction, images, and details-- the senses using figurative lan- they qualify how the work is guage. written . Page 8 Allegorical Verse An allegory is a Edmund Spenser, narrative having a Pilgrim's Progress second meaning by John Bunyan beneath the sur- and Young Good- face one - a story man Brown by Na- with two mean- thaniel Hawthorne. ings, a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning. Examples of alle- "Each memora- gories are the ble verse of a Fairie Queen by true poet has two or three times the written content." Because I Could Not Stop for Death ~Emily Dickinson Alfred de Musset French Romantic Poet Because I could not stop for Death, (1810-1857) He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, "Poets utter And I had put away great and wise My labor, and my leisure too, things which For his civility. they do not themselves un- We passed the school, where children strove At recess, in the ring; derstand." We passed the fields of gazing grain, Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massa- We passed the setting sun. chusetts, to a family well known for educa- Plato tional and political activity. Her father was Or rather, he passed us; an orthodox Calvinist who was a lawyer and The dews grew quivering and chill, served for a time in Congress. Emily studied For only gossamer my gown, at Amherst Academy (1834-47) and a cou- My tippet only tulle. ple of years after finishing her education she began writing poetry. At the age of 23 Emily withdrew more and more into a secluded life, We paused before a house that seemed rarely venturing out into social circles. Emily A swelling of the ground; spent most of her time in her room often com- The roof was scarcely visible, posing poetry. Although Emily led a reclusive The cornice but a mound. outer life, she did correspond with writers such as John Keats, John Ruskin, and Sir Tho- Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each mas Browne. However although her outer life Feels shorter than the day was one of great simplicity the poetry of I first surmised the horses' heads Emily Dickinson offers a wealth of spontane- Were toward eternity. ity and creativity. 12 University Poetry Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 9 Free Verse does not conform to any translations of the biblical regular metre: the length of Psalms and in some poems of its lines is irregular, as is its Blake and Goethe, but estab- "He who use of rhyme—if any. Instead lished itself only in the late draws no- of a regular metrical pattern 19th and early 20th centuries ble de- lights from it uses more flexible cadences with Walt Whitman, the senti- or rhythmic groupings, some- French Symbolists, and the ments of times supported by anaphora poets of modernism. Free poetry is a and other devices of repeti- verse should not be confused true poet, tion. Now the most widely with blank verse, which does though he Free verse (or, in French, vers practised verse form in Eng- observe a regular metre in its has never libre), a kind of poetry that lish, it has precedents in unrhymed lines. written a line in all his life." I, Icarus ~Alden Nowlan George Sand Female There was a time when I could fly. I swear it. French writer Perhaps, if I thing hard for a moment, I can even tell you the year. who used the pseudonym My room was on the ground floor at the rear of the house. George Sand My bed faced a window. (1804-1876) Night after night I lay on my bed and willed myself to fly. It was hard work, I can tell you. Sometimes I lay perfectly still for an hour before I felt my body rising from the bed. I rose slowly, slowly until I floated three or four feet above the floor. Then, with a kind of swimming motion, I propelled myself toward the window. Outside, I rose higher and higher, above the pasture fence, above the clothesline, above the dark, haunted trees beyond the pasture. And, all the time, I heard the music of flutes. It seemed the wind make this music. And sometimes there were voices singing. Alden Nowlan left school before graduating and during his adolescent years worked at a variety of jobs, all of them menial, manual, or both. He was a pulp cutter, a farmhand, a sawmill worker, a night watchman, a ditch digger and a logger. Primarily self-educated, he later went on to work as a newspaperman, and published poetry, plays, short stories, and novels. Born on January 25, 1933 at Windsor, Novia Scotia, he is widely recognized as one of the most important poets to appear in Canada in the last thirty years. His poetry collection Bread, Wine and Salt won the Governor’s Gen- eral award in 1967. Much of his work reflects his regional roots and an affection for the ordinary people. He died in Fredericton June 27, 1983. Page 10 Lyric Poetry Lyric Poetry consists of a poem, such as a sonnet or an ode, that ex- presses the thoughts and feelings of the poet. The term lyric is now com- monly referred to as the words to a song. Lyric poetry does not tell a story which portrays characters and actions. The lyric poet addresses the reader directly, portraying his or her own feeling, state of mind, and per- ceptions. Summer Night ~Langston Hughes "When critics disagree, the artist is in ac- cord with him- self." Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) "From Mozart I learnt to say im- portant things in a conversational way." Langston Hughes was born in 1902 George Bernard Shaw and died in 1967 of cancer. He was a great poet that inspired many lives. (1856-1950) He had many experiences traveling the world and living in Harlem that influenced his writing. Hughes was known as Harlem’s Poet”(Langston). Hughes inspired many through the depression giving motivational speeches and writing. He kept black American life a reality in front of a wide audience of readers. 12 University Poetry Page 11 Song Lyrics Verse or poem that can, or supposedly can, be sung to musical accompani- ment (in ancient times, usually a lyre) or that expresses intense personal emo- tion in a manner suggestive of a song. Lyric poetry expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet and is sometimes contrasted with narrative poetry and verse drama, which relate events in the form of a story. Bradley Kenneth "Brad" Roberts (born January 10, Afternoons and Coffeespoons 1964, W i n ni p e g, Manitoba) is the lead What is it that makes me just a little bit queasy? There's a breeze that makes my breathing not so easy ~Brad Roberts singer and guitarist for the Canadian folk-rock I've had my lungs checked out with X rays band Crash Test Dum- I've smelled the hospital hallways mies. He sings in the bass-baritone range. Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline His musical career Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime began with a Bache- lor's degree with Hon- Times when the day is like a play by Sartre ours from University of Winnipeg in 1986. When it seems a bookburning's in perfect order - Roberts began per- I gave the doctor my description forming in a house I tried to stick to my prescriptions band for the Blue Note Cafe in Winnipeg un- der the moniker Bad Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline Brad Roberts and the Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime St. James Rhythm Pigs. The band gradu- Afternoons will be measured out ally evolved into The Measured out, measured with Crash Test Dummies. Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot While studying at uni- versity and working as a bartender at The Maybe if I could do a play-by-playback Spectrum Cabaret, I could change the test results that I will get back Roberts began writing I've watched the summer evenings pass by his own songs and in- troducing them to the I've heard the rattle in my bronchi … band. After attending a Someday I'll have a disappearing hairline songwriters' workshop with Lyle Lovett at the Someday I'll wear pyjamas in the daytime Winnipeg Folk Festi- val, Brad wrote Afternoons will be measured out "Superman's Song." Measured out, measured with Coffeespoons and T.S. Eliot 12 University Poetry Page 12 Dramatic Monologue A dramatic monologue is a combination of the words dramatic and monologue (obviously). The "dramatic" says that it could be acted out, and is a form of drama, while the "monologue" de- fines it as a speech that one person makes, either to themself or to another. A dramatic monologue is writ- ten to reveal both the situa- tion at hand and the charac- ter herself. Biography: Thomas Stearns Eliot (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1964) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of seven children raised as a Unitarian. He stud- ied at Harvard University where he was recognized as a brilliant student and (1) A passage from Dante Alighieri's where he began work on his poem "The Inferno (Canto 27, lines 61-66) spo- Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," one of his best-known works. After graduating, ken by Guido da Montefeltro in re- he continued his studies in Germany, sponse to the questions of Dante, France and at Oxford University. who Guido supposes is dead, since he is in Hell:. The flame in which Guido is encased vibrates as he Poem speaks: "If I thought that that I was Introduction replying to someone who would S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse ever return to the world, this flame A persona che mai tornasse al mondo, would cease to flicker. But since no Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse. Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo one ever returns from these depths Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero, alive, if what I've heard is true, I will Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo. (1) answer you without fear of infamy." 12 University Poetry Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 13 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ~T. S. Eliot Let us go then, you and I, And indeed there will be time When the evening is spread out against the sky To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?" Like a patient etherized (2) upon a table; Time to turn back and descend the stair, Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets, With a bald spot in the middle of my hair-- The muttering retreats [They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!"] Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin, And sawdust (3) restaurants with oyster-shells: My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin-- Streets that follow like a tedious argument [They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!"] Of insidious intent Do I dare To lead you to an overwhelming question . . . Disturb the universe? Oh, do not ask, "What is it?" In a minute there is time Let us go and make our visit. For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. In the room the women come and go For I have known them all already, known them all:-- Talking of Michelangelo. (4) Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, I know the voices dying with a dying fall The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes Beneath the music from a farther room. Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening, So how should I presume? Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains, Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys, And I have known the eyes already, known them all-- Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase, And seeing that it was a soft October night, And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin, Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall, Then how should I begin And indeed there will be time To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? For the yellow smoke that slides along the street, And how should I presume? Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; There will be time, there will be time And I have known the arms already, known them all-- To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; Arms that are braceleted and white and bare There will be time to murder and create, [But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!] And time for all the works and days of hands Is it perfume from a dress That lift and drop a question on your plate; That makes me so digress? Time for you and time for me, Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl. And time yet for a hundred indecisions, And should I then presume? And for a hundred visions and revisions, And how should I begin? Before the taking of a toast and tea. ... In the room the women come and go Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets Talking of Michelangelo. And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? Page 14 The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock cont. ..... I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. No! I am not Prince Hamlet, (9) 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, And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! Deferential, glad to be of use, Smoothed by long fingers, Politic, cautious, and meticulous; Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers, Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me. At times, indeed, almost ridiculous-- Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, (5) Almost, at times, the Fool. Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed, I grow old . . .I grow old . . . Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. (6) I am no prophet--and here's no great matter; Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach? I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, beach. And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. And in short, I was afraid. I do not think that they will sing to me. And would it have been worth it, after all, After the cups, the marmalade, the tea, I have seen them riding seaward on the waves Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me, Combing the white hair of the waves blown back Would it have been worth while, When the wind blows the water white and black. To have bitten off the matter with a smile, To have squeezed the universe into a ball We have lingered in the chambers of the sea To roll it toward some overwhelming question, By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown To say: "I am Lazarus, (7) come from the dead Till human voices wake us, and we drown. 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. (2) Anesthetized with ether; but also sug- That is not it, at all." gesting "made etherial," less real. (3) Cheap bars and restaurants used to And would it have been worth it, after all, spread sawdust on the floor to soak up Would it have been worth while, spilled beer, etc. After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets, (4) The great Renaissance Italian artist. After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the (5) Cookies and ice cream. floor-- (6) Like John the Baptist (see Matthew 14: 1- And this, and so much more?-- 12) It is impossible to say just what I mean! (7) A man raised from death by Jesus (see But as if a magic lantern (8) threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: John 11: 1-44). Eliot may also have had in Would it have been worth while mind the Lazarus in the parable told by Jesus If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl, in Luke 16:19-31, in which case the poetical And turning toward the window, should say: Lazarus would have returned to deliver a "That is not it at all, message which the Biblical Lazarus could not. That is not what I meant, at all." (8) Early form of slide projector. (9) Shakespeare's sensitive hero known ..... for procrastination. 12 University Poetry Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 15 NOTES: St. Robert Catholic High School was the first high school in the York Catholic District School Board. The high school was first established in 1975 on the original site of St. Robert Elementary School. In January 1989 the final addition was added to the school to complete the high school, as it exists to- St. Robert C.H.S. day. Over the years St. Robert Catholic High School has developed a reputation in the community for 8101 Leslie Street academic excellence, exuberant school spirit, and Thornhill, Ontario commitment to the needs of others. Our staff, stu- L3T 7P4 dents and parents work hard to maintain the 29-year Phone: 905-889-4982 tradition that has enabled our graduates to contrib- ute both personally and professionally to their com- English is the backbone of munities. One of our most gratifying accomplish- ments is the number of graduates who have entered every job! the teaching profession, many of them returning to teach for the Y.C.D.S.B.
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