Poetry: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


When I discovered The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot, my idea of poetry not only changed but the poem made me feel so much. Reading Mrs. Dalloway recently brought again those feelings. I memorized the first verse of this poem once, but I've forgotten it all now…I should try again as it reads like music.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
by T.S. Eliot
S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.

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.



  1. Have you seen the graphic adaptation of Prufrock? By Julian Peters. It's not complete but I find it prompts me to read the poem in an entirely different way. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/11/11/j_alfred_prufrock_comic_t_s_eliot_poem_illustrated_by_julian_peters.html

    1. Thank you sooooo much for that adaptation. You're right. How exciting!


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