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Prufrock and Me

prufrockI’ve been carrying the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock in my purse for weeks and it’s still there even though I have moved on to another book. I have thought about this poem almost every day since I chose T.S. Eliot from my list for a Modernist March. But every time I have seriously attempted to read or listen to the poem, I freeze-up. Mostly I think because poetry completely intimidates me.

“How’s it going with the poetry?” asked my friend.

“Um … good.”

“Why do you say it like that?”

“I dunno.”

“What do you like about it?

“Um, it rhymes.”

“Well, that’s good. You should write about that on your blog.”

“I can’t write that I like a nobel prize-winning author’s poem because it rhymes!”

“Why not? At least, you’re being honest.”

Silence from me, then: “Will you read the poem out loud to me?”

“For the last time, NO!”

I also had a sense of urgency about Prufrock, as if I had to make an important decision about it. Was it about death and growing old? Was it about a love lost and long gone? I read some background information on the poem, but didn’t feel satisfied. I put off writing about the poem again and again, and then before I knew it March was over and Anne of Green Gables was waiting for me.

When I finish a book, it feels good. It feels like I have closure with the story, with the characters. Absolutely not the case with Prufrock. I’ll come back to Prufrock and poetry one day, and try again. I promise Mr. Eliot, I won’t give up.

Do you have a memorable book or a poem that you started, gave up and then finished at a later time?

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4 comments on “Prufrock and Me

  1. Miss Bibliophile
    April 11, 2013

    There are so many lines from Prufrock that I love and I keep meaning to reread the whole thing someday. But I think I like the idea of rereading it more in theory than in reality. I think it’s because it never feels like you can just read a poem and “finish” it, but rather that you have to go back and study it really closely. Despite my good intentions, it’s so much easier to just pick up a new novel!

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    • ebookclassics
      April 11, 2013

      So true! It is easier to pick up a book and just go. I thought Prufrock was beautiful and so interesting to find out how the poem has affected people so deeply. But maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to give it serious attention. I might try some other poetry in my book list and then give Prufrock another whirl.

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  2. emilyardagh
    April 15, 2013

    Hi. Prufrock is an enthralling but very confusing poem, I agree! I just wrote a post about it if you want to read a few of my thoughts about it… I admire what you’re doing for your blog by the way — great idea! Will follow 🙂

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    • ebookclassics
      April 16, 2013

      Thank you! March was a very busy month, so I think I may not have given Prufrock the attention it deserved. It’s going to keep haunting me, so a re-read will be necessary. I couldn’t find your Prufrock comments on your blog. Could you please add a link to your post?

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This entry was posted on April 6, 2013 by in Headlines and tagged , .

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