The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (excerpt)

Hello Soul
Peter Holland
Hello young soul.
Be careful friend!
You very nearly
tread on me!
What were you looking at,
eyes so far afield?
You see not what is about you!
Silly soul,
the end is out there;
you may trust the way.
The end will arrive
whether it is watched for, or not.
You are surrounded by much;
take the time to take it in.
Let it fill you, dear soul.
Joyce Collins
I need a space where she has not invaded—
Where what is happening
Is not happening,
Has not happened,
Will not happen—
Is not even in the equation
A place where I live alone as one of three
And Fear and Sadness do not dance with me.
And When …
I am the source rippling through the dreams,
The empty subconscious mind,
A faint-heart yammering for a meeting.
Mmm, ha ha ah
The gale two steps forward, one step back.
The tempest.
I recognize fake compliments of necessity.
I change my clothes for another poem, waiting for the title forgotten.
Nobody alone, a moth.
With perfection I cloak the sentences inspired
The divine power.
I do not disturb the experience, it could snarl at me.
On time I face my view in the mirror.
For others I am far away.
Cheerful, cheerless, from narrow perspective – I keep quiet!
From the distance a message of imminence.
Slowly, like steel I am getting out in a triangle
In an unknown direction.
Thank you all permanent and impermanent.
Windfall of luck and abyss,
I’m having green tea.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (excerpt)
T. S. Eliot
S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo, Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse. Ma percioche 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.
This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of this
T. S. Eliot poem. Drawing on Dante (the opening stanza is a quote from
Inferno Canto 27), the Bible, Shakespeare, John Donne, and others,
Eliot created a modernist masterpiece that reflects the disillusionment
and frustration of the modern individual. In the opening lines, Guido da
Montefeltro, trapped in the eighth circle of hell, tells the pilgrim, “If I
believed that my reply were made to one who might return to the world,
this flame would stand still [i.e., I would keep my mouth shut], but since
no one has ever returned alive from this depth, if what I’ve heard is true,
I’ll answer you without fear of infamy.” Little did he know that people
would still be talking about his deeds more than seven centuries later!
Dante’s two tombs, in Florence (left) and Ravenna (right)
Voices de la Luna, 15 April 2015