On September 26, 2013, we celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of author T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) — essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and one of the twentieth century’s major poets.


In 1915, three years after launching Poetry MagazineHarriet Monroe published “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by the then-unknown T.S. Eliot — the poet’s first publication outside of a university press. (Cover of Vol. VI, No. III, June 1915, Poetry Magazine pictured at left.)

In Brittanica, critic Allen Tate commented on Monroe’s vision and acumen as an editor by calling Eliot’s poem, “…the first masterpiece of ‘modernism’ in English…Nothing like the first three lines of ‘Prufrock’ had previously appeared in English poetry…It represented a [radical] break with the immediate past…” 

Let us celebrate T.S. Eliot’s 125th birthday by featuring the opening passage of ”The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Find the entire poem here. Listen to T.S. Eliot read the poem at

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.