Archives for posts with tag: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock


If you are a fan of T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” you might like to compare a six-minute reading by actor Anthony Hopkins (find it here) versus T.S. Eliot‘s eight-minute performance (find it here). Which do you prefer? We would appreciate any comments.



“I have heard the mermaids singing each to each…” From “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

We have written a variety of posts about Marilyn Monroe and her love of reading. Find a list of 261 books from her extensive library here. I did some research a few days ago, searching for images of Marilyn in the public domain and discovered the 1962 George Barris photo above. (Apparently Barris sued for copyright infringement, but lost the case — or so I gather from this link.)

When I saw this photo of Marilyn Monroe, the first thing (I’m not kidding) I thought was: “I have heard the mermaids singing each to each…” The line seemed appropriate for Monroe’s mermaid-like appearance in the photograph — as well as her love of literature.

Marilyn Monroe, 50 years after her death, continues to bring joy to people around the world. We hear this mermaid singing every time we watch Some Like It Hot, The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, and her more than 30 other movies.

Photo: George Barris (1962)


“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons...”

From “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

Coming soon from Silver Birch Press — a modern take on coffee, coffee houses, and coffee spoons: COFFEE HOUSE CONFESSIONS, a chapbook of 26 poems by Ellaraine Lockie. A poem from the collection is featured below.


Two women sit silent
surrounded by the clamor of the coffee shop
Matching shades of sandy blonde hair
The same sea-green eyes
Except the younger pair
stare through rims red as coral
into some far-off horizon
The light in them drowned
Beacons in the older set
Her hand stretched
across the table stroking the other woman’s
folded arm that holds up her chin
Only one blink when saltwater eyes
are dabbed with a napkin
The ice in one glass has melted
Coffee across from it would be cold
Yet the rubbing does not ebb
Something horrible here that can be alluded to
only through an umbilical cord
And perhaps only in the privacy of public

Note: Silver Birch Press will publish Coffee House Confessions by Ellaraine Lockie in November 2012.

Cover photo: Nick Warzin,


I recently listened to a recording of Anthony Hopkins reading “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” which he speeds through in about six minutes. I much prefer T.S. Eliot‘s well-modulated and moving eight-minute performance.

Take a few moments for yourself today and listen to the great poet read one of his most beloved works. Just click this link.



Judging by the enthusiastic response to our posts yesterday about Poetry Magazine that mentioned its distinction as the first non-university press to publish the work of T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), the esteemed poet continues to inspire.

When conducting some photo research a few days ago, I was amazed at the number of people who have inscribed daily reminders of Eliot and his masterwork “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” — in the form of tattoos. The most popular is…well, just take a look below.





Photo of T.S. Eliot: Missouri History Museum

Photos of Tattoos:


In 1915, three years after launching Poetry Magazine, Harriet 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 right.)

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 the 100th anniversary of Harriet Monroe’s Poetry Magazine by featuring the opening passage of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot. Find the entire poem here.

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. 


Do I dare

Disturb the universe?

In a minute there is time

For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

T.S. ELIOT, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

The above photo depicts the rocks along the shore of Lake Michigan in Evanston, Illinois, adjacent to Northwestern University — a wonderful place to walk and think. Each year, the grads write epigrams on the rocks — many pointed, some poignant, some humorous, all thought-provoking.