Song of the Self and Other Poems

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Besides the mermaids, there are several other minor characters who can support this theory. Prufrock talks about Prince Hamlet, Lazarus, the Footman, and an attendant lord. He has characteristics of all these men. He attends to others and never pleases himself like the attendant lord. Referring to asking someone out All of these people have traits in common with Prufrock, moreover with every other man.

Once again, Prufrock is shown to be a symbol for all men. In the middle of the poem, Prufrock talks of other men and the effect of the yellow smoke that curled around the windows. And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows.

Spurr 7 Since Prufrock identifies with the lonely men, therefore, that is proof that others have felt this way. Prufrock, like all others often in their lives, back away from pursuing love from a paralyzing fear that results in the ultimate loss of the object he desires. Critics have commonly interpreted them as referring to two parts of Prufrock, carrying on a conversation with himself.

However, the poem is really one long monologue. Prufrock is speaking to himself. Men in reality will often do the same when trying to make a decision.

Song of Myself, 32

They will ask themselves whether they really love the woman, or want to marry her, or want to kiss her, etc. Talking to oneself is a common practice to make a decision. Alfred Prufrock is a man who is in love with a certain woman, but he is somehow held back from approaching her. He feels unworthy of her, he feels unattractive, and for some reason he is sexually inhibited. At one time in their life, whether it be as a teenager, a middle-aged man, or an older person, men have felt like Prufrock.

They have doubts, fears, and inhibitions. Prufrock is truly a symbol for all of humanity in general. About Me For those new to me or my reviews I write A LOT. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note : All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. View all 4 comments. Oct 21, Sarah rated it it was amazing.

Question: Why oh why do they make children read Prufrock in school? How can a kid, having run in from recess with pink perfect cheeks and years to go before hairs start sprouting out of weird places, have any idea what T. Eliot is talking about? How can someone who thinks year-olds are ancient, possibly get Prufrock?

I remember being asked to read this poem in fourth grade, and it is touching in an odd way to think back on the scene in the classroom - my ish, balding teacher, bent almost Question: Why oh why do they make children read Prufrock in school? I remember being asked to read this poem in fourth grade, and it is touching in an odd way to think back on the scene in the classroom - my ish, balding teacher, bent almost double over his desk with his passion for this poem, begging, pleading with us callow, bright-eyed children, to get it - his desk might as well have been the Great Wall of China.

We just stared and blinked our big anime eyes and thought he was a crazy old fart. Time didn't touch us yet. Like all kids, we thought it never would, that we had been spared by dint of our superiority. Poor Mr. Bull; he must have gone home, shaved his bunions and wept into his tea. Alfred Prufrock. I had not re-read Prufrock since that 4th grade incident. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I was inculcated in the theory that if a poem scans, rhymes, tells a cohesive story, or otherwise makes sense, it sucks.

At 11, I read it and couldn't believe how stupid it was. What the hell was this guy Eliot even talking about? I liked mermaids and peaches, but the rest of the poem might as well have been in a dead language. At 30, I read it and every line sank into my soul and shook me. I had spent enough time on earth to feel the first stirrings of fear of mortality. I wasn't in my twenties anymore and I thought, this is the best damn poem I have ever read. Maybe you have to get a bit older before this poem resonates with you - maybe you have to have felt the first stirrings of existential despair and the chill of mortality.

“Song of Myself”

Probably you have to have heard the eternal footman hold your coat, and snicker, and in short, be afraid. There are so many parts of Prufrock that I love - that sum up the so-called 'human condition' so perfectly: "Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky, like a patient etherised upon a table.. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves Combing the white hair of the waves blown back When the wind blows the water white and black. We have lingered in the chambers of the sea By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown Till human voices wake us, and we drown. View all 5 comments. Mar 24, Exina rated it really liked it Shelves: poetry , classics , required-readings. It was a required reading at literature seminar. I like poetry in general, and I enjoyed many of these poems. Aug 29, Beth rated it it was amazing.

Alfred Prufrock is the most beautiful poem I have ever read. I'm not a big poetry connoisseur, so feel free to disagree. I would eat this poem if I could. Or marry it. I would hold the hair of this poem while it puked, if it were the type of poem to drink heavily to the point of wretching, but it's not. This poem is far too good for those sort of shennanigans.

Instead, it partakes of tea and cakes and ices and lingers in dooryards and ponders the beauty and futility of life, The Love Song of J. Instead, it partakes of tea and cakes and ices and lingers in dooryards and ponders the beauty and futility of life, which is why I love it so. I don't know about the rest of the poems in this book because Prufrock is so brilliant it burned all the rest of the pages of this book with its white-hot awesomeness. View all 3 comments. Nov 22, Julia rated it really liked it. Not knowing what to expect from the future besides the foreseeable outcome of thinning hair and growing old.

Alfred Prufrock portrays these common concerns with eloquence. There are many lines throughout the piece that I have thought over. I think that Eliot uses this image as a foreshadowing "Do I dare disturb the universe? This description sounds more like a cat to me than a yellow fog. Is Prufrock the cat? Is he afraid of the women or nervous to speak to them? The latter question is interesting. I found that a peach is a Chinese symbol for marriage and immortality. Is Prufrock afraid of these things although he actually desires them? In fact, there are many questions throughout the entire piece.

Prufrock seems indecisive and confused. Also, the fog cat? This further strengthens the theme of indecisiveness. He worries about growing older and how this will affect his outer appearance. His hair is thinning along with his arms and legs.

From the SparkNotes Blog

This hints back to the previous point I made about Prufrock wanting immortality. His concerns about getting older show that he knows his desire is impossible. Overall, my thoughts about this piece is that Prufrock has been bothered his whole life with his indecisiveness and his lack of taking action. He goes back and forth questioning himself about if he is daring enough to do the things he wishes voice his opinion to the world, get married, live a full life [immortality?

He is trying to hesitantly figure out what to do before it is too late. View 1 comment. Sep 19, Stella Dinielli rated it it was amazing. The main character, not someone of fame and wealth but rather an unacknowledged poet, sees the world as spiritually exhausted and a wasteland.


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Humans are incapable of communicating with one another because their psychological state is too fragile and afraid of change. All this realization and character development given to us by T. This work is a perfect example of just how T. Eliot mastered figurative language. Jaykumar B Wow!! Nov 08, AM.

Michael I think that this poem has over emphasized a single man when it should be read as relating to Modern Man. Prurock is definitely a cultured educated up I think that this poem has over emphasized a single man when it should be read as relating to Modern Man. Prurock is definitely a cultured educated upper class gentleman. It the intelligentsia is lost, having the most going for it what about the rest of us. It cannot be emphasized enough that this poem is about Modern Man and that this narrative is a heroic character that does not look to fantasy or Romanism to escape but sees the modern world as it actually is and sees himself for what he is.

William Thank you for the review.


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  • Jul 04, AM. Catching up with the classics 17 3. My copy of this book I stole from my high school library. In my freshman poetry class, we were told to memorize a poem of at least 10 lines. I told my teacher that this was a pointless assignment and that rote memorization doesn't teach anything, but honestly I was just lazy and hated the idea of memorizing anything.

    Shelves: poetry. Let us go instead of Let's go same goes for do not ask and maybe other cases seems like a poetic inaccuracy to me it would be great to have Ezra Pound 's opinion on this [aren't all his correcti The Love Song of J. Let us go instead of Let's go same goes for do not ask and maybe other cases seems like a poetic inaccuracy to me it would be great to have Ezra Pound 's opinion on this [aren't all his corrections of The Waste Land fantastic?

    Pound was as knowledgable as gifted [he had a poetic 6th sense which Eliot would have given an arm for having] , for Eliot wanted to sound modern, casual, etc. If you like The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock , T. Eliot was close to not overcome the anxiety of his influence, stating that I was hypnotized by the music of his verse. Prufrock , published in , was immediately hailed as a new manner in English literature and belittled as an echo of Laforgue and the French symbolists to whom Eliot was highly and clearly indebted. Eliot said that he traced his beginnings as a poet to two influences, the later Elizabethans and the poems of Laforgue.

    He said that Laforgue spoke to his generation more intimately than Baudelaire seemed to do, and he ranked Laforgue with Donne and Baudelaire as the inventor of an attitude, a system of feeling or of morals. Jun 04, Paras2 rated it it was amazing. Oh Eliot, how u push me to fall into the chasm of nihilism T S Eliot's first pamphlet of poetry, Prufrock and Other Observations was incessantly hyped before publication by Ezra Pound, the one time modernist poet and erstwhile fascist campaigner during the Second World War, although that shouldn't be used as a stick to beat Eliot, even if there were many doubts about his own sympathies at the time particularly in relation to his alleged anti-Semitism.

    While Eliot used allusions to such an extent that some wondered whether he was in fact guilty of plag T S Eliot's first pamphlet of poetry, Prufrock and Other Observations was incessantly hyped before publication by Ezra Pound, the one time modernist poet and erstwhile fascist campaigner during the Second World War, although that shouldn't be used as a stick to beat Eliot, even if there were many doubts about his own sympathies at the time particularly in relation to his alleged anti-Semitism. While Eliot used allusions to such an extent that some wondered whether he was in fact guilty of plagiarism, I would have to say that I don't think he was a plagiarist.

    So while he undoubtedly used a lot of other sources, he manipulated them into entirely original montages - indeed he and other Modernists have been descibed as montage artists. Eliot was one of the main architects of the Modernist movement in literature alongside the likes of James Joyce. On the surface, the poems in Prufrock seem so dense as to be almost impenetrable. However, by making the effort to reach into the depths of these poems, the reader will be rewarded with a richly woven, colourful and philosophical tapestry.

    Sep 11, Michael Finocchiaro rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , englishth-c , poetry. Prufrock is one of my all-time favorite poems and it is included here with other works by Eliot. This is a great and relatively short way to capture the beauty of Eliot's verse. I re-read this and have indeed gained deeper insight from my first reading in high school. Raises questions of introspection, of mortality, of inhibitions, of regrets, of hopes, of drive, of happiness, of love, of lust, and so much more.

    In a word: Beautiful! View 2 comments. Mar 07, Hasan Makhzoum rated it really liked it. Eliot, this famous expression from his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock came up instantly to my mind. Not for my adoration for espresso worship would be the appropriate term , but for being intrigued by how a simple line provides multiple figurative meanings.. The reference to the coffee spoon has various interpretati I have measured out my life with coffee spoons When I was asked by BBC Culture what would be my favourite line by the great poet T.

    The reference to the coffee spoon has various interpretations. Many people mistakenly thinks it is just humorous. However, this expression denotes that rationality, the carefulness in the way of thinking and the moderation in taking decisions, in accordance with the essential theme of the text which is despair, leaves little space for ambitions and leads to a mediocre monotone life. The implied meaning of this expression is close to Nietzsche's Yes, i'll mention him in every post, sue me wonderful aphorism One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.

    The poem, described as a drama of literary anguish, highlights the narrator's inertia, his cowardice to approach women, his ineptness and his spiritual flaccidity. You're happy the day has passed and the night has come, and in your sleep you bury the tedious question of what you lived for that day and what you're going to live for tomorrow.

    The poem takes a form of a dramatic interior monologue or a modernist stream of consciousness, which according to J. Harlan and K. McCoy, epitomize s frustration and impotence of the modern individual" and "represent s thwarted desires and modern disillusionment. Consequently, the little quantity a coffee spoon can hold is an allusion to the little his life experiences amount to, how insignificant are the steps the ineffectual and dull "Prufrock" has taken and his frustration over the lost opportunities.

    He has surrendered to the monotone acts and rituals as same as we use the coffee spoon daily and he fears to pursue change. He then uses the coffee spoon as a measure unit to assess his life, because he is diligent and meticulous and therefore doesn't dare to drop carelessly the sugar in his tea or coffee.

    According to a different interpretation that I have read once, a literal one that tends to separate it from the rest of the poem, a coffee spoon alludes to the social, as we spend most of our time when drinking a coffee or a tea cup in the company of other people, discussing, debating and telling our secrets.. So whenever you are nostalgic or thinking of your life, others would be present in these memories and they are the witnesses of it.

    Song of Myself - Wikipedia

    Feb 13, Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves: words-of-the-heart , favorites-recommendations. The first time I heard this poem out loud, all I could say was "Wow. However, "Prufrock" connected with me so strongly—the indecision, fear of the future, fear of doing something incredible, falling in love, the meaninglessness of life, the fear of not being worthy of affection, doom in death I recommend reading the poem out loud to fully appreciate the sound and rhythm. It's breathtaking. The Lovesong and the other works here are full of navel-gazing reflections on the inexplicable fixations and frustrations of emotional life, throwing up frequently resonant physical details, framed with a self-consciousness that sometimes cloys or annoys, and sometimes inspires deep sympathy.

    Apr 04, Joseph Spuckler rated it it was amazing Shelves: poetry. Read as preparation for reading and reviewing The Love Song of J. It is an odd thing, but recently I read someone on this site say that they had always thought Eliot was English and was a bit surprised to find out that he was actually an American. I mean, as a cultural phenomena I think it is generally Americans who use their middle name, but keep their first initial dangling, so J.

    Alfred Prufrock would It is an odd thing, but recently I read someone on this site say that they had always thought Eliot was English and was a bit surprised to find out that he was actually an American. Alfred Prufrock would seem to fit that particular cultural mould. And it is not just Prufrock that is of indeterminate nationality — what about the fog? It was one of those books that young people are sometimes expected to read so as to learn how to read poetry.

    There is an idea that poetry is such a terribly strange thing that only those who have been properly instructed will have any hope of ever reading it.

    [ENG] BTS Self Praise Song - Cut (Rookie King Ep. 3)

    I was flicking through the book and there was a section on this stanza of the love song. And since there is a similarity of sounds between them Eliot does that odd thing that poets sometimes like to, which is to get carried away and give the fog the literal characteristics of a dog. This is a poem about a man who has reached a certain age — an age were he struggles to even sustain his fantasies. To me this is made clear by the line after the first couplet. Of course, one is only ever etherized on a table to have something bad cut out of them. Every time Mr Prufrock starts getting a bit of a fantasy going — he might be chatting to a woman in a shawl or sniffing her perfume and saying things to her that might sound like the sorts of lines a woman listening to a man like him might even find a bit interesting - he worries that not only will she not find those things interesting, but even think that he has completely misunderstood what she is talking about.

    He constantly undermines his own fantasies. As a case in point: Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? I should have been a pair of ragged claws Scuttling across the floors of silent seas. We start off with what could be exactly the sort of thing that you might think a woman would find interesting to chat about — the image of men leaning out of windows and smoking in the early evening is a very potent image and one that has stuck with me for years.

    National Poetry Month. American Poets Magazine. Poems Find and share the perfect poems. Song of Myself, I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd, I stand and look at them long and long. They do not sweat and whine about their condition, They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins, They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God, Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

    So they show their relations to me and I accept them, They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession. I wonder where they get those tokens, Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them? Myself moving forward then and now and forever, Gathering and showing more always and with velocity, Infinite and omnigenous, and the like of these among them, Not too exclusive toward the reachers of my remembrancers, Picking out here one that I love, and now go with him on brotherly terms.

    A gigantic beauty of a stallion, fresh and responsive to my caresses, Head high in the forehead, wide between the ears, Limbs glossy and supple, tail dusting the ground, Eyes full of sparkling wickedness, ears finely cut, flexibly moving. His nostrils dilate as my heels embrace him, His well-built limbs tremble with pleasure as we race around and return.

    I but use you a minute, then I resign you, stallion, Why do I need your paces when I myself out-gallop them? Even as I stand or sit passing faster than you. This poem is in the public domain. A Noiseless Patient Spider A noiseless patient spider, I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

    More by Walt Whitman

    And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them, Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor hold, Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul. Walt Whitman America Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old, Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love, A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother, Chair'd in the adamant of Time.

    To Think of Time 1 To think of time—of all that retrospection! To think of to-day, and the ages continued henceforward! Have you guess'd you yourself would not continue? Have you dreaded these earth-beetles? Have you fear'd the future would be nothing to you? Is to-day nothing? Is the beginningless past nothing? If the future is nothing, they are just as surely nothing. To think that the sun rose in the east! To think that we are now here, and bear our part! Not a day passes—not a minute or second, without a corpse!

    To think how eager we are in building our houses! To think others shall be just as eager, and we quite indifferent!