It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
— T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
This is an Excerpt. For full poem go to this link: http://people.virginia.edu/~sfr/enam312/prufrock.html
I first read the poem “The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” while taking a class in college on ‘Poetry & Literature.’ My memory of the poem is completely different from college. Then it seemed an odd poem with sprinklings of the weird. That always was a strong remembrance. Reading it today, I find it quite profound and beautiful. I include only the opening passage but highly recommend going to the link above. ‘Prufrock.’ is a brilliant example of why poetry is necessary and expresses whatever it has in mind in a way where no other form of expression would do.
“Poetry is as close as written language comes to the visual arts but, aside from narrative poems, it is not a medium easily adapted to visual forms.” – Josh Jones
Commonly known as “Prufrock”, it is a poem by the American-British Poet T. S. Eliot (1888–1965). Eliot was influences by Dante Alighieri when he began writing “Prufrock” in February 1910. It was first published in the June 1915 issue of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. It was later printed as part of a twelve-poem pamphlet titled Prufrock and Other Observations in 1917. At the time of its publication, Prufrock was considered outlandish, but is now seen as heralding a paradigmatic cultural shift from late 19th-century Romantic verse to Modernism. The poem is regarded as the beginning of Eliot’s career as an influential poet.
Eliot narrates the experience of Prufrock using the stream of consciousness technique developed by his fellow Modernist writers. The poem, described as a “drama of literary anguish”, is a dramatic interior monologue of an urban man, stricken with feelings of isolation and an incapability for decisive action that is said “to epitomize frustration and impotence of the modern individual” and “represent thwarted desires and modern disillusionment”. Prufrock laments his physical and intellectual inertia, the lost opportunities in his life and lack of spiritual progress, and he is haunted by reminders of unattained carnal love. With visceral feelings of weariness, regret, embarrassment, longing, emasculation, sexual frustration, a sense of decay, and an awareness of mortality, “Prufrock” has become one of the most recognised voices in modern literature. [Wikipedia]