Lessons from Prufrock

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This is from one of my favourite poets, T.S. Eliot: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. It’s also one of my favourite-ever poems and if you Google it you can read the whole text.

The irony of Prufrock is that he is all let us go! let us go! but really he is his own patient ‘etherised upon a table’. We’re witnessing a consciousness that is destined to be at an eternal crossroads. He’s paralysed by indecisiveness and anxiety – so scared of making mistakes, trapped in eternal hesitation.

In short, he’s going nowhere because his mind is always anxiously dithering about probabilities and possibilities and he never arrives at any decision, never mind any action.

He probably dies in the end, by the way, surrounded by his genteel high society friends, having singularly failed to find any purpose in his life and any answers to his questions.

Well, that ended on a bit of a dour note. I bet you get the moral of the story, though.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd