fragment from The Waste Land
I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers. ...
As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in
her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental
stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps,
inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of
her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter
with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked
cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady and
gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and
gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden…” I decided that if the
shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the
afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with
careful subtlety to this end.
THE LOVE SONG OF J. ALFRED PRUFROCK
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. ...
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)