Friday, July 24, 2009

Channeling Eliot

They still teach TS Eliot to high school kids, right? If so, you're probably vaguely familiar with his work. I have The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock on my mind tonight, particularly the part where he goes from "do I dare disturb the universe" to the timid "Do I dare to eat a peach?" all because of something I half-wish I'd had the nerve to say tonight.

I went to the mall tonight to look for two things, and struck out on both. As I walked by a vendor hawking cell phones, the guy there tried to convince me to talk about my cell phone needs. I wish I'd told him the truth, "Sorry, I only smiled because you're cute, not because I need a cell phone provider." The half of me that isn't making fun of myself for being a coward reminds me that I've worked retail, and I would have been pretty uncomfortable with such a remark myself. I guess being daring isn't worth potentially upsetting a stranger. But on the other hand, what if I said something and...

Anyway, poetry. Who are your favorites? I used to upset people in college who'd agitatedly ask how could I major in English and hate Romantic and Victorian era poets. I could only tell them that I was and I did. With a few exceptions like Dickens, I'm not fond of novelists from those time periods, either. I'm a fan of modernism and post-modernism all the way. I like Eliot well enough, but my true favorites are Sexton, Plath, Ginsberg and Jim Carroll. I wish I could link you to a few of their poems like "In This Room Particularly" by Jim Carroll but they don't seem to be out there. sigh.

A few of my favorite poems that are actually online:
Opal by Amy Lowell, which might be my favorite poem of all
Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney
Not Waving But Drowning by Stevie Smith
Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

"I only want sympathy in the form of you crawling into bed with me" - Fall Out Boy, Dance Dance

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